One of a Kind Show Spring 2015

Things have been busy in the studio lately, getting ready for One of a Kind Spring show in Toronto.  It’s a big step up from any show I’ve done so far in terms of costs and length, so I’m hoping I’ve prepared enough product to last throughout the show, but selling out the last day around 5pm would be just perfect…

Production has been very smooth, with only a couple of machines breaking down, both easy but pricey fixes, and both involving motors wearing out.  Thankfully I was only down a day or two with repairs so nothing to delay me too much.  I still desperately need to do a massive re-org on my studio, but between moving the machines, rerunning the dust collection and electrical, and just general clean up, I really need a week to get it all done.  So far the orders have been quite consistent and I simply haven’t been able to shut the shop down for so many days in a row.

I’m excited to announce a few new products that I’ll be showcasing at One of a Kind. First is a German inspired Breakfast Board.  It’s a walnut board with a slight dish to it and a colour block edge.  Often used to serve breakfast on, it can double as a serving tray or just look nice on display.

Walnut Breakfast board

Next product is a happy accident.  I had a failed glue up and the only part of the larger board salvageable was a tear dropped shape.  I played around with the size and came away with a new walnut serving and chopping board.  It’s got a rounded edge and a hole for easy hanging.

Walnut tear drop cutting board serving

These products won’t be on Craftcollective.ca or on my Etsy shop till April, so if you you’re keen to have them, be sure to come down to One of a Kind, you’ll find me at booth P44F in the Etsy section.

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Off to a Flying start!

IMG_0097

Last January was slow.  Sometimes slow can be nice, time to get caught up on things, get those repairs done in the shop that you keep putting off, etc.  That had been my plan for this January, I need a new assembly table, plus some dust collection revamping, a little electrical work, all in all a few weeks worth of repairs to get things running a little smoother.  None of these repairs are essential, but they would make my day run a bit smoother.

 

So that was my plan, but plans sometimes change.  I’ve spent the last few days ironing out a big commission with a restaurant in Florida (which seems hard to believe as I watch the blizzard outside), and packaging up some work to go to my latest stockist (more on that below).  It looks like I’ve hit the ground running in 2015, and I’m pretty excited to be this busy right from the get go, as for the repairs, some have waited a year already to get done, so another few weeks won’t hurt…

 

The new stockist I mentioned above is the MacLaren Art Centre in Barrie, Ontario.  The products in the picture above will be available in their gift shop later this month!

 

For those of you not in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), my work is always available at:

www.craftcollective.ca

or

Etsy

52 Create

When I originally started this blog it was supposed to be about crafts, photography, and design.  Over the past year I’ve kept up with the photography and the design, but crafts have suffered greatly.  It didn’t help that I was overseas with few tools or materials, but now I have a plan.

Starting this week I’ll be doing what I like to call “52 Create”.  Each week for the entire year (ie. 52) I’ll be making a craft of some sort and posting them every Tuesday for all to see.  The crafts will range from toys to furniture and everything in between, and while many will be wooden, some other materials may sneak into the mix too.  I’ll be making these items for myself and my family, however if some turn out particularly well or are popular on the blog, I”ll make some extras and put them on my Etsy site.

I plan to keep up with the Photo of the Week (with top photos also being put onto Etsy), and there’ll be the odd post on cool stuff I see on the web, but the focus is really going to switch to the crafts and photography for the next year.  The design part of the blog will come out of the crafts I make.

Stay tuned, I’m already excited about this week’s 52 Create…

Baby Stroller Design

I headed out the door this morning in search of some new shoes for my 1 year old daughter. Somehow one got tossed over board from the stroller and so a new pair was needed.  In my 5km wander through the streets of Paris, I got to thinking about stroller design.  We have a generic “umbrella” style stroller that folds up fairly small, doesn’t weigh too much, and handles like combine with no wheels…  And herein lies the problem, you can’t have everything when it comes to strollers, so it can be light-weight, but not durable, sturdy, but not able to be folded compactly, small, but not able to handle anything but an airport runway…

Looking at strollers online, there isn’t exactly a ton of innovation going on here. They generally have 3 or 4 sets of wheels, 1-2 wheels per set. Ours has 8 which seems excessive as my daughter only weighs 20 lbs.  I mean cars don’t need double wheels, so why should a stroller? Most collapse in some way (some more than others), and most have a sun shade on them.  Really, a stroller is simply a folding chair with wheels, maybe it doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that?

But I think it could be so much better!  Most strollers have small wheels (so they can fold up smaller) but these are terrible on bumps (COBBLESTONES!!!!).  It’s true, 12″ inflatable tires would smooth out the ride significantly, but you’d have a mini lunar lander on your hands.

Strollers also never seem to turn when you want them to, but do so quite willingly when you’re trying to keep it in a straight line.  The three wheeled ones would obviously help in this aspect, but they always seem to have their third wheel shooting out the front where it’s liable to take out some granny’s ankles (I guess that could be a good thing…).

And then there are the stairs…  Carrying a stroller up a flight of stairs with two people is tough work, awkward, and back breaking.  Trying to manage stairs on your own is nearly impossible (Paris Metro – I hate you!).

So do I have a new and wonderful design in my head? Maybe, but I couldn’t draw it while pushing, lifting, carrying our old stroller halfway across Paris in search of shoes…. Will have to save it for another day.