Artist of the month daydreemdesigns

My artist of the month is Michael from  daydreemdesigns. he is an engraver. The great thing about engraving is that he can completely do the whole wine glass, stem and all. Please visit his shop daydreemdesigns. I will be doing a follow up and we might give out some discounts for Christmas so stay tuned.

1. How did you get interested in engraving? I became interested in engraving when I was probably about 10 yrs old. My older sister was a glass engraver. Engraving mostly names, dates, fonts and such. This was about 25 yrs ago. When I was 12 I spent some time with her and she allowed me to pick up her Dremel engraver ( no flex shaft ) and go to town. I started drawing when I was able to hold a pencil. Forever it seems. Pen and pencil sketches is how everything got started. Murals and airbrushing t-shirts followed. My twin brother and I had an interesting tie – dyed/ airbrushed t-shirt business going on back in our pre teen years. I knew at an early age, I was able to make some money from this passion of mine. I look and see and learn from what I see. I create what I think and feel from what I live and experience everyday of my life. Its funny, I often refer to “not being able to create my own personal work”(what I feel and want to create). I guess the reason is because I am always in need to produce product to make money. I am always forced to create what other people want. Glass, portraits, murals, band albums, signs, and t- shirts etc.
2. Did you start out etching glass or engraving? My engraving started about 5 yrs ago. I have always loved the idea of creating an image freehand on a piece of glass.
3 .I get the feeling you freehand your patterns from memory, is that right?  I do not trace anything. I never have and never will. I explored and played with etching, sand blasting and acid stencils, and was not very happy. I felt like I was working on an assembly line. My pieces are created free hand using a high speed rotary tool at speeds of only 45,000 – 55,000 rpm and a flex shaft. I sometimes use a pneumatic rotary tool with speeds up 400,000rpm. The pneumatic tool is not my first choice by far. The high speeds of 400,000 rpm limit my freedom. My next goal is to sand blast by hand, no stencils, more like airbrushing freehand.
4. Have your patterns evolved in time? If so, tell us how. My designs have evolved over time and are evolving continuously. In my opinion getting better all the time. But I guess you can say I/the designs will never be finished. I am always trying to make my designs just right or perfect. Everyday (literally) I learn something new. I am completely self taught.
5. Have you had formal training in art or are you self taught?  I have had no kind of formal training. Some lessons in high school and support from family, friends and my fiance’.
6. What is your favorite part of your business? Its hard to say what is my favorite part of this business. I honestly enjoy every aspect. The fact of knowing the harder I push the happier I can be, keeps me going. I strive to make every customer as happy as I possibly can. Knowing the client/customer has received there piece and is pleased, is all I need. And when I receive those emails telling me just how happy they are.
7. How do you decide what products to create?A lot of thought and planning actually goes into deciding what products to make. Most times too much thought and planning, considering when I start the engraving process, I’m engraving what I feel is right. Most times everything comes together perfect. Then I think to myself, was all this prep and planning worth it?  Planning and preparation becomes crucial for custom pieces.
8. Do you do custom work and monogramming?  I take custom requests. Lettering, monograms, portraits, and well, anything. Murals, and woodcarvings.
9. Your carved candy cane is awesome. Is wood carving and glass engraving similar, or totally different? Wood carving and glass engraving are very different in some ways. Some of the diamond burrs used for glass engraving can be used with wood carving. But the big difference comes into play when I am creating a piece of 3 dimension into wood. Just about the same safety precautions and equipment is used. Goggles, respirator, dust collector, leather vest and gloves. I have a few different rotary tools for different jobs. When the knives and chisels come out, all things change. Believe it or not I enjoy wood carving more than glass engraving, but I do love glass engraving. I thoroughly enjoy working with wood, the smell the sound of the wood being carved, and the fact of never really knowing what lies beneath the bark. I will many times find a piece of fallen branch and just start carving. Wood Spirits are my favorite. There’s a little spirit inside every piece of wood. I just have to look for him. I grew up in the Pocono Mts. And my father has worked with wood his entire life, that’s probably another reason I am partial to the wood carving.
10. Do you have any advice for some one starting a Etsy shop? Some advice I can give to anyone creating an Etsy shop is. Be prepared. Know what you want to do and go do it! Never ever give up. Always try to learn something new. Get advice and try to come up with unique ideas. The second you stop and think, is this all worth it? Give your self a light slap and say, yes it is. If your heart was never in this adventure to begin with, you will never get to where you want to go. I’m a go strong or go home kinda guy, but not every second of the day. I learned pacing yourself is important, but sometimes an artists life just doesn’t work that way. I find myself up for 24 hrs strait working and working. That may not be good advice, but sometimes you just have to keep going. Having a partner in life and business is a very good thing. Aimee’ keeps my head strait and helps out more than you could imagine. Helping with the books, customer service and the never ending trips to the post office etc. Another good tip for someone starting an Etsy shop is having good images.  Aimee is our photographer.  She dedicates allot of time into taking the images.  New techniques and strategies are always a good thing to keep in mind.  Keeping your item as the main focus in the photograph is important.Long stem glassesCandle holder

Wood carving

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