As summer winds down its time to begin thinking of the things that happen in fall. Our annual workshops are coming fast. We have atteendees signed up from near and far including British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, North Carolina, Colorado, Ohio and Australia. With five weeks to go we still have a few seats in each workshop left but they are filling fast.
Back when we first started our business I was desperate for knowlege, and looking everywhere for the things I needed to know. I didn't find much available for no one in the industry wanted to share the 'secrets' of how this craft is done. There was no place to learn. Little has changed in the forty years since I began. But I decided back then that things would be different in our shop. I would share as much as I could.
Through the years I've written hundreds of magazine articles, and thousands of posts in various blogs, describing as best I can, with plenty of pictures of what we do, how and why. But it isn't enough. Each week I get many emails and phone calls from literally around the world, asking me many, many questions. I do my best to answer every inquiry but often there are no short answers. And often it simply can't be explained. The best and sometimes the only way to learn is by showing and doing.
Each year we do a few workshops, giving a good look behind normally closed doors. Anyone can attend. We encourage questions and lots of picture taking. Everything possible is shared for there are no secrets here. We've had people from around the world come, some more than once to our workshops. We've had attendees from all across Canada and the USA, Mexico, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands and more.
We offer two workshops. The first is called SIGN MAGIC to be held September 26-28. Over three long days we cover a host of subjects, from where I get my ideas, how presentations are put together, and how we build our signs. I also share our marketing techniques. My goal is to show everyone that anything is possible, and not really all that difficult if we first believe and then take one simple step at a time.
A section of the workshop covers the creation of routing files for our CNC router. Much time is spent in the workshop, with demonstrations and then hands-on painting and glazing. Our attendees also design and then build a small dimensional piece of their own. We show everything in a step by step process, much as we would with a new employee. The results are pure magic every single time.
The second workshop is called SCULPTURE MAGIC to e held October 2-4. This workshop focuses on our methods of creating our three dimensional pieces. This is a hands-on, get dirty kind of workshop. Lectures are more limited in this workshop for we have so much to cover in the three long days our guests are here. All of the methods and materials we use daily in our shop are covered in this workshop. Under our watchful eye attendees will weld, apply the mesh, mix our magical concrete mud, trowel it on and then when the time is right carve it for magical results. Each student will also sculpt a detailed piece of their own using our sculpting epoxy. Everyone will also learn our painting techniques. It's a lot of fun to watch everyone achieve far more than they thought possible. Our job is simply to unlock this hidden potential.
To keep everyone fed and happy, and to allow them to spend as much time as possible in the workshop most meals are served on property in our new house. The home cooking is as good as everything else and most attendees complain their stomachs are as full as their heads when it is time to leave.
I and our crew are looking forward to sharing our magic once more this year.