I have been a member of the San Jose TechShop since they opened their doors, it is a wonderful place to create and/or destroy (with the intent of recreating something better, more about that in another 'ibble). It is also an awesome resource for quick and easy gift making.
I have friends that live at a creative household name The Farmhouse, if you can't figure it out from the name of their house, they grow a lot of their own food and do an awful lot of cooking there. I decided to make them some customized cooking utensils.
Step 1: Finding the Right Type of Utensils to Etch
I was wandering through a neighborhood Grocery Outlet and I came across this set of bamboo utensils for only $3.99, such a wonderful price for a laser etch-able gift, and with the added benefit of being from a renewable resource.
Step 2: Work-holding; the Eternal Struggle
I used a 60 Watt Epilog Laser to do these, if you are not familiar with this machine, here are a multitude of Instructibles to whet your pallate on. The raster settings I used were 90% power and 60% speed (speed is low due to the maximum width of my etch area)
In order to ensure that the etch was in approximately the same place on each utensil, I made this template with a piece of cardboard labeled BO, some blue painter's tape, and some hastily drawn lines.
I neglected to set the focal point of the laser for each individual utensil as I had reserved the laser for only half an hour, this made for some variations in the colors of the final etches, but made the final product more interesting (at least this is what I keep telling myself to help me sleep at night).
I typed up the text, and found the chicken (see first photo) online on Copyright free site, I have not included the files because this was a specific personalized gift.
Step 3: Who Needs to Wrap Presents When You Can Insert Gifts Into a Screen Door?
Since these were going to a household that recycles pretty much everything under the sun, I figured wrapping paper would be wasteful, so instead I decided for quirky presentation. Luckily no one was home when I went to install the gift and they have a screen door that has a reinforcing grid behind it. I tried to balance all of the utensils in an upright position, but alas alack, they refused to cooperate with me.
Step 4: This Will Be a Page of "Action Shots"; Various Tenants of the Farmhouse Actually Using Their New Utensils
If I do another set of these, I will probably add some silly "Flavor Text" to each individual utensil, for instance;
- "Not for use with soup" on the slotted spoons.
- "This end in skillet" for the spatulas.
- "Property of The Tick" on the un-slotted spoon.
- "Remove finger from hole before stirring food" on the holy spoon.
This is the third of six(or more) Instructables to be posted as part of the San Jose TechShop's 1st Quarter 2013 Resident Artist Program