Pinecone Patterned Animal Ornaments & Wintery Woodland Decor

Ponoko-made products by Yvonne Laube

The inspiration for Yvonne Laube’s adorable animal mobiles, switch plates, night lights, and holiday ornaments initially came while she was decorating the nursery for her newborn son.

“I was looking for pieces that were clean-lined and both modern and traditional,” she says. But when she couldn’t find quite what she was looking for, she decided to make her own designs with Ponoko’s laser cutting service.

And luckily for her, Yvonne’s single entry into last year’s YippieYay contest won her the opportunity to try Ponoko free for a whole year.

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30 Holiday Gifts Created by Independent Designers

2013 Holiday Gift Guide

holiday gift guide

Cat silhouette snowflake ornaments? Check! Quotation mark earring studs? Yes! Full moon wall clock? Got it! DNA sequencer? Sho ‘nuf.

These are just a few of the fantastic things on our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide featuring original designs from Ponoko customers.

We’ve selected 30 different products this year to fit all budgets and suit everyone from your sister to your boss.

Check out our Gift Guide on Pinterest, and support independent designers this holiday season!

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Photographer Creates Camera Accessories for 150 yr old Photo Technique

Establishes In Camera Industries in Portland, Oregon

Photographer Jody Ake creates haunting images that capture the subject with incredible dimensionality.

He works with a wet collodion process, a method dating back to the 1850s. “The end results are ambrotypes, appearing on glass in the form of a negative until backed by black velvet, thus rendering the positive image,” he explains on his website.

The photographic plate holder Jody uses in his practice “finally deteriorated to the point that it was no longer useable, and finding a well made replacement was imposable. The lack of reliable plate holders inspired me to start making my own.”

So in addition to fine art photography and commission work, Jody started In Camera Industries — a small business selling accessories for in camera photography.

Specifically, In Camera Industries sells high quality, photographic plate holders that can be used for “wet collodion (ambrotype/tintypes),
paper negatives, dry plate, daguerreotypes, and any in camera process.”

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What Etsy’s New Policy Means for Ponoko Customers

Early this month, Etsy released new guidelines for Etsy shops. The new policy officially welcomes shops that use outside/outsourced manufacturers — as long as they are first “approved”.

Etsy writes that “These new policies are crafted to support a diverse community of makers, designers and curators — from the solo artisan just starting out, to the full-time seller hiring staff, to the artist who partners with a manufacturer to bring her creations to life.”

The “artist who partners with a manufacturer” should apply for approval in order to sell on Etsy. This includes all Ponoko customers using our laser cutting service to help create their designs.

According to the new policy, “Digital prints and posters, music, books you’ve authored, and 3D printed items can be sold without review.” This means that Ponoko customers using our 3D printing service to create designs do *NOT* need approval.

I contacted the Etsy integrity team and asked some questions on behalf of Ponoko customers.

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Think You’re Too Busy to Start Your Own Product Line? ROBOMUSTACHE Proves it’s Possible!

Ponoko-made products from Charles Wade

Charles Wade is a busy guy. He works at a newspaper in North Carolina doing graphic design, web development, social media, and IT; and teaches graphic design and multi media at a nearby college.

But despite his packed schedule, Charles was able to start a product line in time to sell at a local festival.

His side business, ROBOMUSTACHE, sells blocky wooden animals and robots, printed paper craft creatures, and more.

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Spin your own Wool Yarn with the Electric Eel Wheel

Maurice Ribble designs a hardware hit for fiber hobbyists.

Spinning wheels always bring to mind fairy tales: Rumpelstiltskin spinning straw into gold in exchange for a maiden’s first born child, Sleeping Beauty cursedly pricking her finger on the spindle.

But luckily, Maurice Ribble’s story isn’t so grim (pun intended.) Maurice is a computer engineer who lives with his wife Emily in the Boston area. “I always say my wife’s first love is knitting because she’s done it for much longer than she’s known me,” he says.

Emily often spins her own yarn for her knitting projects and totes a manual spinning wheel to her knitting group. “The mechanics of the spinning wheel were fascinating to my engineering mind and her need to travel with it gave me some great reasons to set about making a very portable, electric spinning wheel,” Maurice explains.

Soon he had requests from Emily’s friends to make them one too. “One thing lead to another, and now you can buy them on the internet,” he says. And lots of people are buying them.

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Design Star: 22-year old vlogger celeb Karen Kavett brings you interrobang jewelry!

and silver mirror ampersands!

With nearly 2 million views and over 43,000 subscribers to her design-meets-DIY YouTube channel, Karen Kavett clearly knows how to build an audience.

At just 22 years old, Karen works full-time as a video blogger and freelance designer in San Francisco.

She’s been creating videos on crafting, graphic design, “and other nerdy stuff” since 2008. She’s signed with one of the top online video agencies and her design work ranges from UX for YouTube to cover illustration for a NYT best selling author.

And she’s recently decided to expand her brand to a line of typographically inspired jewelry she makes with the help of Ponoko’s laser cutting service.

Let Karen introduce herself to you — and get a look at her mirrored acrylic ampersand necklace — in the video below.

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Laser cut kit lets you build your own honeymoon

Ponoko-made project by Michiel Post van der Molen

“I had known about Ponoko for a long time,” says Michiel, “but never had a great reason to use the service.”

That reason finally came while he and his soon-to-be wife Jo-Ann planned their Berkeley, California wedding. “Many of our guests were traveling from different countries, and we wanted to give them something special to say thanks for making the journey,” Michiel explains.

His idea was to use our laser cutting service to create a DIY kit that let people build their own honeymoon scenes.

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Creating cloudscape sculptures from laser cut layers

Ponoko-made project by Helen Reynolds

“Clouds are such a beautiful expression of the way landscape systems function” says Helen Reynolds, an artist and instructor of landscape architecture in Wellington, New Zealand. Last year she began a series of work exploring cloud shape and formation, including a sculptural installation she created with the help of Ponoko’s laser cutting service.

“Changes in the landscape make changes in the cloudscape, and I love that connection,” Helen explains of her initial interest in the subject. “They’re the responses of water vapor in the contracting or expanding atmosphere and castles in the sky.”

After creating several drawings and hand-cut cloud sculptures, Helen decided to use laser cutting for a project proposal that had been accepted for exhibition at the Dowse Museum of Art.

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Artist transforms flat lasercut designs into 3D installations with heat forming

Ponoko project by Jenny Balisle

Bay Area artist Jenny Balisle works in three distinct mediums: painting, pen and ink, and sculptural installation made from heated acrylic sheets.

As explained in her artist statement, her body of work is “conceptually linked by dichotomous relationships — simple and complex, beautiful and grotesque, micro and macro perspectives, and natural and manmade environments.”

Her acrylic sculptures embody this concept by turning completely flat pieces of acrylic, which she lasercuts with Ponoko, into much more complex three-dimensional sculptures.

To achieve this, Jenny uses a heat forming technique. “It’s a delicate process,” she says. “I have to take great care not to crack or warp the acrylic or yellow the white surface.”

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