Today is a little exciting for me for a few reasons. Yesterday marks my first anniversary as an Etsy seller. This also the last week of June so that means a new month is coming up pretty quick. In July I hope be rolling out some exciting new products that need just a little more testing to be sure they are ready. So hang in there with me, strap in, and I'll try not to keep you in suspense for too long.
Before I get into the a celebratory look back at some of what I've done with my work, I need to give a big shout out to all my Canadian fans. My first international sale was to a Canadian, which is pretty cool, but what is not so cool is that Etsy is telling me that there will likely be delays in shipping future orders to Canada due to a labor strike.
I do not know what has brought this so I will not venture to give a political comment. I will say that I do appreciate being able to ship and receive stuff in this modern age and I hope that this will be resolved justly, sustainably, and quickly.
As I said before, I started selling on Etsy back in June of last year with my first online sale actually taking place in July. Since then I have added new products and completed a number of special requests and orders. Outside of Etsy, I began my business with special orders. Before that I would make things for friends and sometimes they would compensate me for the materials. Some of these earliest items were hand carved wooden swords I made for a friends theatrical skit. I was something like 13 years old at the time and knew very little about what tools were used for what and no one had ever shown me how use a chisel, file, or planer so I use a set of exacto knives that were labeled as a "wood carving kit" and proceeded to shave away the edges of the wood planks I used to make a beveled 2 edged sword. Actually I made a few of them, made a mess of wood shaving in my room and practiced a little first aid on myself… repeatedly…
Looking back at it, I should have really questioned the need to have beveled edges on a wooden prop for kid's play but I enjoyed working hard at something and developing skills that I would use in the years to come, namely whittling and wrapping my fingers in athletic tape and Neosporin. I didn't have access to YouTube at the time and thought that whittling and chisels, and orbital sanders were the only way to shape wood. I blame poor exposure that and the movie A Kid in King Arthur's Court for the whittling bit. In the end of that movie a character is seen whittling away at some wood with a small knife. Just goes to show just how simple images from 90's movies have big impacts on kids. I've gotten better since then.
The first Custom steel sword I made was for a friend of mine. I finally had completed it after I had moved far away and honestly I was stuck for a while trying to figure or how to make a pommel and scabbard fittings without a lathe, welding machine, or good knowledge. Eventually I finished it and took it as a learning experience. I make better pommels now. I do like how the Scabbard's cloth and the blade's etching turned out though.
I also made swamp cooler port cover using wood and steel. It was my first attempt at making hinges and I don't think it turned too bad. The handle is an example of what we blacksmiths call a twist. This was my first larger scale piece in which I used wood stain and wax. A larger example of that would my bedframe. I can't find pictures of that but I used some large sheets if laminated wood (which I stained and waxed), some more hard wood (also stained and waxed), angle iron and forged some flat stock to hand forge some large brackets.
I've done a few renditions of bows inspired by Merida's bow from Disney-Pixar's Brave. I say this not because I intend to continue to offer it, indeed I was privately commissioned to make them but I mention to them to show off some of what I can do.
As you can see I can do some stenciling.
Also of note is the leather work I can do. As you can see, I can have sewn on leather handles or glued and wrapped leather. The choice is yours.
An example of one of my early custom commissions. This one has leafwork and is modeled after Tauriel's bow from the Hobbit movies. I've also done mashups, like a space lazer bow.
Also of note, I do offer wood texturing but the color mixing choices are not limited the that. I do a little swirling and other techniques if asked.
In the meantime, I am making a new shield. This one is going to be a bit bigger than my wooden one and will have some new deluxe features, like steel siding and reinforcement. It's gonna be heavy but as a heater shield it will be able to take some heavy blows. I do need to try to keep I like as I intend I for long distance travel. Think tracking and confronting very large game animals. Hopefully I won't ever have to use it for reals but I am making it functional anyways. Once it is done drying I'll pop it out of the press, fix it up and give it a test. Oh, and this is only part of the exciting new stuff. I need the heavy shield to be able to finish testing. Gonna give it at least another day to dry before I pull the shield out.
So as I said before, hang in there with me.