Podcasting and A New Way to Communicate

favourites

8 years ago I used to do a breakfast radio how every Saturday morning for Recharged radio! I also used to perform on stage for solid crowds or rock lovers and then ………….nothing.

I wanted to find a new way to perform as it were! So now I’m podcasting doing daily shorts and once a month doing a large maybe contentious show about subjects that interest me and can also educate me in new topics.

Self education is a phrase I have become very fond of lately as the older I get the more subjects interest me in detail! This is also the main cause for me learning to weld and start doing metalwork.

Have a listen to the new daily short and catch up on all the others!

Listen Here

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I’m Building A Studio Baby!!

I had an idea to go back a step in my life. I used to do the Saturday Breakfast Show on Recharged Radio and I loved it! When I wasn’t playing with the band I was doing that so I always had an outlet for showing off!! Nowadays I have no outlet for that as I’m more about business and furniture than rock n roll. Then it occurred to me that I have all the microphones in the world along with a small mixer and all the things you need to do podcasts.

SO WHY ARNT I DOING THEM?

Well I’ve been a bit busy making tattoo shops and learning to weld and make items that quite frankly I didn’t know I could make, but I’m now in a position to want to get back in the game!

I have a lot to say for some reason but also I know there are a lot of people who have just as much as me if not more on very interesting subjects!! Now I know you all aren’t going to be jumping for joy about a metalwork podcast so I’m going to do all subjects for all people with the importance being on a loose structure. I want conversation as well as facts let the conversation go where ever it does but all under a large banner heading.

Id love to do shows on tattoos (obvs) as well as ghosts, metalwork, life coaching, science and all kinds of subjects with guests who know their stuff! Also guest driven shows will always lead to talk about what those people find important!

What’s the first step to making this happen? Making a studio is the first step. Luckily I have quite a lot of space in my office at Madhouse Tattoo .

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I’m building a purpose built table for putting the microphones on! Its important for me to make a table I want to sit at and looks and feels old and used when in fact I have only just made it!  The best way to do this is to use reclaimed metal and reclaimed wood! So the wood are very old and very warn scaffold planks that I literally picked up from the ground where they had laid In the mud for about a year!

Why the hell not just use fresh new planks! Well its because the best look you can get in my eyes is used warn down wood. I’ve scorched the top planks to add some depth and I will lightly sand it down and wax it within an inch of its life!!!!

It will give me a base of operations to go with my podcast watching base which can double as the recording studio. Then I will be planning shows and making them happen! I want to be informed about all the subjects and not just wing it like I have in the past so all of this will take time! My wife is going to help me research and I will finish the furniture and set it all up very soon!

Podcast Listening Station which can double as my studio!

Then we will be in business. What do you think? Are there shows you want me to do? comment on here if you have ideas or wants or any questions. Ill look forward to getting back in the podcast game soon!

Share Knowledge From Past to Present!

poppies

Poppies at the castle in the town where I live! Hertford Hertfordshire UK

I buy and wear a poppy every year and I make sure my 4 year old son knows why we wear them. My wife told me a story about a veteran getting a little upset as a parent was telling their child why we wore them but obviously didn’t really know herself.
It shows me that people have forgotten the pain and suffering that was lived through for our benefit on the agendas of governing bodies. You cant be angry about this due to the fact its the end result of the wars themselves providing a time of relative peace and calm giving people time and space to forget. I think it is important that we all educate and talk about the poppy, what it means and why it shows our gratitude.
Educating todays generations in this way means no one is made to feel stupid and there is no need for anger but the word continues to get out there. Children cant possibly understand what the men, woman and animals from the services went through in all the conflicts as life is very different now. They can be told however, why they are afforded the freedoms they are as well as making sure they know what sacrifices were made by telling the stories from their own families and people that they know who have ancestors who fought in these battles for freedom.
These poppies are not limited to celebrating the lives of our past heroes either from world wars but also anyone who died for their country in the conflicts of the not so distant past and even the events of today.
I never served in the military but for some reason this has always been important to me to remember why I don’t have limitations put on me that I might well have had if things had gone a very different way!
Thank you to all that have served both alive and dead and to those who protect us now! Stay safe and be mindful that a lot of people respect you and are thankful for your commitment to protecting this fragile life we all lead.
Wear the poppy but even if you don’t at least know why people do so you can pass on the reasons we have the freedom we do today.
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Me and my Poppy I got a plastic one so it would stay on me!

The beginning of an amazing material…

bronze age man

Back when people were living in mud round houses and living in small communities off the land. A discovery was made, one that would change the future of these simple peoples. That discovery was possibly made by accident, we just don’t know. It all started with a lump of metal ore that was somehow heated up so much it turned into a liquid form (also called smelting). On cooling, the stone age people began to realize that this metal ore had changed into a fixed shape that was super hard, harder than any other material they had come across. With this massive discovery the stone age people of Europe welcomed the era of the metals. One of the first metals people used to enhance their lifestyles was gold, because it is naturally found un-combined in nature. This Gold was mainly used in jewellery and body adornment as it was too soft to use for tools. Over time new metals were found and in around 4200BC copper was extracted using copper kilns. This copper made early cookware, sickles and artisan tools. The copper could be quite brittle and annealing (which is heating up the metal first) was used to make the metal more malleable and workable. This was revolutionary with regards to activities including hunting, cooking and farming.

Everything was moving along nicely in the UK with the copper generation when European innovators rocked up to Blighty with some new fangled chemistry that combined copper and tin to create…bronze. These Europeans called beaker people settled in Cornwall where there are metal ore rich lands. They shared their knowledge with local Neolithic people and created something amazing. This harder alloy made far superior weapons and farming tools making processes easier and quicker. Clothes became easier to make and finer using bronze needles. Amazingly detailed and decorated bronze objects have been discovered in the West Country by archaeologists. These products and base metals would have been a huge boost to the trade markets.

tools

This bronze age carried on ticking over nicely for about 1000 years. In around 1500BC another new exciting development slowly filtered into the UK just like the bronze. This time it was iron. This strong material was worked and mastered by the ancient Britons helping them to develop strong societies and good trade links with Europe before the Romans invaded. Unlike bronze which is quite simple to make to the ancient people, iron was very tough. Extracting the minuscule amount of iron found in the ore you need super hot temperatures which required lots of wood and to hammer it constantly until you get the shape you want while it’s still hot. It was hot, dirty and very hard work.

making iron

This was the beginning of metal working in the UK. Cultures outside of this area developed metal working practices earlier with the Chinese being one of the first nations to start extracting copper.

Timeline of metals

·         Gold 6000BC

·         Copper 4200BC

·         Lead 3500BC

·         Bronze 2500BC

·         Iron 1500BC

·         Steel 1400BC

·         Titanium 1791 AD

·         Aluminium 1825AD

·         Francium 1939AD

This history of metal was researched and written by a friend of mine who wants to remain nameless!

I’ve Been Away But Now I’m Back!

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New piece I made shows my progress.

Its been a long time and a lot has happened in the last 10 months but I’m now back and ready to write some more blogs and make myself a home base on the internet!

I’ve always wanted a place where I blog and sell and post things I’m working on and to create an audience who want to see these things but I’ll be honest I’m a bit slow on all this computer stuff. I used to be able to do my websites etc but have spent that last three years making my metal talents grow.

Ill show you new things I have made and plans for things I want to make but also we will have some features on past furniture trends. Even a view to the future and see what trends may well come to pass.

Ill be plain speaking with y’all I want to start a hand made hub so people know that they really can go out and make things happen for themselves! I did why cant you?

If you have any build stories or questions then please message me on here or leave  message on the bottom of the post.

Have you ever got to a place when you are doing something and you just cant see a way to make it work?

Have you ever got so angry and frustrated that you wanted to smash something to pieces (and actually do!) ?

Have you thought you are not good enough to make what has been asked of you ?

I have and I still do all the time. This is because I want to learn and I want to know all the skills as fast as possible and make sure that everything I make is the best it can be. This is amazing to have a want so deep that you are hard on yourself. It also shows you have a work ethic which without you will get nowhere. It is also a really bad way of motivating yourself. Take a step back, take a breath and walk away if you have to. I have learned the hard way and I’m speaking from experience when I say if you are too wound up or too keyed up you wont be able to function well enough to make the amazing piece you are asked to do.

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Table hand made by me from 100% recycled material Lilly loves it!

If you want my advice ill tell you this:

  1. dont beat yourself up
  2. listen to the people who actually know take advice from the right people
  3. take time away from a project before you do something stupid.
  4. have faith in yourself if you have taken the time to learn your skills you can do it.

I want to make sure that people realise there is no easy way to do anything, just hard work but also learning the right way to do something and not forgetting it. Practice does make perfect, the more you do something the easier it gets.

Im going to show you all the tips I know and am learning to help you get where you want to be. Just because I do metal work doesn’t mean you cant learn something from my mistakes in the field you are in. All of life’s lessons can be used in all fields in some way I am sure!

Take this journey with me and lets see where we end up!

See what I have learned to make HERE!

 

Here are a few pictures of what I’ve been doing in the last ten months!

 

The Bench The Table and the Anxiety!

When you make items, do you really care what people think of them? Or are you able to say things like ” Its as good as it’ll get and I’m sure they will love it!”

Wish i could!! I spend way too long worrying about it all. Wondering if what I’ve made is a good enough design or if its executed properly. Now don’t get me wrong I know when I’ve built something it will stay doing its job properly and it will be strong enough but I genuinely care what the customer thinks of their product. Remember its them that pay to keep you going in business.

For me making these items, whatever they are is important its not just another income stream (as its not in reality lol) its something i care about and i believe my customers see that!

 

If you just make things quickly, dash them off the phrase used to be then it will show in the work. My work is not perfect but it does two things: 1. It does what it is supposed to. 2. It looks as good as i can make it look.

Remember you are looking for customers for life not just a one off purchase. If you please people they will recommend you to their friends and slowly but surely your life will get busier. Always be realistic with time frame and budget as you will only end up in trouble trying to under cut the world. Price the job properly as people don’t buy on price they buy because of you!!

People don’t buy on price they buy because they trust you to do the best job you can and the money is well spent.! Do not try to be the cheapest try to be the best!! I have recapped on this because its the most important line i will write EVER!

I genuinely worried about this bench and table but as you can see it came out looking good. The most important thing is Kerry and Spencer and the girls are happy with it and even though the weather has been shocking they were using it when i popped round to say hello. That shows if nothing else that it functions and the customer is happy to use it!

Go out and build something today and care about how it looks like. It may not be what you think is good and nothing i make is perfect in my eyes but if you do not make things how will you know what you can achieve?

Happy new year and thanks for waiting for my blog to happen again! I will do a lot more blogs this year as i like writing and people seem to want to read it! If you have something you want me to write about leave a comment and ill build it into my plans!

Blog times

Hi

From now on i will be blogging every Thursday at midday. This is because i simply do not have the time to do a blog everyday and keep it interesting.

So set your diaries for every Thursday at midday and see what i have been up to!

 

regards

Jim

Why Do I Charge £45 for a 3 bottle wine rack?

Someone sent me a message this very morning asking me: “Why do you think it is ok to charge £45 for a wine rack made from old horseshoes?”

That is a great question!

The first answer that popped into my head was to do something you should never do and answer a question with another question. Something along the lines of “Why do you think it is OK to ask me why I charge what I charge for my products!?”  Then i calmed down and thought you know what? Tell them why you charge what you charge and explain that these things are not as simple as they may think they are!

Dirty Horseshoes

Horse shoes come to me filthy from the hoof, literally. They have nails in and dirt that has been pushed in over the time the horse has been wearing them!

The shoes themselves come to me from a farrier called Dave, he’s a great guy and collects shoes for me when i ask him and delivers them as well! It’s truly a great thing and he is very kind! Now they turn up to me still caked in dirt and with nails stuck in them so obviously they need cleaning. Cleaning means i have to get all the dirt off them which happens in a two processes:

  1. Wire brush the horseshoe within an inch of its life to get all the mud and horse poo from the indentations in the shoe.
  2. Get a flap paddle sanding disk on my angle grinder and then clean the surface metal off the shoe and make it shine silver so it can be welded!

This morning i did the shoes i need to make a couple of wine racks tonight when i go back to my workshop after work.

After all the mud is wire brushed off then the sanding happens to give a weldable surface. Then comes the matching the differing horseshoes to fit together to make a wine rack the bottle will fit in and then you make each side and weld it firmly together.

Wire brushed Horse shoes

These have just been wire brushed and are waiting for sanding!

Cleaned sorted and welded

Then comes the fun part the welding! Make sure its flat make sure the shoes match and then weld them up!

Once they are cleaned sanded and sorted then you can get on with the fun bit which is actually making the wine racks or in fact what ever you make from the shoes it’s the same process. Be it hooks wine racks crosses or foot scrapers you have to clean them and sort them and weld them up.

Time for Paint

Time to paint them up black and send them on their way.

Then finally after all those steps there is the painting process. The paint alone is £9 a can so that takes up a lot of the perceived profit. Once the paint is done and its all dry then it goes off to the customer in bubble wrap and boxes.

3 bottle wine rack

The finished article

 

so lets recap:

  1. collect the horseshoes
  2. clean them with a wire brush
  3. sand them all down to get a clean weldable surface
  4. match the shoes to make the racks
  5. weld the racks together making sure they are flat and the bottles will slide in right.
  6. clean them off after welding
  7. paint them
  8. Package them up and send them out!

Now I ask you as I did the person who messaged me. Is £45 too much for a three-bottle wine rack?

Get yours right here and now you know what goes into making it you wont have to worry if you are getting you money’s worth! Click me for a wine rack

Oh and the best part of all this is when i explained why i charged so much they went ahead and bought one! So i guess sometimes its best people do know the details of what you do!

Christmas Products!

Now i have reached a stage where i am pretty sure, out of all the products i make which ones will sell for Christmas but it has not always been that way. Obviously working exclusively in mild steel i was limited at the start on what to make, let alone sell. I found solace in the arms of a horseshoe.

I decided however, that i would make these products my own, rather than just making the same things id seen round the place or on the interweb! There is one glaring example where i did do what everyone else does though because i was asked to and that was make a horse shoe wine rack! Life conspired against me by offering me money to make a wine rack for a customer, that triggered me making more wine racks than anything else my first year and i am grateful for the push!

Yet again like yesterday, my plan was altered away from what it started out as. This is going to happen in all things and remember to be flexible to a because money buys you freedom to some extent. Freedom to make and sell what you want but still having some stock of the things you know sell well.

6 bottle wine rack

This is one of two i made for the same person and it looks amazing with silver paint and full of wine!

3 bottle wine rack

I never wanted to make these but people love them so sometimes go where the money takes you so you can have the freedom to make what you want to!

So i wanted to make a small! Something everyone could afford and would be useful! Still with the horseshoes but new ones this time! I thought what is it everyone has these days and most people are glued to? IPads, Tablets and Mobile Phones. I decided to design and make an iPad stand that would also be good for Kitchen use with big recipe books so therefore open to a lot of prospective customers of all ages. It had to be cheap but still be bespoke and hand made! This is what i came up with:

I thought long and hard about what this needed to achieve IE: a tablet or a book resting on it so needed to be wide enough but also stable so the book would not fall over. I have sold a good amount of these as they are not expensive and serve a purpose that most people can relate to and therefore may need!

Always look at what people may need and like my wheel stoves, you may not know if they will sell. Once you have the design and how to make it sorted out make them to order so if you do not get any orders it doesn’t cost you anything.

There are a lot of little makers in the world so marketing is important too. Go see an earlier blog where i explain that! (Marketing Tips With A Twist!) 

Let me know what you are making it does not have to be metal work and if you are unsure how to sell what you make or want any pointers email me Here

All  your Christmas Products needs can be found on the Etsy Shop Right here you never know you may find the answer to your gift worries there!