Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Product Spotlight: Business Card Sculptures

unique office gift idea
Executive Business Card Sculpture

Are you looking for a truly one-of-a-kind gift or a unique way to show off your business or personality? Well, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something better-tailored to someone’s livelihood or more interesting than one of our exclusive business card sculptures. We’re proud to spotlight this statement-making piece this month, along with some information about how our business card sculptures are made and who they’d be great for.
Golfer with Caddy Sculpture in a Bottle
Golfer with Caddy Business Card Scupture
Fisherman Sculpture in a Bottle
Fisherman Business Card Sculpture

What is a Business Card Sculpture?

This unique offering is our favorite way to help you display your business cards in a style that will become an instant fixture on any office desk or study shelf. For each sculpture, we use 25 to 35 of your own business cards and fashion them into an array of shapes that reflect your profession or hobby: from teaching to sailing, from office workers to bus drivers. We invite you to browse our full line of options, featuring dozens of interests and lovingly sealed in a glass dome or nostalgic corked bottle. Because of the diverse range of options, these make excellent gifts for almost anyone on your list: doctors, car aficionados, web developers, golfers, sales representatives, realtors, outdoor enthusiasts, retirees, excellent employees, and more!

Each sculpture comes finished on a smooth, beautiful walnut base, and you can choose to have an engraved name plate – black, with gold lettering – attached to the base at no extra charge.
Excavator Sculpture in a Bottle
Excavator Business Card Sculpture

How are Business Card Sculptures Made?

To make these works of art, we typically require 25 business cards (two models, the “Excavator” and the “Golf Cart,” require 35 cards) printed on normal card stock. Unfortunately, we will not be able to work with plastic, transluscent, or laminated cards because of the die-cut method we use for each sculpture. The finished piece will have small snippets of the cards used in construction, which means the color of your business cards will determine the color of the sculpture. If you have a few different business card designs to choose from, you may consider the color of the finished product as your determining factor.
Airplane Sculpture in a Bottle
Beechcraft Business Card Sculpture

Most sculptures sit on a full business card under the glass, and a few sculptures have additional details or accessories provided, like phones, chalk boards, or even a bowling ball bag. Click through to each variety to see how it is finished: either in a glass dome for vertical sculptures, or in a corked bottle for horizontal sculptures.

Interested? Simply send us 25 business cards in a padded envelope to the address provided, enter your desired inscription along with your order, and wait three weeks for your work of art to arrive. We guarantee this will be a gift like no other this holiday season!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Etching and Engraving: Two Historical Art Forms

When buying someone a gift, whether you are celebrating a particular occasion or just showing your appreciation and love, personalization adds an extra level of care, detail, and distinctiveness. Many of us are guilty of asking to have products “etched” or “engraved” and use the words interchangeably. Both are methods of cutting shapes, lines, and words into a hard surface, such as a silver or metal gift or glassware, one by using sharp tools to cut directly into a surface and the other by burning lines into the surface with acid. However, the true difference between the two art forms lies in their deep histories.

Personalized Silver Photo FrameEngraving
You may be surprised to learn that engraving is one of the oldest art forms we know. In fact, early humans who scraped primitive drawings into cave walls were essentially using the same techniques that we use today. Ancient gemstones, family seals, and sculptures also used engraving methods. While we have many modern technologies that make engraving a rapid and highly customizable possibility, hand engravers formerly used a hammer and chisel, creating some remarkably complex designs and images into metal. Prior to the invention of photography, etching was a tried and true way to reproduce artwork and images to distribute around the world.

Today, engraving is most popular for gifts and keepsakes, such as engraving your ceremony date or initials into a wedding band or to customize items like awards and picture frames. Many engraving projects are done with the aid of computer automation, whereby the operator can easily design text or images, which the computer will translate into digital signals. This allows for an item to be engraved in a matter of minutes! Because engraving allows for more defined lines, it is the preferred art form for more precise objects that are smaller in size or require a more detailed touch.

A newer art form, etching is a more complicated process than engraving, but with the potential for equally stunning results. Etching uses a strong acid to cut into metal or glass. In its simplest form, an artist covers the object being etched with a layer of wax, and then scratching the desired design through the wax with sharp tools. When finished, the object is dipped into an acid bath, which eats away at any exposed metal, and leaves behind the beautiful detail. Because the acid is burning under the wax, a wider and rougher line than the artist originally drew is produced, causing etching to leave behind slightly fuzzier lines and shapes than engraving. Fortunately, although etching is estimated to be traced back to the year 1515, more modern developments have yielded nontoxic acids and solvents.

Etching is typically preferred when items are being customized in bulk, for it can achieve a lower cost for longer production runs. It is also the more popular option for glassware, especially for novice etchers wanting to work on their own projects at home.

So, the next time you hunt for the perfect engraved or etched gift, remember that you are not just buying a gift or token, but continuing the evolving history of an art form that is as old as mankind.