Hi There! Time for a little update...
Things are going quite smoothly here in the Starlite Room. I hit an all-time high for website visits in November, over 5800 page views! Thanks to everyone who visits here, has a look at my galleries, and gets interested in laser engraving or cutting.
There is a business statistic that says some large percentage (95%?, 97%? I don't know exactly, but LOTS) of all small businesses fail within the first 5 years of operation. Well, I started up in July of 2007, so I am currently at 5 years and 5 months, and still going strong! Thanks again to all my customers, for coming to me with all your unusual projects. You certainly keep me busy, interested, and entertained with your creative ideas!
As we slide into the Christmas season once again, of course I am getting more and more busy, and here are some of the things that people seem to want to create lately...
Yoyos! Caribou Lodge Yoyo Works
is my best customer, by far. Chris makes the coolest, most high-tech, exactly balanced, professional grade yoyos I have ever seen (possibly on the whole planet?). He is a home-town Edmonton local dude (like me!) who graduated in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alberta (also like me!), and started up his own yoyo business. You could check it out here, if you like: www.cariboublog.com
Face painting stencils.
I have been getting into the manufacture of stencils for Marilyn of Beyond Facepainting
for a few months now. She has a crew of face painters that is available for all sorts and sizes of events, from birthday parties to large stadium events with thousands of people. You could check out her website too: www.beyondfacepainting.com
This is increasingly popular lately, for corporate Christmas parties, weddings, promotional gifts, Christmas presents to Grandma (photos of all the kids and the dog, etc.), memorial stuff, awards, plaques, and stuff like that. It's kind of interesting that the quality of the glassware is quite important in determining the quality of the etching, but the relationship between the glass quality and the resulting etching quality is backwards! The more expensive the glass is, like using leaded crystal glass, the poorer the quality of etching (generally speaking). This is due, I think, to the large crystal structure of leaded glass. What the laser does to the surface of any glass is to heat up a micro-thin layer of the glass, and shatter the crystal structure of that layer, making a frosted look. The large crystals of high-quality glass tend to shatter less uniformly than a cheap,run-of-the-mill glass product (think Ikea or Michael's or the Dollar Store), and the result is a poorer quality frosting, especially if the crystals are bigger than the laser spot that is trying to put an image on the glass surface. So, if you are considering laser engraving a set of 100 glasses for your wedding, you can save money on the glasses by getting them at the Dollar Store, and concentrate on spending those savings on the engraving itself. And you will get higher quality and low price to boot!
Congratulations on your wedding, by the way - that guy looks like quite a catch!
Other media that are popular lately are wooden plaques, metal signs, granite and marble plaques, laser rocks, knife blades and handles, sidewalk blocks and paving stones, paddles, baseball bats, barbecue tools, wine and vodka bottles, beer glasses shaped like boots (please! Don't make me do those again! They were a pain in the bum...), gun stocks and parts, coffee mugs, etc... the list goes on and is changing every day.
You ought to see the place, and take a look at the samples in the shop, to get some ideas about what is etchable, and what would be a good gift for the person in your life that has everything. It's pretty certain that whatever I come up with for you is a unique, conversation-starting item, and will probably turn out to be "The Gift" of the season (the one that everyone remembers and marvels over at the Christmas gathering).
The process is pretty fascinating too - people are mesmerized by the laser beam going back and forth, carving Gramps' face into stone. I am still pretty impressed by the technology myself.
Anyway, Merry Christmas, and thanks for stopping by! Come and see me for a chat, let's see what we can create for you!