Thursday, April 28, 2011

Step By Step: The Baby Blocks

Ok- new series! This will be the first post in a short set running through some how-tos on creating those fancy looking baby blocks. We will be talking about graphic imaging, adjustments when importing and using vintage images, and shop organization for in-process product.

I can't wait to see this set completed. They are fun to make bcuase I get to customize them for each family. This set will spell out baby's first name. We will hide some of the personal details on some of the block sides but it will be fun to show the other engravings and how-tos for those pictures. (Side note: I'm hoping soon to develop a set of 4 puzzle blocks. Where I have an engraving that I split across four blocks. The set would be a puzzle becuase each side-set would feature a different picture. Like for adults maybe- would be a tough little puzzle for the kids. Sorry- one of those inspiration spills.)

I've included some pictures of what I'll be choosing from for my block sides. Now on to the blocks! I already taken my hardwood set down to the woodshop. (My father-in-law runs WoodsOfKnottingham and lets me borrow his shop tools). I use 2" square blocks that are anywhere from 14-24 inches long. Sometimes I start with a 4" wide block that I need to split up to 2"wide. Then I cut them down so I have 2" cubes. I use the belt-sander to sand each side smooth as a baby's tush. Once I get them back to my shop I do some final detail sanding and I prep them with a t oy-safe acrylic-based clear-coat. The base coat I use is important for me in the engraver becuase the engraving processes makes smoke and ash and causes some yummy smelling resin to come up from the wood. It kind of makes things sticky so I use the clear coat to make it easier for me to clean up.

Here are some of the engravings from my library I'll be choosing from on this set. Hmmm. Anticipation.... Note my copyright labels down there don't indicate that I own copyright privileges on the individual images- they are all from out of copyright texts and vintage children's books. I do retain the rights to the altered digital images and product design.

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