Unglued Christmas Market

A few weeks ago, Ashley from the Unglued Christmas Market  contacted me. She said they would like to sell some of my items at their pop-up boutique! Their store will be open Black Friday thru Christmas Eve.

I started working on making items for Unglued right away. I’ve been working on them for the few weeks now, which is why I haven’t been posting many new items on etsy recently.

Anni had to work on labeling and packaging all the items. She had to hand type over 50 tags. On a real typewriter! Which meant that if she messed up, she had to throw the tag away and start. all. over.

Here is a Boxelder Burl Pen all labeled and ready to go! The tag has the name of the wood, the price, and a little information about the pen on back. We also included a business card with each item.

And here are seven pens all ready!

L-R: Boxelder Burl, Black Ash Burl, Russian Olive, Black Walnut, White Tailed Deer Antler, Caragana, and another Boxelder Burl.

And here are the pens, along with a bangle, a top, and a honey stick.

These are just a few of the items I will have for sale at Unglued.

I have over 20 pens, along with some boxes, jewelry (a bangle and rings), a honey stick and almost a dozen tops!

I got to have a sneak peek at the store when I delivered the items. It is amazing! It is full of hand-made items from artists all over the Fargo-Moorhead area. The whole store is so modern and artistic. I’m really excited to be a part of it!


Rescuing Wood

A few weeks ago a lady asked me to take down two of her black walnut trees. Her house is by the river, and will be removed because it is in the flood zone. The trees would have been destroyed with the house, and she didn’t want the wood wasted. I was very glad she called me!

Black walnut is prized for its dark heartwood. Historically it was used for gun-stocks, among other things. I’ve never used black walnut before, so I’m excited to see how the dark wood turns out.

After cutting the wood, I painted the ends of the logs with end-grain sealer to keep it from cracking.

I’m looking forward to using this beautiful heap of wood during the winter!

Meet the Team

When I started Turning Pro, my business partner (my sister) wanted to stay behind the scenes. But, now that I’ve been in business for awhile, we’ve decided she should be in front of the scenes, so to  speak.

So here she is, my sister and business partner, Anni!

Ben’s job description: Make cool stuff. Learn how to make stuff cooler. Make cooler stuff.

Anni’s job description: Photography, online work, packaging. All the stuff Ben doesn’t want to do. :)

So now you know!

Custom Orders

I love doing custom orders! They are often challenging, which is why I like them.

A few weeks ago, a lady saw one of my egg cups, and asked if I could make another so she could buy two. I ended up making the second one out of contrasting wood, which made a great his/her set.

Another custom order I’ve done was for deer antler pens. A man wanted pens made out of deer antler from a hunting trip he’d been on. We negotiated prices, and he ended up buying three!

One of the most interesting custom orders that I’ve had was to make something I’d never heard of before: sugar cone molds! I think it’s pretty sweet that some people still make sugar cones by hand. The lady who contacted me sent me a picture and dimensions, and I took a whack at it. This is how it turned out:

I actually ended up making two cone molds, and she bought them both!

It was really fun to make something totally new. Don’t be afraid to ask for custom orders. I just might be able to make what you want!

AW Magazine

My mom is a writer and editor for Area Women Magazine in town. The magazine is mainly stories about women around here.

Mom had a meeting with the owner of the magazine one day about a month ago. Like any good mom, she likes bragging about her children. She showed Mike (the owner) one of my pens. He was impressed and impulsively decided to do a story on me! When I heard, my first reaction was, “But I’m not a woman!” and my second reaction was “free advertising … niiiice.” Needless to say, my second reaction won out. Later that month, my mom interviewed me and wrote up the story! The magazine came out today:

It’s cool to have an actual story about me in a magazine. I still find it humorous that I’m in this particular magazine, though!

AAW Symposium

Recently I went to the AAW (which stands for the American Association of Woodturners) 25th Annual Symposium in St. Paul, MN. I learned an enormous amount of information from professionals from around the world. They had classes from 8 a.m. until around 5 p.m. three days in a row. I went to workshops by Michael Hosaluk, Alan Lacer and David Elssworth among others. And I saw Stuart Batty  and Jimmy Clewes in the Trade Show. Stuart Batty was doing demonstrations and videoing the sessions. He had six video cameras and tv’s set up, so people could see exactly what he was doing.

These guys are some of the best wood turners in America. I had seen a lot of their DVD’s, so it was really amazing to meet them in person!

I also went to Rex Burningham on making pens. One of the many things I learned at the symposium was how to make these mini pens! I use the same kit as I use for making normal pens, but Rex told us how to modify them. Basically you take the ink cartridge and cut it so it is shorter. You also have to use smaller pieces of wood. These mini pens are great for carrying around!

I learned a lot of other cool techniques for making pens which I will be trying in the near future!