Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mini Smock Alleys

This is a slightly cryptic post because I can't yet reveal what these are for, however, I couldn't wait to show them to you all.

I was asked a few weeks ago to make 70 mini models of the newly-reopened Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin. Delighted to get a new mission I went for it.

They are essentially made the same way as the mini houses but the scale is much smaller so there was a challenge when it came to standardising the features like the window bars and the crucifix. At this kind of scale any architectural model quickly goes from being a perfect representation of the subject to being a trick. A skillful assessment of the features that will have the most impact leaves you with a model that looks pretty complicated and comprehensive but that can be made quickly.

My client for this project has the same love for chipboard and red as I do so trying to figure out the materials and finish wasn't a problem at all.

I hope to reveal the function of these in a few weeks, in the mean time enjoy the photos.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Wooden 3D Christmas Tree

I know, I know, its only the first of October and Christmas is months away, however, for us October means the busy season as well and truly begun. Only 38 days until the Dalkey Winter Fair means that I'm pretty much out of time to design anything new for this year. Fortunately I have been beavering away at a few ideas over the summer and here is the first of them.

This tree is an expansion on the acrylic 3D tree from last year. By making these ones in wood instead of acrylic we cut down on a huge number of headaches with the manufacturing, they can be larger, and I think the contrast of the baubles with the wood is nicer too.

I like the natural wood look but I'm going to see what happens as well if I stain the wood green and also play around with only having one colour of bauble per tree (I have a feeling that a blonde- wood tree covered in red acrylic baubles will look amazing)

Anyway, I promise to try to keep the Christmas stuff to a minimum until at least after Hallowe'en!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Personalised toy for Hugo

A few months ago I bought a wonderful toy from Designist (www.designist.ie). It was a wooden elephant that connected to a trailer filled with wooden blocks. I had been looking for something to give to my 1 year old nephew who was just about to move to Boston. I wanted him to have a way to play with all of us despite living so far away. So I did some illustrations for him of the family to engrave on the bricks. (This is where the ever-popular illustration of Me and Mike came from)

In addition to having family members I also drew him a few vehicles and then popped on the animals form the woodlands series.

When I gave it to him recently he really seemed to relish the opportunity to really drool all over us without us protesting!

This little project was also a great way to observe how different woods give such different results when engraved, the more I work with wood the more I like it.

The wonderful toy was made by Soopsori http://soopsori.eu/

Monday, September 3, 2012

It's our birthday - competition and discount!

So, today is our birthday here at SNOW, we have reached the grand old age of 1!

The last year has been fantastic, I couldn't in my wildest dreams have expected such a positive reaction to work that we do and the service that we offer. This year has been a very positive story from many angles, and I think I have most enjoyed meeting so many other people and companies just like us - people who care about what they do, who take pride in their work and who are making a huge contribution to the vibrant creative class in Ireland.

To celebrate our birthday we are offering 15% off in our online shop for the month of September, just enter the code "bday" at the checkout.

We are also running a competition this week, the prize will be the 7 original woodlands cards that I made this morning and were featured in the blog post below this. There will be 4 runners up who will each receive one of the woodlands characters in wood.

To enter the competition simply submit a photo of one of our products that you own. You can either post to our facebook page, send me a tweet or email it to mike@snowed.ie

The competition will end on Thursday the 6th of September at 17:00 we will then have a random draw to pick the winners.

Oh, and we will also do something nice for any of our wholesale/corporate customers who have orders with us this month because you guys are great too - so you can expect a nice little personalised item in with any orders during September.

We are so very grateful to have had such fantastic customers over the last year, to have had opportunities to meet so many talented people and also to have had a reason to stay in Ireland and forge our own future. Thank you all very much.

- Fiona & Mike

Woodlands Card

I'm very excited to unveil the first finished product from the Woodlands range - the card.

I have had this design floating around in my head since January - after Christmas I realised that our pop-up card was hugely popular but was far too work intensive, I have been working on trying to get the impact of a 3 layered pop-up card without the cost involved with making it. If you were in the studio right now you would see a gigantic pile of coloured papers with different iterations of this designs with different animals, gradients, colours and methods of contrast - I think i have finally cracked it though.

The characters in the card will hopefully all feature in other products which I will release over the next few weeks. So this card is the heart of the range, tying all of the characters together and showing a scene that gives a little insight into the personalities of the characters.

I almost gave up on this whole card last week when I just couldn't get the colours right, fortunately, on Saturday I decided to try gluing a sheet of kraft paper to some mi-teintes and suddenly, all of my problems were solved.

I have done my usual trick and gorged on colour options but I love seeing them all together with different colours and I also love being able to give people a choice because that is the great luxury of small-scale manufacturing with a laser cutter.

Below are some photos, we'll have them on the shop on the website by the end of the day and hopefully we'll have them in some shops in time for the weather to turn a bit autumnal.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Carve Cases

We had a visit in the studio today from Carve Cases. The cases look amazing when lasered and Dónal very generously gave me a case when he was leaving.

I'm going to give it to my dad and have engraved it with an illustration of his Land Rover. Check out the photos.

If you want to find out more about Carve, they are a young Irish Business using a mix of cutting edge-machining and hand-finished quality just like us, and they can be found here - http://carvecases.com/

Friday, August 17, 2012

Giant mini houses!

Someone left some growth serum lying around the studio and the mini houses have grown!

A bit of thick ribbon and hanging or sitting in a foyer/mantelpiece and these will look great at Christmas

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

woodland series

I have had an idea for a woodland popup card rattling around in my head since January. I have finally had the time this week to sit down and draw. Some of the characters I was doing for it were too intricate to waste on a popup (when scaled down they lose a lot of detail) So today I have been working on integrating them into something else.

The Hedgehog makes up a desk tidy - you know, for all of those bits and pieces of paper that you need to keep but just end up hanging around on your desk (or is that problem exclusive to me.....?) He can also double up as a napkin holder if you were feeling fancy.

The design of this will change slightly so that there are two little baby hedgehogs walking after the big one.

The Owl is hanging out on a pencil pot and being tormented by snails (who probably don't want to be caught by the hedgehogs....) I always find my pencil pots are too big an I stuff them with 15 blunt pencils and 4 dead pens and a chopstick or two, rather that the two pencils I actually use - so I figure that a smaller pot might encourage more careful pencil usage (wishful thinking, I know)

Then I have also just integrated the two characters into little decorations that will probably fit in very nicely with our Christmas range - or, as some have pointed out, make excellent earrings for those who can get away with a surplus of cute in their lives.

There are a few more characters in the range, a fox, a squirrel, a mouse and maybe a bear so I really need to get back to my notebook and concentrate on the pop up card........

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Claddagh Engagements!

The Claddagh Rings have proven to be a popular choice as temporary engagement rings before the couple goes out to purchase the real thing. 
One such couple, Benjamin and Chrissie, got in touch with us, so we made them this commemorative box to keep their claddagh ring in once Chrissie gets her real ring. 

Flamingo Boxes

Been working hard for The Printing Rooms to help them realize their packaging vision in a highly impactful and cost effective way.

Just goes to show what some smart laser cutting can do to a plain box.

Monday, July 23, 2012

work in progress

I am sorry that there haven't been more substantive posts on here over the last few weeks - we have just been so busy!

Today was a very productive day, we have a few interns in helping me while Mike is away and they are proving to be exceptionally useful, enthusiastic and talented.

On my way out of the studio I grabbed a few quick shots of the 3 projects we are working on today each one pretty diverse and fun to make.

Below you can see jewellery display boxes for Fado, greeting card display stands for Designist and a microphone flag for Venue One.

Tomorrow brings even more work - signage, badges, design work and illustration.... happy days!

Oh and incase you are wondering - yes, we do have a never-ending supply of cutting mats.

Monday, July 9, 2012

acrylic pigeon houses

Just a little preview of something i have been messing around with today - the pigeon house from the cards/prints cut out of red acrylic - I'm not sure what it is for yet, but I like it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mini Maker Faire Lanyards

In just over a week on July 14th we will be taking part in the very first Dublin Mini Maker Faire.

On the day we will be there demoing the laser and producing fun things for members of the public to make. Before hand we have made some lanyard badges for the participants and organizers.

We made a short video today demonstrating the process involved in making the lanyards.


Claddagh Rings

Following on from the success of our valentines rings in February, our pals at Designist suggested we come up with a design for Claddagh Rings. 

They are made out of lasercut alderwood with a green foil heart on one side and red on the other. 

Monday, July 2, 2012


I can't believe that I have owned a laser for 10 months and it had never occurred to me to put food in it before today. So in a grand act of procrastination Mike and I dropped what we were doing and placed some Buttons on the bed.

We got some interested results. The area around the engraving gets very melty so if you accidentally touch it (while picking it up from the laser for example) you get a gooey mess.

The one with the deepest engraving smelled pretty rank when coming off the machine, like burnt chocolate I suppose...

I haven't tasted any of the yet, I know we have only cut them with a clean beam of light energy - but I don't quite trust them.....


Oh No! In preparation for the Mini-Maker Faire in Dublin we have created an army of destructive Paper Robots!
What have we unleashed upon this city!?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Open/Closed signs

Well, long time no post! June has been a fantastically busy month for us, we have been working on a number of great projects and meeting so many great new clients. Unfortunately all this busy-ness means the blog slips down the list of priorities.

Here a small project that I made today, once again something for our very good friends in the Irish Design Shop. They wanted a sign for the door of their RHA shop, something to announce their presence, and something that would allow them to say "back in 5 mins" without having to stick a hand-written note to the door.

I had intended to do it in acrylic but made the sample in greyboard for cost/recycleablity issues. Well, the greyboard ended up looking great and the girls agreed. I also ended up making two, one for each shop, here they are.

Keep an eye out for them next time you are in town www.irishdesignshop.com