Special Interview with Jason Allemann a.k.a JK Brickworks

This weeks guest of honor is a builder from Canada with his own unique and special building style. Jason Allemann a.k.a. JK Brickworks is known for his extraordinary kinetic/mechanized creations as well as nice looking MOC's. Our guest also has a wonderful youtube channel with many great videos. Don't forget to visit the channel. Photos from the work of our guest will be presented between the questions.

Kaplan: We already know that you are one of the greatest MOC'ers in the world. What can you tell us about yourself other than that?

Jason: My name is Jason Allemann, I'm 43 years old, and I live in Ottawa, Canada. I'm a software developer, currently self employed, and my other main interest is rock climbing. My partner Kristal and I usually spend most of the summer traveling to various rock climbing destinations around North America, camping along the way.

Do you remember your first day when you get your first LEGO set?J: Haha, that happened way too long ago for me to remember!

What is your best/unforgettable memory involving LEGO?

J: Probably around 10 years ago. I built this very small micro scale tractor.  Nothing all that spectacular by today's standards, but at the time it blew my mind that I could evoke such detail with so few pieces. It was a classic 'eureka' moment that I will never forget.

K: If you have to choose, what is your all-time favorite LEGO set?

J: That's a tough one, but I'm going to go with the Medieval Market Village (10193). So many great details, and I loved the goats and chickens.

Did you have a “dark age”? If you had one when did you return from the dark age and how?

J: I guess most of my 20's could be considered a dark age. I still bought the occasional LEGO set, but didn't do much other than build them and put them on my desk at work. My return to full blown AFOL was triggered by the release of the first Star Wars and Mindstorms sets in 1999.

K: How many LEGO bricks or sets do you own approximately?

J: I would ballpark it around 500,000 pieces and maybe 1000 sets. 

What are your favorite top three MOC's?

K: Do you scrap our MOC’s for parts after taking photos or displaying? Or do you keep them. If you keep some and scrap others which ones are you keeping and why?

J: I usually keep them built for a couple of years before taking them apart, so that I can display them at various local shows.

K: Your kinetic/mechanized models are amazing and unique. What is/are your source of inspiration?

J: Inspiration comes from everywhere. Sometimes it will be a YouTube video I watch, a wikipedia article I read, or something I see on television. I'm always keeping my eyes open for interesting ideas.

K: If you choose top three LEGO elements that you think are extremely useful for building MOC’s which elements would they be.

J: Wow, so hard to pick three individual bricks, but I'll go with the 1x1 brick with stud on 1 side, 1x2 tile and 24 tooth gear. More generally the pieces I use the most of are SNOT bricks, tiles, and Technic axles/gears.

You are creating MOC's from nearly every theme including historical, sci-fi, micro-scale, technic etc. and you are doing amazing job in every theme you built. What is your secret on this?

J: I don't really know. I do spend a lot of time fussing over details, regardless of what I'm building. I probably spend an inordinate amount of time trying to get a model 'just right'.

One of your Idea Projects the Marble Maze (Labyrinth) became an official set which is a really unique set in my opinion. How was the experience to design a Ideas set for LEGO?

J: It was pretty awesome! I didn't really do a lot past the submission phase, but it was really cool to be involved.

Do you have any suggestions for the new MOC'ers?

J: Don't be afraid to experiment, don't be over critical of your creations and, most of all, have fun! Most people pumping out amazing models have spent many years honing their skills. In addition to developing an eye for LEGO artistry, there is a surprisingly large amount of technical know-how to pick up. Even just becoming familiar with all the different LEGO pieces, and all the different ways they can be used, can take years. I've been building my own models for over 15 years, and I'm still learning new things by watching what other people create.

 And the final question. Tiles of Studs? 

J: I think there is a time and place for studs, but I'll have to go with tiles.