Monday, August 15, 2011

Day Forty: Tradeshows and Custom Covers

This past week we've been swamped for orders for the latest tradeshows. A popular item this month seems to be custom designed cases for high-end products. Treasure maps, new age eye-glasses, and all types of shiny creations designed to rise and fall in the jostling elbow space this next month. I love these projects because you never know what you will find and it seems an appropriate to end our summer venture with something whimsical. As everyone takes the plunge towards the holidays. We are upgrading the shop this week and looking forward to the new fall season. Can't wait to unveil some of the changes we've created for you our customer.

Friday, August 12, 2011

DIY Summit September 17th-18th

Featuring Etsy and Techshop RDU

Come Learn To Make Handmade Crafts

Saturday Hours 10 am-10 pm

10-12 am Fabric and Yarn Swap (Conference Room)- Bring left-over fabric samples, yarn, thread, and other notions to exchange with members.

10-11 am Quilting 101 (Conference Room)- Learn basic block quilting and quilt wall art based on local artist Ruth Evans who runs the fabric department of the Scrap Exchange in Durham. She specializes in one-of-a-kind custom quilts for special occasions. You can see some of her amazing work and applique cloth art.

11-12 am Triangle Weaving (Featuring a Knitting and Crocheting Circle) (Conference Room) Guest Artist: Adelaide Siegl- Learn traditional Irish Triangle weaving. There are 16 hand-looms available on a first come-first serve basis. You can also learn how to knit and crochet custom pieces. We will have stitch-n-bitch books and other patterns available. Please feel free to bring your own and show us what you are working on.

12-1 pm Soap Making- The Art of the Bubble (Break Room)- Come make your own soap in this one hour lecture. Each member will take home a bar of their very own custom crafted locally made soap. List of local supply venues included.

12-2 pm Food Truck Rally (Outside ROTH Brewing) Take a break to enjoy local food truck cuisine in the area.

12-1 Microbrewing in the Triangle (Conference Room) Guest Artist: Michael Natale (ROTH Brewing)- Come learn about the history of beer and we will have free samples of Raleigh Red available for you to try. Mike, one of the owners of ROTH, will be talking about his passion: beer. Come join in the fun and have a few drinks. Tours are available in the evening at 5, 7, and 9 pm. Drink special $2 Raleigh Red next door for all Etsians.

1-2 pm As The Wood Turns (Wood Shop) Guest Artist: Chuck Frank- Learn to create wooden designs and traditional woodworking techniques for large furniture and smaller projects like handcrafted boxes, bowls, pens, and other creations. We will be turning bowls made from local timber off reclaimed shipwrecks and giving them away as raffles to attendees.

1-2 pm For Love of Wood (Conference Room) Guest Artist: Todd Hartzell- Drop by and come see some professional woodmakers in the area and what they are making. This event will be led by Todd who is known for his beautiful wooden pieces in local art galleries in the area. You can talk to artists and feel free to bring a couple pieces you are working on to show off or swap ideas.

2-3 pm Seagrove Pottery (Conference Room)- Learn about crafting, building, firing, and producing local pieces. We will feature several artists in the area as well as provide a link to local studios and kilns in the area for those interested in getting their feet wet.

3-4 pm Arduino Programming (Conference Room/Computer Lab) Guest Artist: Carl Frega- Come see one of the great new tools for building electronic robots, clocks, and electronic devices. Carl will take you through the basics and talk about electronic inventor. We will have metal scraps and soldering equipment available. You may bring your own kit or purchase one from the Techshop store for $15.

4-5 pm Through the Jewelers Loop (Conference Room) Guest Artist: Chuck Frank- Learn about advanced jewelry techniques from local legend Chuck Jones. A master jeweler with over 35 years experience, he talk briefly about crafting and selling professional jewelry. Come see some of his amazing collection, rated top in the Southeast. Half of the lecture is geared towards a slide lecture of how-to-cast jewelry pieces and the second part will be a question and answer session. We will also have other local jewelry artists available to see samples of their work and local guilds.

5-9 pm Food Truck Rally and Beer Tasting (Outside ROTH Brewing)- Come sample local food truck cuisine and enjoy live music and beer. Roth beer will have several of the fall beers available. You may wander next door for blacksmith and metal pour demonstrations.

5-5:30- ROTH Brewing Tour (Roth Brewing) Guest Brewer: Mike Natale- Come tour ROTH brewing and check out their newest fall beer. $2 Red drink specials.

5-9 pm Etsy Berlin (Conference Room) Guest Artist: Ella Brooks- Watch guest lecturers talking about online selling and learn the fundamentals. You will learn how to take better photos, write listings, and set-up for your business.

5-7 pm Blacksmithing (Outside in Forge Area) Guest Artist: Nash Page- Come watch Nash Page and local blacksmiths craft individual pieces using the forging equipment. You may take home pieces.

7-7:30 ROTH Brewing Tour (Guest Brewer: Mike Natale)- Come tour ROTH brewing and check out their newest fall beer. $2 Red drink specials.

7-9 pm Metal Casting (Outside in Forge Area) Guest Artist: Evan Daniel- Come try your hand at one of our free metal pours. You can take ideas learned from the jewelry making class. We will have mold craving and you can see Evan Daniel create the resulting finished product in metal.

9-9:30 pm ROTH Brewing Tour (Guest Brewer: Mike Natale)- Come tour ROTH brewing and check out their newest fall beer. $2 Red drink specials.

Sunday Hours 10 am- 5 pm

10-12 am Craft Swap (Conference Room)- Bring projects and supplies to swap with friends. You may make stuff to take home. We will have painting and other supplies on hand.

10-12 am Brushes with Success (Conference Room) Guest Artist: Shannon Talton- Come relax and paint on various mediums. We will have canvas, paper, silk, and glass for you to paint on. Finished pieces will be available to take home. We will also discuss production runs for graphic artists.

12-1 pm Potluck (Breakroom)- Come bring a dish and share your ideas.

1-2 pm Glassmaking (Conference Room)- Learn to make custom glass beads and painted glass. We are featuring local glassmaking artists.

2-3 pm If It's Paper (Conference Room)- Go over traditional lithography techniques. Sew and craft your own cards. You may take home anything creations you make.

3-4 pm Small Treasures: Hand-blown Eggs (Breakroom) Guest Artist: Dara McGinn- Learn about traditional European holiday crafting techniques, including handblown eggs. We will be painting, dying, and finishing egg ornaments to take home.

4-5 Custom T-shirts(Conference Room and Breakroom) Guest Artist: Ruthan Freese- Come learn how to make handprinted t-shirts with bleaching and dying techniques. If you missed the August class, we will have Ruthan to take you through some of the basics. There is a $5 materials cost for this class

This event has been funded through an Etsy Grant. Raleigh Etsy Meet-up is separate group of artists and crafters who sell on Etsy and not legally affiliated with Etsy Corporate.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

September 13th Etsy Raleigh Meet-up: 7-10 pm

Hey Everyone, thanks so much for coming out Tuesday for the August Meeting. WOW, we had so much fun! I have never read so many awesome and interesting t-shirts in my life. The Octocrabdactyl rocked. Jon gave an amazing talk on how to make wooden wall mounts for the iPad. You can order one of his kits on Etsy or create one of your own from his open source directions on Thingiverse. It was wonderful to learn under this master for a few hours about sanding and finishing wood.

My favorite part of watching Jon talk is always seeing his hands gesture. They never stop moving. And they are always telling a story. The texture of the wood, the way you sand a piece from top to bottom, the movement of a paintbrush applying finish, or how to hang your mount on a wall. All of his wooden creations have this amazing tactile quality. Thank you everyone who came. Moving forward, we have 2 fabulous speakers for you for our September meeting. Again we are splitting the meeting into an earlier meeting that is business related and a later meeting that is fun crafting.

7-8 "Turning Your Hobby Into A Business" by John Kiley (SCORE Office of Chapel Hill)

John Kiley Organization Structure

Carl Bauman Developing the Business Plan

Dennis Holland Building Your Brand

I am really pleased to say that this meeting has me very excited to introduce an old friend who helped me get started a couple years ago in the business, John Kiley. For those of you, like me, who are more familiar with making things vs. legal paperwork, John will be talking for an hour on how to step up your hobby/idea and run your own business here in North Carolina. This provides you legal protection and also a ton of nifty benefits to help with your taxes and funding. With us being located in Raleigh, we are lucky enough to be able to open and register our own business cheaply in a few days for roughly $150.

John is an incredible resource for me. He's helped me find funding, talk through the oh so painful growing stages, and full of a huge wealth of wisdom on what actually WORKS in running a business. It is easy to register a business. When 10% of all small business's fail every year, if you want to be successful long-term you need good advisers like him to succeed. He is a great resource for us here in the Triangle that I strongly recommend. You don't often get to talk to people who have run successful businesses of all sizes. We are doubly lucky in that he is bringing 2 friends with him, Carl Bauman and Dennis Holland, to talk about some of the specific elements you may need as you get started.

This is a preview for our 2 day big Etsy Meeting to talk about the ins and outs of running a business. He is also sticking around afterwards to drink beer and answer questions. John is a great guy. I can't wait to share him with you.

8-10 "Making Hand-turned Shoes and Moccasins" in conjunction with the Raleigh Leather Guild and Tandy's Leather

This is a crossover project with support from the Leather Guild led by 2 of my favorite gentlemen: David and Aubrin. Aubrin runs Tandy Leather and David has the distinct privilege of being the only lawyer I like and respect. We will have a number of shoe patterns in all sizes for men and women: sandals, slippers, etc. as well as a brief discussion on how to make shoes. I will have patterns from Shoeology on etsy printed of sandal patterns for anyone who would like to design their own this is a personal favorite. Free fabric and basic leather will be provided at no cost for indoor shoes. If you would like to make an outdoor shoe armor plate leather that will hold up to repeated wear and tear please buy a kit on our website here. We have 5 kits left if you would like to purchase one through the Etsy website include your shoe size for your custom soles. We will have more available after the talk if you want to purchase one then. :

Custom Design Your Own Shoes Kit

Custom Design Your Own Shoes Kit

by lisashay

$30.00 USD

This event has been funded through an Etsy Grant. Raleigh Etsy Meet-up is separate group of artists and crafters who sell on Etsy and not legally affiliated with Etsy Corporate.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Day Thirty Nine: Creating a Viking Drinking Horn

To continue our metal theme for the past few days we have used a sand mold to create an aluminum drinking horn mount for our neighbors at Roth Brewery. Etsy Meet-up is hosting a contest on Tuesday, October 11th at the 7pm to create the best drinking horn. That gives you most of August and all of September to perfect your designs! Winners will receive free beer at Roth. We are explaining how to design and create here. What are drinking horns your might be asking ? Well, drinking horns are steer horns that have been hollowed out and treated with a food safe resin that makes it so you can drink from them viking style.

The steps to create a drinking horn holder are:
Step 1: Create a clay mold. Sounds simple but its probably the most important step because there are a lot of things here that could cause problems later on when you go to put it in and take it out of the sand mold.

First your mold needs to be able to be placed in the sand and pulled out of the sand without disturbing the sand around it. This means things that while you can have a lot of detail, if you want to make a figurine you are going to have to find a way to segment it so that it wont disturb the sand when being pulled out of the mold. Second you can't have any side that is completely 100% straight. All sides need to have a sort of angle the bulk of the detail so that when it is pulled out of the sand it doesn't disturb the sand around it. Our clay mold is for the drinking horn mount so it is a flat shield shape with the brewery's logo in the middle and a viking hat so to complete the viking theme. There are also 2 rings that we wrapped around the horn to create a cast that would fit it perfectly but as you will see later we didn't follow the a fore listed rules and the rings don't make it thru the sand molding process. Yours will need to rest a full drinking horn up-right on the table between tastes.

Step 2: Let your clay dry this takes 2 to 3 days on average.

Step 3: Next, place your clay on a flat surface and place your two part mold over it. Begin filling with sand. While you are filling it with sand, make sure to compact as you go.

Step 4: Place a piece of wood over top of the completely filled mold and flip it over while holding onto the base, sounds complicated but its really not because the sand should be really compact and stay where you put it. Think of this part as building a sand castle once your fill the bucket up you always have to flip it over and dump the contents out, except in this case you just have to flip it over DON'T dump the sand out otherwise your mold will be ruined and you will have to start all over again.

Step 5: Place the second part of your two part mold over top of the piece your flipped over, your base. Fill this piece with sand similarly to the first part compacting as you go. Once you are done you will flip this piece over as well.

Step 6: Use a pipe to pull out a tunnel from the top mold that you just flipped over so that when you pour your metal it can go thru this tunnel into the mold, you should also create shallow tunnel that will help lead the metal to the designed piece on the base. Your tunnel should not be situated directly on top of your mold but rather to the side so that the rushing in metal has a chance to slow down on its way to the mold as to minimize damage. This hole will slow the metal down so that it doesn't destroy the mold as it flows thru.

Step 7: Flip the top piece back on top of the base so that the tunnel and hole match up
And you have now finished the super confusing part!!!From here on out I promise it is much easier to follow and it has to deal with fire and molten metal so it should be more fun.

Step 8: Heat your forge and then place a metal bucket containing the aluminum in it inside of the forge so that it can melt and achieve the desired temperature.

Step 9: Once the aluminum is melted use the proper tools to remove the bucket from heat and quickly pour the metal into the mold until just a little begins to flow from the top of your mold. Here it is important that you don't pour too fast or slow. If you pour too slowly, the metal will begin to cool while you are pouring. If you pour too fast and cause your molds to float apart from each other.

Step 10: Wait 5 to 10 minutes for the aluminum to cool and then pick up the top part of the mold and break the sand out of it into a bucket. Your aluminum design should be attached to this sand so use metal tongs to break the sand apart, find your pieces and submerge them in water so to cool it completely.

Step 11: Pull your piece out of the water and voila you have your aluminum cast piece! From here you will see that using a saw or a hammer if you are so skilled to break off the tunnel from the designed piece is what you should do next. Sand and insert your drinking horn.

Easy, right? And now you can try your hand at making an awesome drinking horn stand for the horn at our October 11th Etsy meet up! We hope to see you soon!

PS-This is Ella, the intern making her first official blog post.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day Thirty Eight: How to Make a Viking Spork

Today we are closing up shop early to wander out back to the forge and watch Nash do some black-smithing. One of our good friends, Ian had his birthday over the weekend and requested a custom iron Viking spork for camping exhibitions. Nash has some custom metal pieces to do this fall for your pleasure and it's sometimes easy to forget the larger pieces he does when you only see his jewelry. A small fun piece of historical history, Viking sporks were popular in the 12th century. Nash is hammering this one out one from 1/2 inch bar stock. Ian considers it the perfect weapon to, "Go hunt squirrels or villages with." I leave it to you what you do with yours.

1. Part one, heat the forge until very hot. Forges come in many styles, shapes, and sizes. The most important thing they do is heat metal. Our model is propane driven and has a nice flame that comes off the front called dragon's breath. Put your metal in when hot til right color.

2. A spork is created in 3 parts. First you make the spoon side. This is done by alternatively heating the metal and beating a few times with various hammers while holding the metal with a pair of tongs. There are actually several molds for this. First you grab the hot iron and beat the metal flat on one side on the anvil. Then you put it in a circle mold and form a slight depression through the center. Next you place the rough piece in what for lack of a better word would be a spoon mold and alternatively heat and mold the spoon shape in alternating cycles. The metal will be bright when it comes out of the oven and rapidly cools. As it cools, it has a tendency to flake producing silver scales which are considered waste. When the spoon reaches the desired shape, you dip the piece in a large bucket of water to temper the iron which is called quenching.

3. Next you flip the piece of iron and begin heating the iron on the side away from the spoon. You again flatten the iron like you did for the spoon side in preparation for cutting. Nash cut it with hot cutting tool. You can see Nash using a foot hammer to split the fork into three pieces. This is very rough. Afterwards you have the three pieces separated. Alternatively, some people start with 3 pieces and hammer them together, but you need a REALLY hot forge to do that. Then, it's back to the anvil to hammer the three pieces into prongs. This part took the longest. Remember to quench the fork side when you have the desired shape to temper it.

4. Lastly, the twist. This part really takes about 30 seconds to do and honestly it was done so fast I didn't even have time to take a photo. Heat the middle of the spork. Put one side (Nash did the fork side) in a clamp and holding the other side tightly twist. You may need to flatten it slightly once done, but this is nearly instantaneous. Quench in water again to temper one last time. The final product will look very masculine. You can buff or polish it for a shiny finish.

Voila, one awesome Viking spork. Look for some of Nash's pieces as displays at our fall shows. Have a great day everyone.