Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Return of the Wood...

I'mmmm Bacccckkk!

Well folks, it's been exactly a year and a day since I last blogged. I am sorry if you felt I abandoned you, but it was not the case. Here's why.

1- I had to step back and review how I did things with my venture. Why? Because along the way, I made a few mistakes and had to recoup losses. I learned real quick that I was doing some projects at less then $3.00/hour. So I re-evaluated certain products, adjusted prices, removed some products from my lines and refocused on making new things.

 Raven on Cork Mat.


2- The refocus entailed looking into new ways of doing old things. How does one do that? With research in my case. Was my way of doing things the best way? Could it be done better, faster, less costly for me and my patrons? "Yes" was the answer I came up with. So I went out there, sought things I knew I was capable of doing and had not done yet. Then I made a list of already researched projects and ones to be researched. Sense a theme yet? Good. You'll see more of this in a minute...

3- After my lists were made, I went out (again) and forced myself to get some basic tools I needed, like carving tools, accessories for my rotary tool, etc... Not too expensive things if bought them over a certain period of time. The best thing I bought, to make things better, was a spool of nichrome wire to do my wood burning tips with. I can now burn faster and make lines on wood that rival the lines on a feather.

Wolf on Cork Mat.

4- With the help of my wonderful wife who supports me and understands my need to make things, we redid my website to make it much more user friendly. It works so far as I got a few compliments on the new look and functions within it.

5- The big one will be to relocate to a place where I can have bigger tools. Right now, I do everything with a scroll saw or cut things by hand, with no vise to boot. I would like to get a sander and a bandsaw (as well as the mandatory collection unit for dust) so I can make bigger things and smaller things faster. Since I can't really ask for donations (mind you, plenty of folks pay me more then what I ask, sure sign I'm truly undercharging!), I have to set aside a certain amount of money to be able to obtain raw materials. Since lack of space is currently an issue, I can't go out and buy a hundred of this or that and create stock well ahead of time....



6- The really big one: Resume writing on this blog. The feedback I get from you folks is important to me as it gives me new ideas on what people like to see made.

I am lucky enough when I ask questions of my peers, they take the time to answer if they can and that help is greatly appreciated.

So thank you to my patrons, thank you to my mentors, thank you to my wife, without whom sometimes I would be way overboard. Keep an eye out for new pictures of things, either here, my website or my fan page on Facebook.

Be well, be Yourself, be Happy!

Marc