Grain Theory 2020 Design Preview

Post by 
Jake Wiens

1. Prepare

Every process is combination of a smaller processes. For me, design starts with coffee. Each step in the brew is a warm up for the mind. By simply seeing the process through, I get a feel-ing of momentum. I then carry this into my work.

kendama modeled after french press
GT-II French Press

2. Research / Design

The research and design process has always been one of my favorite parts of making a kendama. Looking at all of the kendama knowledge I have under a microscope , I try to understand exactly how an object does what I want it to do. This process is not done alone. Having a team of high level players to collaborate with gives me the insight into each players needs. The mission for the GT-II was to create a shape that could push each players style to the next level. Every measurement, angle, and surface is intentional.

man filling newly designed bag
The sesh utility bag adapts to daily life

Every idea starts in the mind. It's the process of extracting that idea and accurately bringing it into the physical world that takes time. To put in the hours you have to have passion. Without passion, there would be no progress.

The feeling of having an idea go from being in your mind and now in your hand is amazing. That first mission to test the new shape is critical. Being prepared is essential. Having all the tools in one place makes it easy to focus on what matters.

man researching his design

3. Test

During the first test of the shape, you need to have a clear idea of what you are looking for. The hardest part is not getting lost in the excitement. You have to remain focused and critical of the shape first. After you have run your technical test, it’s time to just loose yourself in the dama for a bit. Sometimes this is where you learn the most.

There is no magic or hidden features with a kendama. It’s all right in front of you. You are holding the blueprint every time you play. The Tech Tee shows the amount of detail that goes into every GT kendama. The graphic on the Tech Tee is the first of 5 versions leading up to the GT-II.

The new tech tee

Grain Theory is a leading brand in kendama products and gear. For access to the new summer 2020 collection, head over to Grain Theory now



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