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
Everyone needs a place to be free. To learn, to dance, and to create. For us its our studio.
A client came into the store with this absolutely exquisite antique french lamp of Hermes constructed in manganese bronze. The piece was broken at the hand and was in need of some very precise work. It had been repaired before using a form of brazing rod and then filled with an epoxy. So we had removed all past repairs and contaminants, rebuilt both the hand via TIG weld and machined a part that is designed to break so that the bronze itself does not need to. There is nothing we like to see more than a happy customer after a job well done.
Here we are plasma cutting the first side of our street sign for our store.
We had received a commission from a very sweet couple who came in the store one day. The piece required re-caning, touch-up work, and some color matching. You can see our cane tool there at the bottom of the photograph. We had plasma cut piece of railroad track and then we ground it to fit into the cane groove.
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
A client came in to have us repair a number of pieces of jewelry including this watch that required a new face crystal. We could not locate a sized crystal so we cut and polished a new one for this loved piece.
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.
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.
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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