When Andrew “bunnie” Huang set out to fund and produce the Novena laptop he designed with Sean "xobs" Cross on Crowd Supply, we had a crazy idea - why not offer a unique, hand-crafted version of the Novena? It was already a piece of art, but we knew someone who could make it a true masterpiece. So we connected bunnie with local Portland artisan Kurt Mottweiler and the concept for the Heirloom Novena was born.
Kurt’s studio, Mottweiler Studio, is a design and fabrication operation located in the old Portland Doernbecker furniture factory, which he shares with his 24-year-old African Grey, Zane. His studio's tagline is “Artisanal Craft for the Digital Age” - and aptly so. Kurt blends his craft with digital technologies, resulting in everything from furniture and lighting to analog cameras and other mechanical masterpieces.
Now, the full run of Heirloom Novena is nearing completion with the final four to ship soon. And let us just say - they really are masterpieces. The Heirlooms feature breathtakingly beautiful use of Makore, Black Limba, Afromosia, and Oregon Walnut woods. They maintain all of the features and components of the standard Novena -- accessibility, hackability, the same boards, battery, and SSD.
In the end, twelve of these conversation starters sold at $5,000 a piece. They're a great example of what can be possible when you bring open hardware and crowdfunding together… the creation of something truly special, something that otherwise never could have been.
image credits: Mottweiler Studio
Head on over to Kurt’s website for more information about his work. He'll be sharing a complete rundown of his process and approach to Novena here on our blog soon, too, so stay tuned.