Summer Shows and Events - We're Going to the Ren Faire!

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.

April 24, 2015 by Chuck Baldwin

New Technology Brings Photographic Possibilities

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.


Upcoming Shows - Come See Us in Person!

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!

Studio Is Open for Business

It didn’t dawn on us how integral the studio space was to the opening of Blackbird Pye until it was finally set up. As we were getting the framework for the business in place and generating designs and ideas to produce, our studio space flooded—forcing us to rip up the carpets and move all of the furniture, bookshelves and equipment into one cramped unusable storage room.

Nearly five months since the flood, after dealing with insurance agents, contractors, delays, multiple work crews, and after doing the electrical work alongside my father-in-law, and the floors all by myself—we were able to move the desks back in, set up the computer equipment, hang a new idea board on the wall, and get to the nitty gritty of making Blackbird Pye your favorite little design shop.

October 05, 2014 by Chuck Baldwin

New Floors and Our Slimiest Visitor

After a 16-hour day finishing the flooring in our studio we had our first non-family visitor: a young, foot-and-a-half long rat snake. At first I was taken aback because the first thing I found, the morning after calling it quits at 2am, was a big gift of love left by our little dog, Buddy.

Apparently he wasn’t nearly as impressed as I was at my ability to lay flooring for 16 hours straight without taking more than a food break—like a doggy walk… Sure he had access to the backyard. The back door was open all day, and pretty much the last three weeks since it’s gotten a little cooler, and he’s pooped back there plenty of times when walks didn’t commence according to his schedule. He knows how to get out to take care of business—the same way the snake got in! At least I think so; I don’t want to imagine any other way.

October 05, 2014 by Chuck Baldwin