The Metal Conclusion

6 Oct


The collabARTive concluded its metalwork class at craft alliance last week. A lot of really great pins, broaches, rings, and bracelets came out in the process. Click here to check them out!



21 Sep

Hello Collabartive!

Just wanted to share some photos with you all from my project in Haiti that I was telling you all about. It was an amazing experience and I would love to share more about it with you all soon!

The metal design project seems like a great experience and I can’t wait to hear more about it! Unfortunately, my schedule is pretty busy this semester so I haven’t been able to come to the group yet, but I hope to see you all soon!


Moving along with Metal Design

19 Aug

The collabARTive is moving right along with Beginning Metal Design at Craft Alliance – nearly all of the artists have finished crafting their wrist cuffs and begun work on more conceptual pieces. Here are a few short clips and photos of techniques and processes happening along the way…



Sketching ideas and testing them out

Getting ready to place a stone

See more!

Beginning Metal Design at Craft Alliance

8 Aug

The collabARTive just finished its second week of Beginning Metal Design with Robert Longyear at Craft Alliance. While I wasn’t able to make it out this past Thursday, I wanted to share a few photos from the previous week. I couldn’t believe how quickly the collabARTive got their hands on the metal and started making some serious dents (pun completely intended)…

Robert illustrating some metalworking techniques

Texture detail

Many a saw blades were sacrificed

Getting hands on the metal

You can see more photos here.

Looking forward to whatever sawing, banging, and clanging that comes next Thursday!


A Few More Wings…

17 Jun

George shared a couple more photos of the collabARTive’s wings in the city project from Aloe plaza across from Union Station on Market street. Have a look!

wings in the city

wings in the city



Beginning The Process of Writing

12 May

A few weeks back, the collabARTive started a writing process. The group was asked what story they would tell if they had five minutes of the world’s time. The following are some of the collabARTive’s responses…


I made my decision, I’m going to stay in the army until I’m forced to retire. My choice must not have been in the big scheme of things, because I injured myself playing a game of basketball in the gymnasium. So, shortly after reenlistment for six years, I find myself worrying about how I am going to adjust to being a civilian again after 13 years. I headed home to my wife and son to make a new start together. Eight months is all it took before my wife realizes she doesn’t want to be married anymore and she is pregnant with my second child. So I pack up and go home to live with my brother and sister in Philadelphia. I get a good job and stay there a year and a half (21 months) and I headed back to my wife and children at my wife’s request. Not long after, I still haven’t adjusted to not being a soldier and my wife doesn’t want to be married anymore. We have two lovely kids, a house, two cars, a dog, and a mortgage and I’m wondering around, homeless, saying “I’m going to stay close incase my children need me.” I change. Becoming a bitter alcoholic, holding down a job, but moving from shelter to renting rooms and rooming houses to friends houses and then back to shelters to sleeping and bathing in the locker room at work. I change. I lose my job. I become less bitter. I look for ways to become more responsible to myself and others. I go through a long process with support from others and several programs


Man was originally conceived in the garden of Eden and God’s intention was for the goodness of mankind. His intentions were for man to abide by his commandments and edify him. Jesus was forsaken in that he would die for our sins. Why have we disobeyed our holy father through a multitude of sin, war, famine, and deceit? We have brought same to the world. Can we come back to the notion of one race of people, the human race? Certainly, we have had a great leader like Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, Jr. However, in the mighty words of a drug addicted criminal resounds “why can’t we all just get along?”


To have life but to live is the ultimate goal. To have peace with love unconditionally, to come together as one world, to change throughout spirituality or ora. Like a linked chain that has no weakness. To finally be able to boldly say from your heart through the soul together with the mind. When we wake up we ought to say “thank you” for another blessed day. Waking me in my right mind, starting me on my way. One love together to acknowledge and believe in one superior which you can’t see.


I would like to introduce my little brother, Kevin Francis, who now resides in his rightful home… heaven, alongside his mom and dad, as i fervently believe. He was, and is an angel sent from God, in that during his 43 years among us, we, his family, were taught volumes about sacrifice, compassion, and unconditional love.

Kevin was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 8 months old, following a surgery for a hernia. In 1961, malpractice suits were uncommon, particularly for this type of condition. Refusing to reduce Kevin to ‘homeless‘ in some institution, our parents consciously decided to love and care for him, just as they did, and could continue to do for the remainder of his life, their lives, our live… at hour home.

My sister and I, just 3 and 4 years older than he, respectively, quickly learned how to assist Mom and Dad in Kevin’s sustenance. Holding him, caring him, clothing him, and later feeding and bathing. Cleaning his diaper became routine for each of us.

This little innocent gift from Heaven, never knew what it was to harm anyone, harbor an unclean thought, know what it was like to walk, run or play. He yearned only for some attention from time to time, be it through food, liquid, a caress, a hug, brush of his beautiful hair, clean clothes, or fresh bath. He would let us know when he was glad of uncomfortable. But, for the most part, Kevin would sit or lay for hours and never disturb anyone… for his life, his existence as he experienced it was all he knew… and, this, indeed was a blessing… a miracle for him and us in its own right.


They jury was out for 20 minutes. I was escorted out of the courtroom and taken to the workhouse. I had pled not guilty and had a jury trial with a public defender. I was to an extent guilty as charge.

A 40oz beer was swung towards my head. I ducked, came up and punched the assaulter in the head. One punch: two black eyes, broken nose, and the bone around the eye socket shattered. Third degree assault with injury.

My employer was a city businessman with connection. He got another city judge to sin an order for me to be released everyday on “work release.” The workhouse did not have a program like this. They put a tracking bracelet on my ankle, gave me a box to connect to a phone line, and put me on house arrest.

On leaving the workhouse, my employer told me to drive him to the airport (he was going to Las Vegas), I could stay for a couple of days at his condo, and there was imported beer and win in the fridge. When I dropped him off he game me five 100 dollar bills.

Everyday I had to report to the workhouse for a “meeting” and daily urine drop. A couple of weeks into this at one of our meetings I had handcuffs thrown at me and was told to put them on. I was told my urine tests came back straight Budwieser! After four hours in lockup they let me go. “Don’t do it again!” They said no drugs, and told my employer the rules, he failed to hear or tell me about the no alcohol policy. A month later at a meeting I was handcuffed and escorted straight to the “hold” in the workhouse, where I sat for 10 days. They said I pissed straight cocaine. I did 6 months on house arrest, the ankle bracelet was cut off. I have never been back to the workhouse.


The world does not seem ready for a story. The world needs more a simple plan for salvation.

So I try to start the dialog with hope. The lesson is simple. Why are there so many points of dissension among the different groups that inhabit this planet? It can be the rich against the poor, Christians against musicians, one ethnic group against another, and country against country.

One of my favorite movies (The Candidate, 1972) made the point in the campaign ads created for Bill McKay played by Robert Redford. His campaign slogan was ‘There’s got to be a better way.’ World, are you listening?

Can you find ares of agreement? Cooperation? Coexistence?

Mankind deserves a better legacy than war, hatred, and destruction.

For the world must work on the common god of lasting peace, the welfare of the world population, and preservation of the environment.

Simple goals without politics, religion, or dominance by a single faction. We have never seen a time in our history were one group has not tried to dominate others.

World, it has got to stop.


In 1980 I accepted a position with a management consultant. A month after accepting the position, a long distance call came in from the U.S. headquarters asking if I did or did not have a passport. I did not have a passport at that time. I was then informed that I would be flown to NYC the following day to get a passport in route to London then Manchester, England. My wife was less than thrilled that I was put on loan to the European division on my first assignment.

The following evening I stated at Melford Hotel in NYC. The next morning, three of use reported to a government office which somehow produced U.S. passports by noon that same day. We all had a 6:30 pm flight out of JFK that evening bound for London Heathrow airport.

After boarding the aircraft, I recall looking through the window and seeing two men dressed in black slacks, red coats, and tall plush hats. I pinched myself on the arm wondering if I was really in England.

I found a lot of the work to be interesting. However, we Americans seem to live for the weekends. This was my first exposure to Brits, Canadians, Belgians, and Germans. Many of us traveled everywhere in groups and friendships developed quickly.

On the weekends we left the heavily industrialized Manchester and spent time in London mainly, with one great weekend in Edinburgh, Scotland. We took in many sights and my 35mm camera was constantly in use.

Trips to Germany, Wales, the north coast of Africa, and Stonehenge never quite materialized, but the sights I witnessed are as vivid in my mind now as they were 30 years ago. You see, I’ve somehow managed to lose all the photos. I can still see the assembled armor of Henry VIII upon his stud, the By of Arth from the top of Edinburgh castle, and so many more… These were glorious days and places visited that without the job would never have been seen.


At one time you were not in my life, teamed up beside me to guide me.

Day  after day I would look for you in the rain

In hopes that you knew how to remove the pain.

I was empty, full of pain

All my life seemed to be in vain

Never showing me ,I had anything to gain

You took me in out of the rain,

and showed me love, just the same.

Now I carry a picture of you, just to be with you.

There have been times in my life where angels have touch my life in such a way to change my path.

For all of them that have blessed my life so unselfishly it is more than the time to say thank you so much for being there when I needed you,May God bless you when you are in need.

With all my love,

Don Hake

Wings in the City

22 Apr

This past year the community collabARTive created a butterfly for the Wings in the City project. George has shared a few photos with us from the revealing event…

Wings in the City

collabARTive's butterfly

collabARTive's butterfly