Pain is Temporary - Glory is Forever - The Story Behind The Design

When I built the first plywood Marble Machine, I had no blueprints or drawings. The machine was 100% improvised.

After eight months of cutting gears on the bandsaw, I came into the workshop one day and realized that the whole top part of the machine wouldn't work. That day, I removed six months of work in a few hours. I remember feeling exhilarated and excited. When realizing a big mistake, the worst part is when you have already made the realization but have yet not done anything about it. So, When I get to the part when I can start removing failed pieces, the pain of the realization is replaced with the excitement of making a better solution.

Disassembling bad solutions on the plywood machine was done mainly with a cordless screw-gun. Marble Machine X, on the other hand, is primarily designed with welded steel. To remove failed parts from a welded structure, I needed a new tool. The Angle Grinder. 

Some of the most brutal and memorable scenes from the building of the MMX video series show me angle grinding away months and months of work from the machine. Every time I had to do this, I went through the same cycle of emotions. Realizing the mistake is painful. Removing the mistake is joyful.

The feeling of correcting your own mistake is priceless, and the crudeness of the Angle Grinder makes this process definitive in a beautiful way. You can see your old dumb ideas flying away across the room as golden burning sparks, turning into ash before they land.

The Pain is Temporary - Glory is Forever meme is more fitting now than ever:

I have decided to stop patching up flaws on the MMX and instead start designing MMX-T from scratch. At least for the moment, I am angle grinding away the entirety of the MMX. It took six months of painful realization to make the decision. What remains is the joyful part of correcting the mistake by designing MMX-t with less dumb design requirements.

The Angle Grinder has become a symbol of the will to try, fail and try again. When I put my angle grinder T-shirt on in the morning, I feel ready for whatever obstacles that might appear. I know that if all fails, I can start over, try again, and hopefully do better next time.

The Process

The Pain is Temporary - Glory is Forever design was created and submitted by the "Be Human Design" design studio.

With metal-band styled font choice, the stylized roll of tape, and flying sparks burning hot like stars, this design perfectly captures the iconic Angle Grinder and the meaning behind it. We did no iterations or alterations on this design from our side but used the print exactly as it was created.

Big thanks to Be Human Design for creating this beautiful design.

"Be Human Design" is a design and illustrations studio consisting of artists Hsiang-Ying Chen and Ying-Hsiu Chen.

See all design contributions

Third Time’s The Charm

The Marble Machine X-T marks the beginning of a new chapter in the Marble Machine saga. . To celebrate the occasion we have curated a collection of 4 designs that tells the story about trying, failing and trying again.

Wearing these designs on your own journey gives you god-level dedication and the ability to never give up.