Wednesday, June 5, 2013

World Barista Championship Props

As Colin Harmon recently prepared for the WBC in Melbourne I was working on a few props for him to use in his routine.

We make lots of bits and pieces for 3FE and it is always fun because what we are asked to do is so diverse (it also involves having to go to 3FE for essential meetings/brainstorming/deliveries which means I just HAVE to get a coffee while there)

This project was the most diverse yet, it involved a variety of pieces and parts. The core piece were serving boxes made in wood with acrylic lids. These served as both the table setting and an interactive frame.

I also made some blank, custom-sized beer boxes. These came in two sizes, one for beer bottles that would hold Colin's signature drink, as well as a mini size to hold some mini glass serving jugs.

On top of the beer bottles were red lids that had a coffee bean engraved in them. This was a bit of an experiment and worked out really well. Customised beer bottle caps could be a great memento for special occasions.

Engraved on the boxes and stuck on the beer bottles were a range of very cute and very appropriate icons designed by Shane Kenna. These told the story of the coffee beans Colin was using in his presentation. They were laser-engraved into the sliding lids and I applied them to the beer bottles using my trusty old vinyl cutter and a steady hand.

I wanted to give Colin and Pete a small memento of the trip to wish them well so I ran up a coupe of personalised soft-cover Moleskine notebooks for them. Shane's logos look great engraved on the front and I love any chance to engrave notebooks.

Colin did an amazing job and placed 4th returning to Dublin with yet another World Trophy to sit on the shelves of 3FE.

For more information about the very talented Shane Kenna, click here

Below you can see some photos of all of the elements as well as some screen grabs of Colin and the props in action in Melbourne.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Thank you cards

So last year I made all those mini Smock Alley models, well they were actually wedding invitations. The couple, Eddie and Leisha, came to me with a fantastically open brief and from that they ended up with wedding invitations/christmas decorations for their December wedding - they got married in Smock Alley. (you can check out that blog post again here

In the new year Eddie and Leisha got back in touch with me, this time with the mission of creating Thank You cards for the wedding. The first time around one of my ideas had been to to a tri-fold card featuring them and their dog. The mini models seemed much more special for the actual invites, but the thank yous seemed like a great time to work out the tri-fold.

In the card you can see the two of them cycling (on their much-loved bikes) trailing their Thank You message with them.

This was a great chance to push the technique used in the Santa's Visit and Woodlands cards another step further. Because this was a limited run I was able to put a lot more fine detail into the card - like the frame of the bikes. Normally I have to bulk things up just to make sure we don't have too much waste and too much finishing to do on big production runs.

These kind of personalised jobs are so rewarding to do, and having clients come to you and trust you to make something so important is always a real honour.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Cloud Picker business cards

There is a brand-new coffee roastery in Dublin - Cloud Picker Coffee are up and running in the Docklands. To mark their launch they wanted some special business cards - as I've said before, laser-cut cards don't come cheap but they do give impact. When a new company wants to make a mark, a memorable card can go down very well.

For these cards the Cloud Picker team chose engraved greyboard. Laser-engraved greyboard always look fab, you have this intersection of a utilitarian and oft-overlooked paper product with cutting edge lasering creating an unexpectedly luxe product.

This project was also a great example of using the laser to facilitate the design process. Frank was able to work through a few different style options and get real, physical samples made for very little effort before committing to the final design.

If you want to find out more about Cloud Picker you can find them on twitter @CloudPickerCoff and taste the coffee in the Science Gallery Café.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Paper art retail props

First things first, my apologies for the long wait for a new post around here. The first few month of 2013 have been going really well for us here in Snow HQ, which is brilliant, but leave little time for the fun things that make it into blog posts.

This little project has been really fun. I wanted to make some retail props for the letter rack and pencil pot from The Woodlands range. I could have just used real envelopes and pencils, but where's the creativity in that?

First I worked on a few paper pencils. These are made up of a piece of 4mm ply in the shape of the pencil and then thin strips of paper hand-glued to the ply in various colours. I'm pretty happy with how they worked out. I just used some scrap paper from around the studio, I think more could be done creating the illustion of 3D object with better tonal choices. Next time I get an afternoon to myself I hope to experiment a bit more with this technique.

The envelopes are very simple pieces of .6mm brown card with branded snail-mail stamps. A very quick piece but hopefully effective. They are also quite sturdy which will really give them an edge over real envelopes when used as retail props.

These pieces are going straight to the Design Corner shop in Dun Laoghaire this afternoon. The Woodlands range has made its debut in the shop and the response has been really great.

To see the full woodlands range you can check them out on our online store here (scroll to the end of the page)

To find out more about the Design Corner in Dun Laoghaire you can check out their Facebook page here

Monday, January 21, 2013

Wedding invites

I fairly frequently get asked about wedding invites but there tend to be a couple of issues:

- Style. Mine isn't a stereotypically "wedding-ing" style, and I'm not going to try and force my style to be something it isn't.

- Cost. Laser cutting is expensive, and doesn't scale very well. I try very hard to keep my costs fair and reasonable for my clients, but a multi-layered, personalised, fancy-looking wedding invitation can quickly spiral out of control.

Having said that I have done a few really great wedding jobs recently here are a few process photos of one in particular. For this Sarah was very open to suggestions, she had a few examples of laser-cut invites that she really liked and a few leads for me in terms of colour and theme.

I'll follow up next week with some photos of the final product, but these photos show the beginning.

Slate turning into glass!

Mike was doing some high-powered slate tests today and with the power really high we got this amazing result. The slate turned into glass! That's how hot the laser burns. Unfortunately the glass just chips off, but still, amazing result!

Stained Plywood

Here we have some plywood necklace and earring display stands, sanded and stained. We have stained wood for laser cutting before, but never on pieces as large as these necklace stands. For a while I was convinced I had ruined 6 pieces of plywood, but lucky for me they looked better once the stain had dried. After we cut them we added simple collapsable stands to the back.
The stands are currently showing off the jewelry of Judith Ritchie at Showcase Ireland.
See Judith's work at
Showcase is on at the RDS in Dublin until the 23rd of January.