Three Questions Folks Have About Fly Home Birdhouses October 2, 2015 08:26

At every art show, we hear three questions over and over.

First, Do birds really use these houses?

Yes. We build these to house a variety of small nesting songbirds. Which birds you get depends upon where you live and where you hang the house. Here's a momma feeding her chicks in one of the many shots customers have sent us.

Second, How do these last outside?

Just fine. For years, in fact. In all types of weather, in all parts of the country. This birdhouse has been up now for over decade. That's a chickadee peeking out of the hole.

Third, how do you cut the shapes?

Well, that's the hard part...the art in what we do. Using a handheld torch called a plasma cutter, Ginger draws across sheets of roofing copper for a few hours each day. Though she outlines some of the shapes first with chalk, most of the cuts are done freehand.

Because of the high temperature, she's got to move quickly, keeping the tip at an even height as she does. Picture drawing an entire sketch without stopping and without lifting the pen...that's the challenge of each motif she makes. The moose in the picture was drawn in one fluid motion.

Our workshop is in a barn, but because of the heat and fumes, Ginger's cutting station is outside, under a shed roof looking out at a pasture full of horses. The video below shows Ginger at work cutting -- which she is doing a lot of these days as we prepare for the heavy fall show season.

Stay tuned for more blog posts about the how's and why's of Fly Home Birdhouses!

Ann Arbor to Asheville and Points in Between: On the Road for the Summer Art Show Season August 5, 2015 07:20

I'm writing as Ginger takes a turn driving up 81 from Asheville where we had another fine weekend at the Village Arts and Craft Show  near the Biltmore Estate.  The van is about empty thanks to the good folks of North Carolina who bought a bunch of our copper-topped birdhouses. 

What a lovely place!  And like Ann Arbor and State College (where we were in July) it's a college town, so plenty of good food and music.

One of the joys of traveling to these places is the chance to catch up with old friends, both in the booth and after the show. A good half of our customers in these towns are repeat customers, some of whom drop by every year to say hello and add to their collections.

One wonderful Asheville friend even arrived cell phone in hand to share this pic she took of a bluebird on the box she bought two years ago.

Another customer sent us this shot of a very old Fly Home Birdhouse with a chickadee nesting in it this spring.

Thanks so much to our dear friends Ann and Iain for having us over to feast on an absolutely scrumptious summer meal with Bob and Marylyn, more old friends living as Northern Virginia expats in Asheville!

And in State College, we continued our tradition of Sunday brunch with Elizabeth and Doug and their two gems Ames and Willow, this time chowing down at Irving's, a fun bagel and coffee joint in the heart of town.

For the next few weeks we'll be home making birdhouses and hiking with our dogs. Then we head to Cary, North Carolina, for the annual Lazy Daze Arts Festival. Come by if you're near!