Virginia 'LOVE' Sign Project

March 2017

The Market at Grelen and Grelan Nursery approached us to make them a sign for the Virginia LOVEWorks campaign. This campaign was launched by the Virginia Tourism Board as part of the Virginia is for Lovers campaign. Currently there are over 60 signs across Virginia.

The client wanted the piece to look like our garden obelisk that we had designed some years back that are made in rebar, and to have the same ball and basket tops that we forge unto those works. Adam and I passing sketches to each other and creating small mock ups then moved to create a proportion drawing of our final design to be submitted for the clients to approve. After it was approved we began the engineering drawings. This drawing set resolved all of the design functions, material grades, loads, connections, weld types, hardware, angles, and support spacing both visually and structurally. But first and foremost we were concerned with safety and design quality.





The client desired chicken wire to line the inside of the entire 'O' to hold moss for plantings. After some time tests we found that regular chicken wire would only last about a year in contact with the moist moss. So in its place we opted for a thick wire utility cloth. The inside and outside panels are welded, whereas the facing panels are laced in as seen here so we can make quick on site repairs as needed.

We wanted to design a base that did not detract from the piece but at the same had a large footprint. We opted for this design as it was the most flexible, and under computer modeling could sustain 110mph winds.

The clients desire for our ball baskets created an interesting problem as to how to resolve the end of the letters that had baskets. In our experimentation we had decided to create a pyramid with a pad. This was ideal for the resolution of the 'L' but made it extremely difficult for the 'V' as it is angled wide.



The First Lady of Virginia Dorothy McAuliffe

Pomme Restaurant Project

January 2018

We began this project with cutting and shaping 42 feet of steel strap and drilling two holes in each wing.

Next we made a jig to weld each wing together. These needed to be very square and cleaned as not to have any snags or sharp edges.

Next each board is sized upon the table saw and cut to length. They then are taken to the store to be glued as the average outdoor temp for this project was 8deg F. They were then taken back to the Studio once dry and the table blank was then edged and sized to their final dimensions.

Once assembly was completed painting and finishing began.

We used a French Wash technique to lift the grain.


More tables coming in to be assembled and some to be painted. This took many trips as the truck could only handle so much weight. We often maxed out its weight limit.

Once finishing was completed installation began. This was also done in phases as finishing must be done slowly.



A completed deuce table with corner brackets.

All loaded up with the largest of the tables trying to outrun the coming rain.




Saying our goodbyes to Summer by enjoying some Mint Sun Tea and making some Firefly Necklaces on this beautiful day.


Here we are plasma cutting the first side of our street sign for our store.

The Mangrove Chair v.2 designed and constructed by Adam. You can see the piece at our store, and is made out of recycled steel and has over 1000 welds.

Practicing with tighter freehand lines with the plasma cutter 

Jewelry Studio 2017



Just finished another commission with this adorable shelf. It's going to a shop so we used nuts as spacers for the supports really completing the industrial look.

Just sent off this pair of farm signs for a customer. They came in and desired a sign with their farm name, year, and a Honeysuckle and Virginia Bluebell drawn in. All of the work was hand drawn and then hand cut in solid steel. We are always so excited to see the customers happy with the results.

Completed Barstool Legs.

Some decorative forgings for a number of barstools commissioned by a client.

Grinding and organizing barstool supports.

Our custom stamped rings ready to be conditioned, polished, and headed out the door.

Grinding barstool legs.

Some of our burned tops fresh out of the fire pit and ready to be finished.

Here we are coating our hand forged trivets.
Each Trivet is completely covered with a sculptors wax that is a modification of a recipe that has been used for around 1200 years.
This process is called 'Flaming In’, and we save it for the evening to see if we have an even coat, and to enjoy its beauty.

Kathryn and Adam in the Jewelry Studio

Here is our Seed Ring being created.

And here is the ring all cleaned up and ready for the gem to be set.

Cutting some stone we found for jewelry. This is a really lovely piece that is dark green and translucent orange chunks.


Myself and Adam stenciling in a custom sign for a client. Very busy in the shop that day, with many signs and other items to knock off our list.

This is how we used to make the backs for our ReBarstools. We apply about 3 tons of force until all of the extra glue is squeezed out.

The finished product .

Here we are laying out and squaring a quote that shall be applied to a wall for a client.

At a sunny sale selling away.

Grinding Rebar for furniture.

A Drafting of one of our baskets

At the diamond saw with a stone we found in the driveway. This shall make for some lovely cabochons for jewelry.

What do you do when you are in the shop and don't have a hair tie? Use a screwdriver!

Here we are both weeding the stencil on this fun little sign.

All finished!


Steel Triangle Trivets (Full set)

Here at Raindrops we love to make our own equipment. In this build we start with a general idea, some trips to a number of junk yards, some drawings and math, and some time. First we straiten out the circuitry and power delivery using parts ripped from salvage. A transformer from an industrial fan, a treadmill motor, and a PCU from some sort of industrial metering unit. We then fabricate and weld a bracket and tension bar for our treadmill motor.

We next take a steel fire suppression tank and mark off our cut line.

And next we plasma cut it.

We next weld a pipe on the inside of the bowl so water doesn't drain through the center. Then we cut a hole next to that for the actual water drain, and add a base so we can fasten it to the body of our project.

Here is the bung for the water drain we welded on to affix a fitting.

Next we fabricate a belt cover for the underside of our project. We cut scrolls so dust can fall through, and it looks great.


Here we have sandblasted, painted, and assembled our new Lapidary Machine. It has a speed adjustment, water cooling, blocks for faceting equipment, and a safety key so it cannot be accidentally turned on if children are around.

This machine can cut cabochons as well and faceted gemstones. From cutting glass to diamonds, it can do it all.

Double pillow block bearings for stability and long tool life.

View of the water drip feed to cool the diamond blade.

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