Thorsson on MAKE Volume 32 Cover

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Thorsson on MAKE Volume 32 Cover

Every time we finish an issue of MAKE and ship it off to the printer, it always seems like an eternity waiting anxiously for the first box of magazines to arrive. And even though we’ve all pored over every word, image, and graphic of the 176 pages, it’s such a thrill to look through the finished product and remember all the backstories that went into producing each project and feature. When our first box of Volume 32 arrived, I was thrilled to be able to hand-deliver a couple of issues to the man on the cover, master costume maker Shawn Thorsson.

At Maker Faire Bay Area this past May, one of the most memorable exhibits for me was seeing Shawn’s 8-foot-tall Space Marines walking around. Pictured below is the first one I saw walking past the MAKE booth (minus helmet — those suits are hot, both literally and metaphorically). I made a point of working my way to his booth in Expo Hall, where I saw Shawn completely swarmed by folks wanting to talk to him. I didn’t get to meet him that day but spoke with his sister, who told me his workshop, where all the magic goes down, was in Petaluma, Calif., a mere 20 minutes from MAKE headquarters.

Long story short, our photographer Gregory Hayes and I planned a visit to chat with Shawn and take some photos. We were so taken by the eye candy at the workshop as well as Shawn’s amazing talent for bringing game characters to life, that what was originally slated as a 2-page workshop spread expanded to a 12-page spread including an interview, a photo essay of him making a prop, and an awesome catalog of 17 of his costumes. (The 2-day-long photo shoot involved Shawn bringing an entire room full of gigantic costume pieces as well as his dedicated crew to model them, with Gregory shooting the images and Creative Director Jason Babler and Senior Designer Katie Wilson styling and guiding.)

As we plugged away at the feature and hit Shawn up for information and details, naturally, he hadn’t seen the spreads. Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to show him the final product. When I rolled up, I was excited that I even got a chance to meet Shawn’s proud makers (pictured below).

If you’re a subscriber, you likely have your issue in hand. Tell us what you think! If you’re not a subscriber (what are you waiting for?!), you can find Volume 32 on newsstands October 23.

MAKE Volume 32: Design for Makers

Forget duct tape and baling wire — now makers can design and manufacture things as beautiful as Apple and as slick as Dyson and Audi. We’ll show you how to conceive and visualize great-looking projects with our speed course in industrial design — then build them with tools like vacuum forming and laser cutting, and finish them with cases and interfaces that are artful, ergonomic, and irresistible.

Plus you’ll get 23 great DIY projects like the Nellie Bly Smoker, the Awesome Button, the World Control Panel, LED Little Big Lamp, Laminar-Flow Water Fountain, and Keyless Lock Box, and meet amazing makers like costumer Shawn Thorsson, flying motorcycle builder Deszo Molnar, and more.

8 thoughts on “Thorsson on MAKE Volume 32 Cover

  1. Stett Holbrook says:

    Great, behind-the-scenes post!

  2. MakerPlace says:

    Wow, It’s interesting to see the way makers go about similar projects as individuals. We have some makers that work out of MakerPlace that fabricate theatrical costumes as well, but the end result is always stunning!

  3. Thorsson on MAKE Volume 32 Cover says:

    […] Posted by Goli Mohammadi | Friday October 19th, 2012 3:00 PM […]

  4. schuenator says:

    Shawn has one of the best costume blogs on the ‘net. His work is such an inspiration.

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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

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