Patron Saint of Engineers

I have a crappy phone camera and a shaky hand. No, it’s not shaky from what’s in the flask, but, rather, from a general lack of sleep. Therefore, I asked my daughter to take this picture with her favorite in-hand device. This flask, my friends, is what comes about when you meet the kid with the coolest toys–in this case, Peter DeSimone. That should be his You Tube channel, in which he demonstrates his cool toys and inventions.

A while back, he suggested I design something–anything, really–and check out his laser cutter. Goofy person that I am, I decided I needed a patron-saint-of-engineering light switch cover. Obviously, I immediately did a search on Google for information on the patron saint of engineering, to discover that he is none other than St. Patrick, who is fond of clutching books or scrolls in iconography. It made sense to me that Patrick should, instead, be busy punching numbers into a calculator. I never did buy a light switch cover, so Peter offered one of his stainless steel flasks. The process, here, is laser bonding rather than etching. The radiant energy bonds the “ink” that you paint on the stainless steel, and the markings of the design become permanent. The leftover, non-bonded ink product can be washed off.

From design to completion, this project took about an hour. Before our family left (he and his wife had kindly made dinner for the entire Domschot crew), Peter filled the flask from his bottle of Johnny Walker’s. As you can see, the flask is quite magical. Watching the image appear on the steel reminded me of the days I’d discovered the magic of photography back in the high school dark room, of watching the images I’d burned into the paper appear while immersed in the chemical bath. Artists, scientists, inventors of technology–these people are all magicians. Sometimes, if you’re in the know, you’ll recognize the tricks. Otherwise, you might want to just sit back and enjoy the show. And don’t forget to take a swig.


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