Welcome to Muggles Market Monday! Each week we are spotlighting one of the artisans scheduled to appear at our brand new Muggles’ Market at this year’s Geek Gala. This week’s featured artisan is BarzWorks. Joshua Steinke took a few minutes to answer some questions about his business and general geekery.
- What kind of items will you be selling at this year’s Muggles Market?
I will be selling a variety of handmade pens, bottle stoppers and spinning tops all made from reclaimed wood or hand mixed and dyed polyester resins.
- How did you first get started making these things? I’ve always enjoyed woodworking. I love designing and making something with a few tools and my own hands. I purchased a wood lathe a few years ago with the intention of making some wooden gear shift knobs for my cars and for gifts for fellow motorheads. I eventually started creating items like pens, bottle stoppers, tool handles…basically anything round. I found that people really responded positively to the pens I was making. They really enjoy a small piece of artwork that I created that they can carry around in their shirt pocket or purse. The pens are an expression of my creativity that the owner can then extend to their own creativity, whether that be writing in their journal, poetry or sketching on a doodle pad on their desk.
- What has been one of your favorite projects to work on?
I enjoy all of my time in the workshop. I love creating artistic items that people will use everyday. One of my biggest thrills is to give pens away to the patients that come in to the oncology clinic that I work at. I have made many friends there over the years, and each and every pen that I have given away has created a special place on my heart when I see the power of something so simple brightening their day. Each of those pens has been my favorite.
- What else can you tell us about yourself?
I’m at peace when I’m spending time with my beautiful wife Ashley, cruising the Blueridge Parkway in our little red roadster. We love finding new places, and setting out for old favorites. I have a passion for travel photography and good food along the way. Those moments with the wind blowing through my hair help me reset from the hectic and often depressing workweek. I fill myself with the cool mountain air and recharge my soul and hope to pour a little bit of that out when shaping a piece of wood in my shop.
- So this year’s Geek Gala is about space travel – if you could join any TV/Movie space crew – who would it be and why?
My absolute favorite series of movies is Star Wars. However, if I had the opportunity to join a spacefaring crew, I’d probably choose to hitch a ride with Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix in Explorers. I watched that movie over and over again as a kid. Who wouldn’t want to create their own space ship out of an amusement park ride and meet Robert Picardo? Also, I wanted a mouse that could talk.
- Check out their website at: BarzWorks
And make plans to come visit them on Saturday, October 22nd at this year’s Geek Gala!