Guys. I am perishing. Absolutely perishing. We've prototyped a new color in the shop, and it looks amazing!
At customer suggestion we took a look at Hatchbox silver. It looks like it was poured by the hand of Arwen or Galadriel straight into the printer bed. As you look at the photos, you might want to listen to this Elvish theme music, just to heighten the experience.
I mean, look at that. Smooth. Shiny. Chic. How were we not doing this before?
Well, we weren't because printing in a new color takes some faith and research, and both of those things take time. Thus far, we've successfully prototyped products in blue, red, and bronze, with some dabbles in gold.
A few important factors go into printing a sellable PLA product. First, does the filament gum up the printer? Changing the extruder or Bowden tubes can be fun the first five times, I guess, if you have a good attitude, but after that I'd rather have my blood drawn, instead.
Second, does the print meet quality standards? Small deformities, say, on the bottom of a charkha small wheel, won't make that much of a difference, so long as the wheel can still interact with the bearing block. The bottom of the wheel faces downwards and doesn't necessarily need to look like Queen B on her night out. Deformities on shafts or nail holes, though--that's a problem.
Third, is the print usable for fiber arts? Joseph once held up a beautiful, shiny prototype for me to see. It looked perfect--until he snapped it in his bare hands. The filament looked great, but the print wasn't strong enough to hold up to the wear and tear of fiber production. Back to the drawing board.
Fortunately, Hatchbox silver has passed all three of these hurtles. The machines love it, the print quality stays high, and the prototypes are durable. And GORGEOUS. You can replay the elf soundtrack, if you want.
We're opening Hatchbox silver up to all of our current products: the spinning wheel, wool combs, hackle, and charkha kits, as well as their associated spindles and bobbin replacements. Silver for me, silver for you, silver for everyone.
I'm thinking I'll pair the printed silver pieces with Rust-Oleum Carbon Grey for a low-contrast, Nordic look. I also really like the Rust-Oleum Coastal Blue. The silver would pop against the cool, comforting color. Ah, but then there's also the trusty Kona stain from Varathane. That dark wood gets me every time.
Heck, guys--you could paint your wood pink and it would still look great. And no, I'm not kidding--they really do have a Pink Blush chalk stain that I would strongly consider.
Maybe I'll just do one in each color and call it good. We're excited to see what colors you choose in the shop reviews. Thanks to everyone who shares pictures and stories, incidentally. We love hearing from you!
Happy New Years!
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Joseph & Aubrey Bjork