Blackbird Pye's Official Online Store
From our studio near Redondo Beach, California, Chuck and Erin Price Baldwin create artwork and designs to be used in the home and applied to quirky gifts and gizmos. Our sandblasted etched glassware, and art and home decor are handcrafted and inspired by nature, folklore, urban legends, and curious themes and memes.
Our glass works usually begin as a sketch on paper. The final drawings are brought into a computer to be optimized for cutting into vinyl masks. These masks are applied to the glassware or gizmo of choice, and sandblasted into the surface. Sandblasting is the most durable and beautiful method of etching glass, with deep cuts and crisp edges that you can see and feel. We use the finest of grits for the most luxurious touch. They will not rub off, smear, or deteriorate over time. If you don't break the glassware, our etchings will last forever.
We are so excited. Not only did we get into the juried-admission Art Star Craft Bazaar in Philadelphia, we were also accepted into the Virginia Renaissance Faire!
We have wanted to be part of a Ren Faire since the first time Erin and I attended one together, long before Blackbird Pye had been dreamed up. While our current designs are not Ren Faire focused, many of our themes have their origins there.
But this is also a huge impetus to get some new designs finished and ready for both shows. Think Game of Thrones, steampunk, piratey, Elizabethan themes. Ya know, like any other day...
We will be at the Art Star Craft Bazaar for Mother's Day Weekend, May 9-10. It happens at the Penn's Landing Great Plaza, on the Delaware River in the heart of Philadelphia -- an easy day-trip from DC or NYC. There will be hundreds of art and craft makers, and ADMISSION IS FREE! It's a great event to take Mom to and splurge on her.
The Virginia Renaissance Faire is at the Lake Anna Winery in Spotsylvania, Virginia -- an easy drive from DC, Charlottesville, and from pretty much anywhere -- if you'd rather be at a Ren Faire! We will be selling our sandblasted etched glassware, and other relevant gizmos, the last two weekends of the Faire, May 30-31 and June 6-7. Tickets are only $10, with kids 5 and under FREE.
We will have new designs for the Ren Faire, and plan to crowdsoursce for more ideas our first weekend there, bringing the results the next weekend.
So if you can, come all three weekends! We'd love to see you.
After much deliberation, Blackbird Pye is testing the waters with photo emulsion sandblasting masks. This will enable us to achieve far greater detail than we've attempted with cut vinyl.
We began our production with 11-mil sandblast-resist vinyl, which turns out to be incredible overkill for our needs. It would be perfect for etching tombstones or river rocks. So I began experimenting with a roll of 2-mil vinyl, and it's better than imagined! But an upcoming custom job will require much more detailed etching. We want to make sure we are covering all bases and producing the absolute best work available, so we're adding the new process.
Along with the photo emulsion resists we've invested in a new and different type of sandblaster, and have been testing it all month in anticipation of receiving the new material soon. So far, so good!
We plan to continue using both methods, depending on the complexity of the design, as the photo emulsion material is far more expensive per unit than the vinyl rolls. But the complexity of our designs is no longer limited, as the Armadillo de los Muertos, below, illustrates.
A finely detailed drawing taking advantage of our new photo emulsion masks.
Blackbird Pye will showcase more than twenty original designs this Sunday and next (Dec. 14 and 21) at the Alexandria Holiday Market in Carlyle Square, just across Duke Street, and visible from the King Street Metro Station.
Not all of our designs are in our online catalog yet, but they soon will be. Our present focus is producing a good volume of etched glassware that our customers can take home with them. But when those run out, we will take orders for delivery by Christmas (if local.)
Last week we had a very successful and encouraging launch at a small, private holiday arts and crafts show at the American Chemical Society in Washington, DC. We also learned how much people are clamoring for custom work -- which we obliged, and will continue to offer. Check out our Custom Work page for more information.
We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!