Medina Journal-Register — Austin Carpenter is one of the lucky few who has been able to turn what was once a hobby into a business. And the product he is selling is one that can leave a lasting memory.
The Middleport-based business, called Concepts 2 Creations, is one that features handmade glass etchings.
“I took a long time to come up with the name,” Carpenter said, noting how he wanted to make sure it got the message across. “I want to bring the idea people bring to me to life.”
In the works for a while, Carpenter started pushing the business this fall and has appeared a few local craft shows to spread the brand name. Those who have seen him at the shows have also seen a variety of the products he can personalize.
“I can do personalized glass etching into almost any type of glass,” he said. “Mirrors, mugs, wine glasses. Wedding favors, for instance can have a monogram or a Mr. and Mrs. and the date, or something like that.
“I can also personalize picture frames.”
Carpenter also offers wide-format printing through Concepts 2 Creations. “Canvas prints, like what you’d find at an art gallery, or posters and banners can be done, too,” he said.
The graphic design element of glass etching has been a hobby for Carpenter since his teenage years. He studied graphic design in college, and honed the printing aspect of the trade as an employee at Takeform. A fellow employee taught him the finer elements of glass etching and he has since taught himself more and more ways to use the skill, he said.
Carpenter started at Takeform in 2001, working his way up to managing the imaging department before scaling back to part time work to focus on pursuing Concepts 2 Creations.
The business venture, he said, is one that requires one trait that he said he does not normally have: patience.
“You need a lot of patience for this type of work, and I don’t normally have it except for this,” he joked.
The process of glass etching starts off by making art work on a computer before the vinyl mask is created. The mask is then applied to the item to be etched, and the etching is done in a sandblast cabinet, Carpenter explained.
Since starting on the local show circuit in the fall, Carpenter said business has been steady and the orders are coming in at a good rate. One reason for that, he suggested, is there is no minimum order required unlike the practice found in many larger outfits.
Carpenter also noted that the etchings he creates are all permanent. “Many of the ones everywhere else are either screen-printed or chemically etched,” he said. “These are all handmade.”
For the foreseeable future, Carpenter said he will continue to focus on etching decorative pieces and personalized wedding favors. Etched photos may become available at a later date, he mentioned.
For more information on Carpenter’s business, visit www.concepts2creations.com.