It’s been a busy week in the Studio. I’ve had many prototype ideas going through my head for ages, and I finally had some time to experiment. It’s always a bit tough for me to try out prototypes as I hate to waste the materials if it isn’t going to work out, and if they aren’t perfect, what to do with it?
First up was a production run of toy cameras. Made from Walnut for the body, and maple for the lens, these were a copy of a prototype I made (and gave away to my daughter). I love the simplicity of these, just the basics of a real camera, viewfinder-lens-shutter button. They are finished with a light coat of mineral oil, and are for sale in my Etsy Store, as well as in Patisserie La Toque in Wakefield, Quebec.
Next up, a mid-century modern inspired chair. Made from Baltic Birch plywood with padauk wedges in the through tenons. I curved the back using bent lamination and the seat is covered with an upholstery grade corduroy. I’d like to make these adult size, but for the prototype I decided to build it for a child so as to not use as much materials. It’s now my daughters favourite chair! After seeing me taking pictures of it, she yelled at me, “You’re not going to sell my chair are you???!!!”. She’s hard to please, but I clearly won her over on this one. These chairs will be custom order only as I don’t have the space to store finished chairs, and this will allow people to choose their upholstery colours.
Last up was a pyramid shaped macaron tower. Requested by Patisserie La Toque, how hard could a pyramid be to make? Turns out this was the hardest project of the week. Lots of angles made this very tricky, but with some glue, and a ton of brad nails and filler, it got completed on time and made the customer very happy. Might think twice before making another pyramid though…
Next week I’ve got some canoe paddles on the go as well as a few more prototypes to try out, stay tuned!
My first commission as a fine woodworker… This one was requested by my 3 year old for her birthday as her doll needed a proper place to sleep apparently. I had made her a cardboard crib back in Paris, but … Continue reading →
My wife and I teamed up on this one… It’s an outdoor sandbox made from scrap wood, painted white. But in order to keep the sun off, and to add some fun, we added a removable Tipi that slots into … Continue reading →
Gotta love simple but brilliant toys…. I was at the Conran Shop in Paris the other day when I came across My First Autobahn. It’s a small car and a roll of tape that looks like a road. You get to lay down the streets wherever you chose. Absolutely brilliant, almost bought one to play with for myself.
52 Create, my weekly creative output for 2011… Decided to take it up a notch after last week’s binoculars. I’m trying to keep the projects simple enough that I don’t need to go buy tools, yet at least interesting and challenging at the same time. The one thing you can count on in Paris is free cardboard. You can almost always find some good quality cardboard lying against buildings or on top of garbage cans, and while it’s not as nice to work with as say plywood, it is free! There’s also always lots of chip board, but since I only have an exacto knife, it isn’t really practical to use.
My daughter has been the proud owner of a doll for almost a month now. Her Grandma made her doll some clothes, and so I felt I should step up and make her a little crib. It’s made of double thick cardboard and fits together with slots (ie. no glue or tape). It is easy to take apart and pack flat should we need to move, and it’s light enough that she can easily move it around our tiny apartment. So far it’s been a hit, with “baby” often getting rocked to sleep.
52 Create, my weekly creative outlet for 2011… My little (and only) niece is celebrating her first Easter, too young for chocolate, so how about her very own personalized book? I’ve had this idea in the back of my head for about a year, and I even cut the wooden blanks out for the pages at least a month ago, but it wasn’t until the last couple of days that I designed the page in illustrator and printed them out on t-shirt transfer paper. The wood is 1/8″ plywood and the designs are simply ironed on and covered with a thin coat of spray on lacquer (food safe of course!). I think these could be a real hit on Etsy as once the design is done, it’s fairly quick to assemble, and I could put a personalized name on each book. The only issue is I don’t feel the t-shirt transfer will be very durable. I’ll be keeping an eye on this book to see how well it holds up.
Well, after a long day of home renos, I opened up my email to find that I had made my first Etsy sale. The wooden Leica toy camera that I made for 52 Create is heading to a buyer in New York! I even accomodated their request to add “M9” on the camera. I was a bit torn as it’s supposed to be modelled after a film Leica, and the M9 actually has a slightly different shape, but the customer is always right!