The simple yet mesmerizing features of a roll-top desk have always been interesting to me. I’m not sure why we’ve found creating round shapes out of smaller straight ones so amusing, but nevertheless we can’t help ourselves. More intriguing still is the tambour desk or drawer. Named such for the typical design of wooden slats glued to stretched canvas, opening one drawer reveals two! And it’s even cooler in LEGO form. This version by Jason Allemann couldn’t be better executed – at first glance it doesn’t seem all that exciting…
But how do you open the top? Don’t let the treasure-chest look fool you – it doesn’t lift it like a lid. Just pull the front drawer and you have access to both top and bottom compartments! See? Mesmerizing.
Jason Allemann typically builds kinetic sculptures without minifigures in mind. But this time, he’s decided to come at it from the little guys’ perspective! The most recent addition to the JK Brickworks collection is a cute little LEGO ski chalet. Now it’s time to hit the slopes, so come with us as we take a tour!
In general, it has lots of character and fun details, but the most prominent feature is, of course, the lift. When the skier is placed at the bottom, the mechanism effortlessly carries the figure to the top of the slope. It’s a slick mechanism, and the only thing that would make it better would be if the skier came back around on his own to be picked up again.
When you think of Christmas songs, chances are one of the top ten that comes to mind is “Little Drummer Boy”. While not everyone in the world celebrates Christmas, I’m sure many of you can appreciate the most recent LEGO kinetic sculpture built by Jason Allemann of the JK Brickworks duo. Before the thing even gets moving, it’s clear that the ox and sheep are adorable.
Once the crank starts turning the magic starts. The little trio are mesmerizing to watch. Builds with timing can seem so complicated on the surface, but as Jason often shows, the inner-workings aren’t all that complicated. Still, it’s hard not to be jealous of how easy he makes it look.
Eeyore has to be everyone’s favorite sad little donkey. To me this creation by Kristal, the partner of Jason Allemann, embodies the year 2020 perfectly. He looks so sad with those droopy ears, sad eyes and the semi permanent rain clowd above his head. Eeyore has had quite some redesign over the years. He started out as a grey and black donkey. In the animated series he still was grey but the inside of his ears was pink and he had a pink bow on the end of his tail making him look a bit more colourfull. Today Eeyore is a bit more purple/light blue coloured which makes him look a lot less depressed. I am glad Kristal went for the sad and grey variant of the beloved donkey. The demure tones of sand blue, sand green and olive green of the surrounding help Eeyore look even more sad…
These little LEGO fellers are cute as all heck! In true JK Brickworks fashion, builder duo Jason Allemann and Kristal give us not one, or two, but four critters with entirely different movements. It’s a bit maddening that they make it look so gosh darn easy. These simple mechanisms come together in a fun and unique display of kinetic magic.
Of course, standing still in the picture above doesn’t do them justice. But as soon as you see them move, you’ll be captivated. Click the link below to watch the full video!
The recent trend in the LEGO-sphere community has all been about magical floating compression structures, better known as a tensegrity – a portmanteau of “tensional integrity”. The fad started with a very rudimentary build on a Reddit and soon spawned many more creative iterations. We pick a few of the more outstanding ones that we’ve seen that has impressed us. A couple of them come with build videos and instruction guides for you to build your very own.
Early on when Jason Allemann from JK Brickworks first revealed and eventually submitted the wonderful Pursuit of Flight on LEGO Ideas. He also recreated two variations, a scene with Santa and his reindeers, and also modification of the scene that captured many Star Wars Fans hearts with the nail-biting Trench Run scene from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
While we’ll never get to see the Pursuit of Flight be made into an official LEGO set, he’s released the building instruction guide and parts for the Trench Run.
You can download the parts and instructions from the JK Brickworks website here, which consists of an add-on guide if you wish to motorise the setup.
As you may know, this is not the first time that Jason (also known as JK Brickworks) has been a LEGO Ideas finalist. He has actually previously won the coveted opportunity to have his build become an official set… twice. He’s responsible for 21305 Maze and 21315 Pop-Up Book (the latter in collaboration with Grant Davis).
The one thing that JK Brickworks does well is to combine LEGO bricks and motion. Well, okay, there’s more to their builds than that. There’s also the stellar look to their creations. And the great photos they take of them. And…well, look, we’re dangerously close to just doing a Spanish Inquisition tribute here. Let’s just say they’re a master at their craft and move on. Because JK Brickworks has finally entered the realm of the GBC, and it’s a wonder to behold. (That’s a “Great Ball Contraption” for those of you who haven’t encountered them yet.)
In Robot Dreams a quartet of workers rhythmically and endlessly pass tiny LEGO basketballs to each other. Each one has unique coloring and characteristics, but otherwise they’re just extremely decorative cogs in a machine. There’s an old saying about sled dogs – unless you’re in the lead, the view never really changes. Kinda makes you feel bad for at least three of these robots.
But words don’t really do this one justice. You need to see it in action. And, thankfully, there’s a video that not only shows this one in motion, but also gives some great looks at the Technic gearing and methodology that brought these robots to life.
In Greek mythology, Apollo is a somewhat complicated figure, so it seems only fitting that he’s the subject matter of Jason Allemann’s latest kinetic sculpture. Building upon his previous galloping horse, he’s expanded the moving parts in this creation to include the horse’s legs, bodies, necks, heads and tails, as well as the chariot body and wheels and Apollo himself. He’s done such a good job making the overall movement look natural, it can be hard to pick out what parts are actually moving independently of each other. It all just flows together quite well.
Like everything Jason designs, the mechanics behind it all are quite clever, but even without the movement, this would still be a well-designed static model. I really like the way he’s sculpted the head and face, using a simply gap between pieces to represent the eyes and brow. Also pleasing are the choices of gold elements to adorn the chariot, giving it that ancient and regal look. The relatively new 22 long hose with connector ends is an especially smart choice for the reins. Watch the video he made and take a moment to be mesmerized by the model’s motion and hear about all about the mechanics from Jason himself.
You can always depend on Jason Allemann to take all things LEGO to a new level. For Halloween this year, the actual action of dishing out treats to tiny monsters, ghouls and all toddler-sized superheroes has been automated. It’s powered by a Mindstorms EV3 control unit and motor.
It holds a total of 40 candy bars separated by Technic axles acting as dividers. The buttons are connected to lift arms which go all the way to the back activating touch sensors to release the sweet goods.
It might be an accurate statement to say that Jason Allemann is having the best month ever. First he was our keynote speaker at BrickCon, where he also designed the commemorative model that we featured here. And now he…or rather JK Brickworks, has completed a series with this model. Why the distinction? Jason is merely the “J” half of JK Brickworks. “K” stands for Kristal and she is the driving force behind this model that is the final part of a trio of sculptures that explore the human mind. The first model, which can be seen at The LEGO House in Billund, explores the mind of an artist. The second sculpture explores the mind of an engineer. This third sculpture, however, might be the most therapeutic for a lot of us. It delves deep and gives us a peek inside a tortured mind.