Archive for April, 2011

Fabric printing

Posted: April 27, 2011 in Uncategorized
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We bought some wide-format printers when my old employer got out of the mapmaking business. One of them is good for printing on banner material and textiles, so we have been experimenting with different media in it. So far we have used a lightweight polyester and an art canvas to print photos and some of my (Zeke’s) digital art. Still looking into colorfastness and durability, but the material is great to collage, and I am working it into some of our bag designs. Pretty fun, and we are interested in custom printing fabric to order as well. Prices for custom printing are online at:





Posted: April 23, 2011 in Uncategorized
Making hooks, and finishing garden tools. Celebrated earth day by burning half a bottle of propane and can hear the race cars warming up over at the fairgrounds.



Posted: April 23, 2011 in Uncategorized
Making hooks, and finishing garden tools. Celebrated earth day by burning half a bottle of propane and can hear the race cars warming up over at the fairgrounds.

Spring metalwork

Posted: April 19, 2011 in Uncategorized
Well, I (Zeke) am a hopeless scraphound.  I recently posted an ad for old garden tools on Craigslist and heard from a guy that I already knew.  On Sunday, Lewis showed me what my place would look like 20 years from now if I owned five acres.  
Lewis and his work machine.  He and I share an appreciation of hand-forged hooks, anvils, and mechanical advantage.  I knew better than to ask him about selling me an anvil, but he said ‘well, they’re just beautiful, and every now and then, somebody comes out here wanting to give me $500 bucks for one of them, but if I take his money, I pay a couple of bills, he’s got an anvil, and I ain’t got shit!’  



Lewis and his family have built an oasis on the dry grasslands just North of Chico.  I came with a Skilsaw, one of my new garden diggers, and some heavy power cable for barter, and he was generous in what he swapped me.
He said that they had a saying in Vietnam that ‘when the going gets weird, the weird get going’.  He gets going on a 1,000 lb. front-wheel drive industrial four-wheeler.


Back at our place, been working on this for the last few days.  A small propane-fired forge.  I took a blacksmithing class at Hartnell College in Salinas about 5 years ago, and I have been wanting to build a small forge for a long time.  Finally have the time to do it.  
This is a beta version, all I can say is that the internet is amazing, picking over copper and brass fittings at the ReStore is paying off, the baby isn’t allowed near this, and there is no way to get metal red that is not insanely energy intensive.


Still working on getting the flame to do what I want it to, but once the bricks got red hot, it heats a piece this size in about a minute.



These rake parts are getting reworked into hand cultivators.  Stand by.


Leather Purses with Matching Make-up Bags

Leather and silky Asian fabrics go together like chili and cornbread.  Making hot handfuls of the stuff for the Bizarre Bizarre in Chico. All reused fabrics and scrap leather from various sources, with belts as straps.





Erika’s making these whilst snatching moments away from this little guy.


Our new hand-cultivator tools. Great for weeding, stirring up beds, or busting clods.


Italian-American clodbusters


They start off as rake chunks and all-thread


I got the ski pole handles from Shasta Ski Park. We shim the handles to fit tightly over the all-thread, then center-drill them and add 1/4″ bolts from Chico ReStore.
99% salvage, the other 1% is welding rod.

Going to have some new sorts of goods for sale at the Bizarre Bazaar in 2 weeks.  Spring cleaning!  Gathering random metal for years and finally have time to recycle it.  Rice harvester teeth and lug wrenches become flowers; metal rings and combine chain, yard bling.  Old garden tools are new garden tools, and Erika is sewing leather and finishing bag projects that I’ve stalled on.  If you have broken old garden tools that you want to recycle, hit us up: