More shop pictures! I knew you'd be just as excited as I am! A while back, I wrote about Willy's Woodcrafting Gallery. Well, if you didn't notice, he also has some pictures of his workshop! Many of the pictures refer to his other obsessive hobby, wood turning. He has pictures of some of the jigs he has made, his dust collection system, and a bunch of tools he has in his shop. Very cool. Take a look.
Scroll Saw Goodies Has Moved!
Thursday, January 31, 2008
The current poll is over. We had 46 people chime in. The results are below:
What kind of scroll work do you do most often?
- Fretwork - 54% (26 votes)
- Portraits - 17% (8 votes)
- Puzzles - 2% (1 vote)
- Intarsia - 10% (5 votes)
- Segmentation - 6% (3 votes)
- Compound Cutting - 4% (2 votes)
- Inlay/Marquetry - 0% (0 votes)
- Other - 2% (1 vote)
Most people do fretwork, followed by portraits. I know that fretwork and portraits are basically the same. But I tried to distinguish between those who do images with black felt backings to those who do more decorative items, such as clocks. I was surprised by the results. I figured portraits would get the most votes as those patterns are most readily available on the internet. But then again, this isn't a very scientific poll.
OK...now for our next poll! Ain't this fun?
What do you listen to while scrolling?
- Talk Radio
- Audio Books
This poll will run through Feb 29th. Cast your vote now!
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
I love galleries of other's work. I stumbled across a great scroller's gallery at Wooders.com. 4 pages of scroll saw projects submitted by their members. It is a lot of fun to look through all of the great projects. Take a look. Perhaps I'll inspire your next project.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
The last post, I wrote about Chantal's Stained Glass patterns, which make really great intarsia projects. She has put together a great tutorial on how she creates her fantastic stained glass patterns. A lot of these techniques can be easily adapted for creating intarsia patterns too! Check out her tutorial. Perhaps it will inspire you to create some intarsia patterns of your own.
Monday, January 28, 2008
I have a treat for you intarsia and segmentation artists! Stained glass patterns often make really great intarsia projects. I've come across several websites that offer free stain glass patterns, but I found one that is by far my favorite. Chantal's Stained Glass has so many great patterns, you won't know where to begin. She has each pattern color coded so you know exactly if the pattern is free or offered for sale. But fret not, most of them are free! The Panel's section is probably the most useful for intarsian/segmentors. Check it out when you get a chance. You'll be giddy with delight!
Friday, January 25, 2008
I love blogs and blogging. Its a great sneak peak into some one's lives to see what they're up to. I especially love blogs related to my interests. Geno is a scroller and woodworker from the Adirondack Mountains of NY. He runs a scroll saw blog that he posts to several times a month. He posts his latest woodworking and scroll saw projects with some thoughts on each project. I've been reading his blog for several months now and really enjoy seeing new posts. If you get a chance, swing on by and check it out. It's a great way to pass time when you really should be working!
Thursday, January 24, 2008
There is a great article by Toni Burghout in the latest issue of Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts (Spring 2008) about dollar store finds. She found great items that can be used for your scroll saw projects. From salvaged clock parts, to clipboard blanks. So I thought I'd drop by my local dollar store to see what I can find. You wouldn't think it, but what a great resource of supplies! Not only can you find items to use in your projects, you can find a multitude of products to help you make your projects.
Here are a few items that caught my eye:
Foam Makeup Applicators - These those wedge shaped foam applicators that would work great for applying stains. Just toss them when you are done!
Foam Brushes - I use these to apply BLO to my projects. I just toss it when I'm done.
Craft Knives - I found both the Xacto style of craft knife, as well as the retractable craft knives where you break the tip off to get a new cutting surface.
Roasting Pans - I use these as dipping trays for my projects. It hurts my feelings to pay $2-3 for a roasting pan at the grocery store. $1 seems much more reasonable.
Baster - Never thought of it, but I could use a regular turkey baster to 'baste' my projects in BLO.
Sand Paper - I found a lot of sandpaper. No need to pay premium prices for those.
Super Glue - Super Glue is a savior when you spend hours working on a fret piece, only to have one of the fragile areas break. Super Glue fixes it without anybody being the wiser.
Dust Masks - Safety is cheap. Medical bills are expensive. Kinda a no-brainer, huh?
Table Cloths - I'm a bit messy. So these make great drop cloths.
Popsicle Sticks - Great for mixing up small amounts of epoxy, or glue some sandpaper to sharpened Popsicle sticks. They make great sanding tools.
Plastic Cups - Great for mixing paints, stains, or whatever. Toss 'em when you're done!
Plastic Plates - Great paint mixing palate.
Emory Boards - Another great detail sanding tool.
This is just a few of the items I found. There's so much more potential. So check out your favorite dollar store and see what you can find. I bet you'd be surprised. I'd love to hear your dollar store goodies. Post your finds in the comments section of this post. It would be fun to see what others have found.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Finding a hardwood dealer can be tough. Where I live, the one and only hardwood dealer doesn't even advertise in the yellow pages! I had to ask around before finding somebody who knows where I could buy hardwood.
Well, to make things a little simpler, I found a great website. Wood Finder will locate the nearest hardwood dealer to your home. Looking for an exotic hardwood that only grows in a 4 foot area of South America? Well, they'll find that too. So next time you need a little lumber for your next project, and rather not spend more on shipping than on the lumber; or you need to locate that super exotic wood from South America, check out this great search engine. Wood Finder will certainly help you on your quest.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Andy Deane of 80 Art Designs has a number of great patterns available for sale. He has wildlife, famous faces, and provincial silhouettes. But my favorite is his car portraits. He has hot rods to beat up ol' farm trucks. Check them out. Any one of these would make a great gift for that car lover in your life.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Communities are a great way to meet people who share the same interest. They offer support, advice, tips and encouragement. My favorite online community is hosted by Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts magazine. What a great group of people. You won't find much for free patterns, but you will find a wealth of information and camaraderie. If you have any question regarding scroll sawing, this group has your answer.
The forum is set up into categories. They have the General Scroll Saw section to talk about anything related to scroll sawing. New scrollers should check out Beginner's Scroll Saw. If you have a question regarding a specific kind of scroll saw related issue, they have special sections for those too. The Bragging Section is fun to browse other's latest works and get a little inspiration. One really neat area that they just added is Works In Progress. Here you'll find photos and comments on projects as the artist works their way to completion.
The message boards are free to browse and read. Membership is required to post messages. However, membership is free and instantaneous. Just a note. New member's messages are moderated before they become visible to the public. They do this to avoid abuse and spam. Messages are approved rather quickly, though. And it only takes a few posts before the moderators lift the moderation function from your account.
So check out this great community. Don't be afraid to post your questions, no matter how dumb you think your question is. Everybody there is super friendly and eager to help. See you on the boards!
Thursday, January 17, 2008
By Jerry Mifflin
Our challenge as Crafter's and intarsia artists is to discover our markets. You need to know your market, who is your customer? Are you selling a product to local or global customers.
If you're selling to local customers say out of a storefront, you must know if you are in the right market and selling at the right price for this local customer. If you're not showing the right product to the right customer base, chances are they're won't be any sales are at least very few.
It only makes sense that If your selling a product that is not of use to the customer and its not something that they see they want or need, you had better find either different markets or a different product to sell from your store.
I use to have a shop that sold simple crafts like little animal yard and driveway signs. I sold lots of country style decorative items for the interiors of their homes. These items sold well because I was living in a rural area where my customers had big yards and long driveways.
These people loved the country style of decorating. They loved the crafts I was making for them. I even had other crafters producing items for me to sell for them. I was producing and selling to my market base.
If I was trying to sell the country style signs or plaques where I'm living now, in the city, I would not do so well. For my customer base is not the same. Their yards are different, their driveway is short and their interior decorating may not be the same kind of "country style." So for this new customer base you have to change your product line.
Does your product fit into the decorating scheme of most of your customers, if not very few are going to buy. You must be certain that your craft fits with your prospects or your business will fail. You must take the time to study this. Find the proper market place.
Crafts people are used in having friends and loved ones telling them how cool and how beautiful there craft is, this is encouraging. The problem is that it's not realistic. You need to get input and about your product from a source that will give you a helpful honest response about your product.
When your customers come into your shop and say how much they like what you're doing but walk out without buying anything you have to ask yourself, what's wrong?
Are you in the right market for the craft you sell?
If your craft fits your customer, how is your price? The price you sell your product for may need to be adjusted up or down.
For the price setting you need to look at your competition. At what price are they selling a comparable product. Ask yourself can I make a profit selling my product at that price. Can I sell my product and get a higher price? What can I do to make my product worth more money?
I now sell art, "intarsia woodworking art" that is higher priced, which means for the customer to let go of the money, she will have to really love your product.
Crafts, can be a tough market. I am a cabinetmaker, caught up in the world of art. I love to add artistic designs to cabinet doors to make them stand out from what other people build. The cabinets add atmosphere to a room by giving the room character and there by adding value.
I have managed to sell a lot of my work over the years. My prices are usually from about $200 to $15,000 depending on the work involved. As I said before, some time ago I had a craft shop in a small town. I built every wood craft I could think of to build and it was fun, but not really much money.
The money only comes after you learn the business end of the craft market. As a cabinetmaker I have learned the hard way that you must get paid for the hours that you work, even when you love the work.
How much should I charge for my work?
It's basically the same for most businesses, how much do you want to pay yourself per hour. Just add to that a percentage for overhead plus a percentage for profit and add material cost. That gives you a charging rate for all of your products. You must add the profit, that gives you the money to grow, like buying more tools. My charging rate depends on if it's commercial or residential, $45-$85 per hour depending on how custom the work is. In my old "craft shop" my charging rate, at that time, was $35 hour, the price fit the product and the overhead.
If you can sell your craft as "ART" it will increase the amount you can charge for your product. Perceived value! Do you have awards! Do you have newspaper and magazine articles about you! Do you have references? Have you developed a recognizable name for your market? If not, you need to work towards these things. All of this adds to the perceived value of your craft.
Intarsia woodworking is my craft, my art. It's the work I look forward to doing. Find the craft you love to make, find the correct customer base, set a reasonable price for your work and your on your way to a successful satisfying life.
Jerry Mifflin creates many works of Intarsia Art and gives away patterns of his work for other crafters to use. Articles and information on how to build intarsia are on his website, www.intarsia.us , specializing in that woodworking art and business. For patterns and a how to do intarsia art e-book go to www.freeintarsiapatterns.com to get yours.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
It's time for more free patterns! David Sudekum has created a bunch of patterns he has made available to anybody who wants them. They are hosted by MyPhotoAlbum. Each picture should give you an option to view the full size image. You can also click the download button to instantly download the pattern to your desktop! They are presented in JPG format for easy scaling. I know I found a few that I've added to my ever expanding queue. And while you are there, check out the gallery of his work. He has some really nice pieces that should serve for good inspiration.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
You already read through Andy Deane's tutorial about making patterns with Paint Shop Pro. But what about us Photoshop users? Well he hasn't left you out. He has provided a great tutorial on how to create scroll saw patterns with Photoshop too! Each step is clearly written with accompanying illustrations. Armed with this info, it won't be long before you're a pattern-making machine! Check out his great tutorial. And while you are at it, take a look at his main page where you'll find galleries and some really great patterns he has available for sale!
Monday, January 14, 2008
Are you tired of cutting other people's patterns? Want to make your own? Andy Deane of 80 Art Designs has created a great tutorial about creating scroll saw patterns with Paint Shop Pro. The 7 page tutorial takes you step by step through the entire process. He has also included a practice photo so you can follow along. The instructions are clearly written and he explains everything in detail. He has also included screen shots and illustrations as he works. It is very well done and worth a look. Check it out.
While you are there visit his main page where you'll find his gallery and patterns he has available for sale. Very cool.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Valentine's Day is right around the corner and we need a project for that special someone in our lives. Sue Mey of Scroll Saw Artist came through for us and created this great heart plaque. It is free to download and presented in JPG format for easy scaling. While you are there, check out her other Valentine's day designs she has available for sale.
Friday, January 11, 2008
We've all seen them at craft shows. Those really cool wooden models of old cars, big semi trucks, and dirt moving tractors. Toys & Joys sells a number of pattern and kits to get you started. They have everything from trains to golf carts. If you are looking to tackle one of those models yourself, this would be the place to check out.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
The last post, I talked about Sue's patterns. You probably noticed she also had some pictures of her workshop. If you haven't had a chance to check them out, take a look. I know I love looking at workspaces of others. And this looks like a great work area to makes a little scroll sawn magic. Check it out!
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Sue (jigsue) from the SSWC forums has a bunch of great patterns available in her online photo album. She has a wide variety of patterns from Hedrix to Potter. The patterns are presented in JPG format for easy scaling. However, high resolution copies of the patterns are not available. So you'll have to right click and save to your desktop and scale them to the desired size. While you are there, check out her galleries. She does some really great work.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Do you need to scratch that scroll sawing itch without jumping into a large project? H'bout making a few key chains? Ron Brown has created a True Type font to download for free. This font is especially good for making key chains. Best of all, you don't need a graphics program to create your patterns. After installing the font, just type the name you want into your favorite word processing program, set the font and size it to 72pt. Print, cut, repeat! It's that easy. These will make great gifts, use up some scrap lumber, and can easily be cut out in minutes. Give it a try!
Monday, January 7, 2008
Need an easy way to make name plates? Steve Good over at Scrollsaw Workshop has written a great program that makes name plate patterns a snap. With Scroll Saw Pattern Printer, just type in the name, print, and you're ready to go. No more fussing around with graphics programs or trying to get your word processing program to print something cuttable. He also has a quick video that explains the features of this handy little program. The software is free to download. It is donation ware, so if you find it useful, a donation of $5 is appreciated. Give it a try. It's pretty slick.
Friday, January 4, 2008
Have you ever wanted to try compound cutting, but didn't know where to start? Diana Thompson at Scroll Saw Inspirations will give you a hand. She has put together a great tutorial on how to cut compound patterns. Each step is clearly written and complete with photos. She has also included a free practice pattern to get you started! While you are there, check out the patterns she has available for sale too. If you catch the compound cutting bug, she certainly has plenty of patterns to keep you busy.
Thursday, January 3, 2008
by: Natalie Goyette
Starting a craft show business when you're really an artist at heart may be a rude awakening for you. Nevertheless, if you decide to turn your hobby into a business, you need to switch hats from time to time. You wear your artist hat when creating and producing your crafts, and you put on your businessperson's hat when you're running the business end. Begin successful on the craft show circuit doesn’t just mean you have a great product; it also means you have a decent head for business.
Planning your craft show business
It's not absolutely essential to write a craft show business plan if you're not seeking a loan or partner, however, it can help you focus your business goals from the start. There are numerous books and Web sites on how to write a business plan, and most will fit with craft shows just fine. The most crucial elements are the financial projections—which include your estimated income and expense for the next several years—and the marketing plan. The marketing plan helps you identify your target audience and how you can best find and serve them. This is essential as you develop your craft show product and find the right shows at which to sell. If you are seeking capital or a partner, you will probably need a complete business plan. If doing this overwhelms you, contact your local Small Business Administration, Small Business Development Center, Chamber of Commerce or local universities to find help with developing a professional business plan for your craft show company. At this point, you may also seek the advice of an attorney to decide what business entity yours will be—a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company or a corporation. You can always grow into corporate status later on, though it's advisable to at least know your options up front.
Licensing your craft show business
Most cities require any business, home-based or otherwise, to register and purchase a business license. These range in cost from $15 to $100 depending on the size of your city and are obtained from the city clerk's office in most cases. It makes your craft show company official and enables you to conduct business legally. Find out if your city requires any special-use permits for operating a home-based business. The rules may differ if you have customers, supply trucks or employees coming to your location.
You may also need to file a fictitious name statement with your county offices if you call yourself anything other than your name, such as Posh Pottery. This guarantees that nobody else in your county is using the same business name. From here your file the name with a newspaper, and then you can open your business checking account. It's highly advisable to keep craft show business income and expenses separate from personal if you are serious about being in business. Then on a regular basis, you can "pay" yourself from your business account. You can also now file your taxes as a business entity and take advantage of the many tax exemptions for businesses. Car expenses or mileage, supplies, overhead costs and more are all deductible. Find a copy of a schedule C (www.irs.gov) to see some of the expenses you can write off.
Now you have officially moved out of the hobby status and in to the serious craft show business. Actually the IRS considers your enterprise a hobby if you haven't made a profit in two out of five years that you file as a business. If that happens, it's time to rethink taking your goods to craft shows as a business venture.
You will probably need to get a resale (sales tax) license. This allows you to buy wholesale anything you will be reselling and not pay taxes, however, you need to charge tax on your crafts and then submit it to the tax board either monthly, quarterly or annually. Check with your local state board of equalization or state office of taxation to find out what their rules are. It doesn't cost anything to get a resale license.
It's helpful when starting out to set aside a savings account for your sales tax to be sure you have it when it comes due. Also check with your sales tax office if you are required to collect tax when you're selling in other states. Some show promoters collect tax from you at the end of the show, so you need to keep accurate records, which you can do by issuing a receipt with every customer purchase. Make sure you find out the amount of tax you need to charge at the show as it varies by city, county and state. Also, it's a good idea to carry your sales tax permit everywhere—you may need to pick up some supplies, and you can avoid having to pay taxes on them.
Each city, county and state has different regulations regarding licensing, so make some phone calls to find out what's required, and do this well before your first craft show.
About The Author
Natalie Goyette shows you how to make your craft show business profitable in her best selling ebook: Craft Show Success Secrets. Visit her site: http://www.craftshowsuccess.com.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
What kind of scroll work do you do most often?
- Compound Cutting
I've created a new poll and located on the right column of the web page. The poll will be up for 30 days or until I'm satisfied with the response. I've chosen to break up fretwork and portraits/wildlife into two sections. I realize portraits is technically fretwork. But I wanted to separate those who specialize in portraits from those who do other types of fretwork (ie, clocks).
So go ahead and cast your vote. It will be fun to see what kind of scrollwork people favor.
The polls are closed and the results are in. We had the polls open for about 60 days with 56 ballots cast. And here are the results:
How many projects do you have going at one time?
- 1 - 17% (10 votes)
- 2-3 - 30% (17 votes)
- 4-6 - 37% (21 votes)
- 6 and up - 14% (8 votes)
So it's good to know that I'm not the only one to have adult ADD! In fact, I have some room to add more projects.
Jesse Davis at Scroll Sawn Art has created a great website dedicated to Scroll Sawing. He has a gallery of his most recent work, he has a few patterns for sale, and a has a number of free patterns too! Its nice to see a well crafted website dedicated to the hobby we all love. Take a look around. He has plenty to look at. And be sure to check out his free scroll saw patterns too. I'd hate for you to miss out on these great designs.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Flap Sanders. You've seen them. People love them. And you would like one of your own but don't know where to get one. Well, you can make your own! This handy little tool by Bob Kinsey is made to be used with a lathe. With a little modification, you can make it as big or small as you need with any grit. He gives you clear instructions on how to build a flap sander with mechanical drawings to boot. Very cool, indeed. I think I'll make one as soon as I convince my wife I need a lathe. Wish me luck!