Thursday, April 16, 2009

Candle holder or vase for the wine lover

I'm excited to announce that I have been featured on another artist's blog. David Burns Smith does some amazing textured paintings. I am very humbled to have been chosen as one of his "Dozen Artists of Intrigue". He is also a great writer, so be sure to check out the feature, and leave a comment.

Tonight, I figured I would pick an item and go a little more in depth with the inspiration and story behind the piece, which is hard to do in an online shop listing. I chose my Limestone Stand With Wine Bottle Vase/Candleholder as it has a story behind it.

This unique limestone stand holds a wine bottle top that has many possible uses. It would make a great vase for dried or silk flowers, and most candlesticks will fit perfectly in the neck of the bottle for a one of a kind candle holder. Put the included cork in it, and now it can be filled with water and used as a vase for fresh flowers, or even to put a floating candle in it. It can even be used to display things; fill it with corks from your favorite bottles of wine, maybe you have some nice matchbooks to display, or even those shells that you have been collecting. The possibilities are endless.

When I first started my shop at Etsy, one of the members who was nice enough to critique my shop and give me some tips and tricks, was Zeke from the shop, bodhicitta. He makes wine glasses, juice cups, tumblers, etc... out of used wine, beer, and soda bottles. One evening while perusing his shop, I thought to myself, "I wonder what he does with the tops of the bottles that get cut off?" I then grabbed one of my wine bottles and looked at it upside down. I immediately thought of a vase as I looked at it. I had one of my granite stands sitting next to me, so I put the upside down bottle on it, next to it, behind it, and an idea was born.

I started a conversation with Zeke and asked him what he did with the bottle tops that were cut off. We bounced some ideas back and forth, and then he suggested that I try my hand at cutting and polishing my own bottle. I hadn't even thought of that! It would not look as wonderful as his fire polished rims, but he was sure that I would be able to give it a nice polish. The picture to the left is an example of his fire polished rims, definately check his shop out. The next day I cleaned one of our wine bottles from the recycle bin, cut it, and polished the rim. It came out surprisingly well! Still nothing compared to Zeke's fire polish, but good none the less. Zeke, thanks for the encouragement and confidence to try it! He's such a great guy, that he offered tips and tricks should I need them. I am hoping soon to collaborate with him on a multi bottle project, as I really like the fire polished rims that he does.

The next step was to find a suitable stone and design a stand for it. I chose some limestone that I had due to the yellow, orange, and golds in it, really went well with the yellow/green wine bottle. I designed the stand and I also drilled different size holes in a piece of wood, so that I could find the optimal size hole to hold the bottle. I wanted the bottle to only be held by the stone and not touching the surface that the stand was sitting on, so I had to design the stand a bit taller than many of my stands are. I cut, polished, drilled, and put the stone together, and this is what I came up with.

This is the first one I designed and I am currently working on two more that involve marble and champagne bottles. This one can be purchased either through etsy, here, or my artfire shop, here. I would like to thank Zeke, from bodhiccita, again for his help both with this project and getting my shop up and running, be sure to give his shop a look. I hope you enjoyed this look into how one of my pieces came to be.

Monday, April 13, 2009

More about my day job...

I figured I would tell everyone a little about my day job.  I am a second generation self-employed licensed tile contractor.  My company is of course, Stover Tile and Design, and my lovely wife, April, does the books for me.  I have had my license for close to 5 years now, but I have been doing tile just about my whole life.Me and my Dad who taught me the trade

I learned how to do tile while growing up and working with my father, David Stover, who did business as Stover & Sons Tile.   After 4 years in the Marine Corps and season of being a ski bum and driving snocats grooming runs at June and Mammoth Mtn,  I moved back to the central coast and started working full time for my Dad again.  I met my now wife April and eventually got my own license to do tile.  I still worked for my Dad at first, but the added license was a great benefit.  He ended up getting out of tile and buying another business, Tydix Products, and I continued doing tile under my own business name. (Here's a pic from 4 years ago, of my dad and I on one of our last jobs together.)

I have been blessed to have been able to work with some great general contractors and for some great home owners.  Some of the projects I have got to work on have been amazing, really challenging, and fun.  I try to add my own artistic touch to all my jobs.   Here is a slideshow of some of my work from the past.

 A couple years ago, my brother and his fiance, asked me to make a cakestand out of travertine for them. They could not find a square cakestand that they liked that would go well with their cake.  I figured out how to make one and that was my first "piece" I made.  They still use it daily in the center of their dining table and for all the birthday cakes.  When work slowed down recently, I finally took the plunge and took everyone's advice and started making more pieces to sell and that is how I ended up with my etsy and artfire shops. 

That's the quick and easy version of how I came to be in the tile business and how my online shops came to be.  Enjoy the pictures and feel free to ask me any questions.  :)


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Just Getting Started

Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. You will have to bear with me as this is my first time doing anything like this. I am going to try to keep this updated often and keep things interesting in here. Along with my tile business and etsy shop related topics, I also plan on featuring other artists and their items. Also, I will sprinkle in pics and info from trips I go on and my daily life, which can get quite entertaining with 2 little kids running around.

I'm not quite sure where to go with my first blog post, so I decided that I will show a couple spotlights I made that showcase friends that I have made while setting up my shop at Etsy. These shop owners are the ones who have inspired me to start this blog and start to get serious about growing my business. There are others that have helped that are not in these spotlights, but I have not forgotten you. Thank you to all of you!