Exquisite Craftsmanship Elevate Vic’s Creations Above The Rest

This booth was easy to miss at Maker Faire Bay Area 2019 amidst tall professional conference signage erected by adjacent exhibitors. It showcased the work of [Dr. Victor Chaney] who enjoys his day job as a dentist and thus feels no desire to commercialize his inventions — he’s building fun projects for the sake of personal enjoyment which he simply calls Vic’s Creations. Each project is built to his own standards, which are evidently quite high judging by the perfect glossy finish on every custom wood enclosure.

Some of these creations were aligned with his musical interests. The Backpacking Banjo was built around a (well cleaned) cat food can to satisfy the desire for a lightweight instrument he can take camping. His Musical Laser Rainbow Machine (fully documented in Nuts & Volts) was created so little bands formed by independent artists like himself can have a visual light show to go with their live performances. The Music Kaleidoscope is another execution along similar lines, with an LED array whose colors are dictated by music. Venturing outside the world of music, we see a magnetically levitated Castle In The Clouds which also receives power wirelessly to illuminate LEDs

The largest and most complex work on display is an epic electromechanical masterpiece. Par One is a rolling ball sculpture featuring the most convoluted golf course ever. Several more rolling ball sculptures (also called marble machines or marble runs) are on display at Dr. Chaney’s office which must make it the coolest dentist’s lobby ever. The lifelike motions he was able to get from the automatons he built into the sculpture are breathtaking, as you can see below.

If you’re inspired to make your own marble sculptures, keep in mind it won’t take much to get started. You can find space for one anywhere in your house, and there are plenty of creations to draw inspiration from.

10 thoughts on “Exquisite Craftsmanship Elevate Vic’s Creations Above The Rest

    1. The early Maker Faires were made up almost entirely of Makers like Dr. Chaney. They were great! Later Faires were mostly makers making things to sell or driving other business propositions. This changed the atmosphere of the event.

      Children loved playing against my chess-playing robot and only in the last few years were people looking at me like I was crazy, and asking “So you just did this for fun? You’re not selling anything?”

      I much preferred the early-year comments (as a person walked away thinking I could not hear) “That guy has too much time on his hands.” :-)

      1. I have heard that comment a number of times. I just say “I don’t watch tv”. Then they say “Of course”. I hope they also think “If I spent less time on my phone, tv, video games, etc. I could accomplish things, too”.
        Vic Chaney

    1. Thank you for your nice comment.

      Nobody should feel inferior. I have read that two of the biggest barriers to creativity are: 1) Being afraid you will look foolish.
      2) being afraid you will be exposed as doing it wrong.

      Sometimes, if you give something a good effort, you may be surprised at how it will come out.

      Vic Chaney

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