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Making Tiny Magic

3D design + printing with Cassie of Tinker Belle Makes

· Podcast

Cassie- a 2 and 3D designer with a passion for smol.

Meet Cassie of Tinker Belle Makes! She's a Miniaturist that loves to integrate her digital and technical skills into her work. She fully dedicated to a life of learning and it shows as she is always up on the newest technology.  Follow along as she shares her process on Instagram daily! https://www.instagram.com/tinkerbellemakes/

Also, be sure to visit her website where she share tips, tutorials, fails and best of all... FREEBIES! https://tinkerbellemakes.com/

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Transcribed Podcast:

Hello, friends is Rachel and I'm back for another episode of my miniature obsession podcast. Thank you so much for being here. I want to first apologize for the sound of my voice. But let me explain. And I also want to apologize for the delay in delivering this new podcast. But my family and I Got COVID. And we've been sick for almost two weeks, it's actually been a little over two weeks, and it's actually feels like years. It was not fun. And I feel like every day brought on a new sickness. I mean, we had it all we had the stomach aches, we had the headaches, the cough, the sore throat, the earaches, I don't know the list goes on and on. And it's just it's been two weeks of not being able to leave the house. But we did manage to get lots of sleep and just take care of each other the best that we could. And I can finally report that we're now feeling better. Thankfully, the kids, most kids still haven't gone to school. And I know that they're really eager to get started. And I know I am too because we're going a little stir crazy here. And my son is actually probably sick of making miniatures with me, I have him doing a bunch of little small projects for me for my upcoming box, my subscription box, which ships on the fifth of October, so much so that I'm actually ahead of schedule, and it just feels so good to be ahead of the game and that behind. I know you probably know what I mean when I say that. So with that said, I'm opening up the cart back up to probably two to three new subscribers. Because like I said, I'm ahead of the game and it just feels so good. I know that it won't last long. So if you've been wanting to sign up for the subscription box now is your chance. Now if you haven't heard about my subscription box, let me explain. It's a small box that's delivered to your door every other month. And it's small because well inside have dollhouse miniatures in 1:12 scale. So they are fun and festive miniatures for your dollhouse. They will range from DIY projects, seasonal items to decorate with. Some will have a featured artists like this month, I'm super excited to share with you. And then I'll also be introducing soon a front door project. So in some of the boxes, you'll have that as well. I'm having so much fun curating these boxes for you. So like I said, the next box ships on October 5, and the cards will again be open for three new subscribers. And this is because they're it's all handmade. So managers take time. So the number of boxes that I ship out is very limited. So if you again, if you are interested head on over to mini subscription box.com to get signed up. So that's mini subscription box.com to get signed up. Alright, so let's chat a little bit about today's episode, I have the privilege of talking with Cassie of Tinkerbell makes. I met Cassie on Instagram. And she's a two and three does that 3d Designer. And she's also a graphic designer. And she's got passion for all things small. So Cassie and I have a lot in common. So I reached out to her and just asked to have, you know, a mini conversation with me. And so I hope that you enjoy her conversation as much as I did. of you. Did I have a favor? Would you please take a screenshot of it and share it on your social media and tag me at Mic drop managers. And while you're there if you'd be so kind to leave a review on my podcast. I'd love to hear what you think about the podcast, and how I can bring you the best content for future episodes. So thank you in advance. And when you're there, don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss out on future episodes. All right, thank you and take care. And I hope to hear from you soon.

Rachel 4:39  

Hello friends and welcome to my miniature obsession podcast. I'm your host Rachel Karpf. This podcast is about all things miniature. We will explore the world of minis and all its raw talent, dedication, patience, and the new energy of this art form. hear from miniature hobbyists and professionals from All over the world, we will gain a deeper insight into the creative processes that drive them. We will also explore what their biggest struggles are their most devastating failures, and the most uplifting successes, I hope to encourage and inspire you in your miniature hobby. Because even the ordinary become extraordinary in miniature.

Rachel  5:29  

Hello, several of you have asked how I got started with my podcast. If you haven't heard of anchor, it's the easiest way to make a podcast. For one, it's free. Who doesn't love that, too, there's so many creation tools that allow me to record and edit my podcast right from my phone. In girl also distribute my podcast for me, and can be heard on Spotify, Apple podcasts, and many more. It's everything I need to make a podcast all in one place to download your free anchor app, go to anchor.fm to get started. That's anchor.fm to get started. Well, thank you for meeting me today. I really appreciate it. I came across your work on Instagram. And it said that you were our two in 3d designer, and that you love to integrate new digital and technology, technology skills into your work. And I think that's why I was drawn to you because I'm the same I love. Think being a graphic designer. I love all the techie stuff. And then the cool printers and gadgets in 3d. So I just have to say that you have beautiful work. Thank you so much. Thank you. Yes, I love it. So can you to get us started. Can you tell us a little bit how you got started with miniatures? Yeah,

Cassie 6:57  

so I so I quit. I quit my job, like just before the pandemic, just coincidentally, to do our full time. And I was doing other things. You know, I have graphic design background. So you know, I was I was trying to use my skills in an artistic way that like, made some money made me happy. And slowly but surely I just sort of like worked my way into miniature. And I was like, Well, I'm here. Yeah, we're doing now.

Rachel 7:31  

Did you find like things on Instagram or social media that, you know, you were drawn to small things? Or have you just kind of found it one day and picks it up? Oh,

Cassie  7:42  

you know, like I was, so I was into it as a kid, right? But then I found these old plans. These like 1920s dollhouse plans. And I was like, I wonder if I could make these like with a laser cutter instead of fretwork because it's like an old fretwork design. And so I digitized all the lines. And I worked them out. And then I realized, oh my gosh, a laser cutter is crazy. So then I started exploring, like the different other technologies that can work in miniature. And I was just I was hooked. I was like, Look, this is it. I'm here. I know,

Rachel  8:25  

I have so many. So what kind of laser printer do you use?

Cassie  8:28  

Oh, I don't have one. Oh, you know, I don't have a laser cut. I wish I had a laser cutter. Um, I know. I know, a couple people who have him. So when I want to test something out, I'll you know, send files and be like, we we cut this for me. So I did I had I had those 1920s fretwork patterns cut. And it was really cool to see them because like I don't you know, they probably haven't been made that 100 years and we made them with a laser. Do you still have that house? I didn't I didn't make the whole house. I only cut out a couple pieces of furniture just to just to like see it to do it. You know, to really feel it.

Rachel 9:12  

Okay, I definitely want a laser cutter. I'm just trying to convince my husband because the one I'm in the basement. That's where my creative space is. And I think it's like 500 pounds. And when I told him that he just kind of like, Huh, let's rethink that. But I still really really really want one so so you um, I also loved on your, your Instagram that kind of resonated with me is it said you live a life of learning. And that's so mean to you. I feel I love to learn. Behind me As you can see, I have books and books and books because I love to learn, even though I haven't really touched half of them. I really really love to learn. So how how do you find resources and Once you have to learn about,

Cassie  10:02  

you know, I, I feel pretty strongly that like somebody has probably already done whatever I want to do, right? If there's some like, thing I want to accomplish, I, I'm almost positive somebody has already done it, I just have to like figure out who they are, what their niche is what what they're up to. Um, luckily, there are tons of people in the miniature and, you know, genre doing all sorts of stuff. So if I, you know, thing I want to, I want to make a fridge, you know, great 100 people have made fridges and so there's, you know, skills and inspiration and tutorials and just everything already there. Whatever you want to learn, it's, it's there, it's ready for you to just show up and soak it up.

Rachel  10:54  

So mostly internet so you don't do have Where are you calling from? I don't even know. Where do you live? Um, I'm, I'm in Seattle, Seattle. Okay. So is there any miniature communities there? groups?

Cassie 11:07  

You know, I don't know. Um, we're, you know, we're, we're kind of slowly getting back out into public? Um, I don't, I don't know, I haven't started even thinking about I really want to go to shows because I know that there are a lot of classes at shows and I'd be so into taking one of those. So like one so circling again, I'd love to, like, meet people in real life. You know, learn stuff with my hands. That'd be great.

Rachel  11:40  

I know. I guess I just um, I think I mentioned this before, but when I was at Hobby Lobby, I saw a sign. Do you love dollhouse miniatures? And I'm like, Oh, the sign is, you know me. Yes, of course. So here there's a group of ladies like 10 miles from my house that that have the same passion and they get together once a month. So awesome. That's amazing. So I bet you there's more people in your community than you think that you could get together with? Totally, yeah. So let's explain your style. You definitely love vintage, right?

Cassie  12:14  

Yes. Yes, like a little like a little mid century. I just I love it. I love like the round curves and like the bubble edges and just saw the space. Like space styling. I like I like Victorian stuff. But I I don't know I'm all over the place. I love everything. It's a mess.

Rachel  12:41  

I'm with you. I'm with you. Is your like real house decorated with more vintage things are just like creating that way. Um, I really

Cassie  12:52  

like miniatures, because I get to make stuff that like I would never have in real life. You know, I would never have a retro fridge in my house. But like, I get to create the like, crusty, old retro fridge in the world or, you know, like that. Cool man, like the Coleman camper that I made. I don't pay him. I'm not a camper. I'm a city girl. Oh, you mean the Cooper? Yeah, yeah. It gives it gives me like these connections to to stuff that I don't really have you know, room for in my life. And really

Rachel  13:35  

fell in love with your cast iron pans because they look so real.

Cassie  13:40  

Oh, things are just free files from Thingiverse. You can go download them and print them and make them for yourself.

Rachel  13:53  

Easy, but can you talk a little bit? So So okay, let's back up a little, what kind of 3d printer are you using? Is it and

Cassie  14:04  

I have I have two. I have a I have the FDM and then the Rison for different different kinds of builds, you know, one builds kind of big and it's like a replica for like wood. You know, I use I use that one kind of like my wood machine. That's the filament. Yeah. And then the resin is like really fine, small, scary detail. Beautiful work stuff and like glasswork. 

Rachel  14:37  

kind of resin one do you have?

Cassie 14:41  

I haven't any cubic. For both of them. Actually. I have a third time for the for the resin guy.

Rachel 14:50  

That's what I'm using. I still feel like I'm still playing with it. Yeah, yes. Every every day. I am humbled Did you find it frustrating to get started? Like I did?

Cassie  15:08  

Um, yes. But I honestly was really rushed, like reassured that everybody else has the same problems. Like it's not it's not just me, it's, it's kind of a new learning curve, right? The first time I learned how to sell that was an absolute mess. And, and, you know, I took solace in the fact that everybody else's thing with them, so. So, yeah, we're all newbies together. And I really appreciate that actually.

Rachel  15:42  

I really admire your glasswork too, because the biggest issue I have with glasses is one, I don't even know how to you tint. So your tinted pieces are so beautiful. Like when you have a clear piece might always turn yellow. Do you ever have that? Did you spray it first with like, anything before you cure it? You know,

Cassie 16:06  

I have heard that if you. So if you clean it, and then dry, like just let it air dry or whatever. And then this seems kind of paradoxical to me. It was like a like a UV, like coating, so it doesn't like a UV coating, and then and then it won't yellow. Okay, it's like the yellowing is like the overexposed. That's, honestly, that's kind of why I like tinting it. Like when you throw blues and green in there, it doesn't really matter if it yellows ever so slightly.

Rachel  16:48  

And when you're using again to tint is it just like a eyedropper thing that you mix with your resin? Yeah,

Cassie  16:55  

it's um, it's just like, you re it's just resin. They're just resonance that you would get for any kind of resin project and just like mix it in, bro. Well, sometimes it settles. Um, so like, you gotta like mix it in if you've lived in there.

Rachel  17:12  

Okay, so are you at the point yet where you're going to get a second one because I almost thought about it. Like, maybe I should get a second printer and then I can really go to town.

Cassie  17:23  

You know, I have I have the two and then to keep me really busy. I do. I mean, of course I wish I had a million. I wish I I wish I had a whole workshop of them. But you know the to keep me really busy, honestly.

Rachel  17:40  

And one other thing I love your printed pieces, I'm really into, you know, print being a graphic designer, you always are worried about the end result in printing sometimes can be frustrating. Especially now you add in now you're printing really little. So what's your success for printing are any tips you can give people for printing? Like a just like, like, paper? Yeah, paper. Sorry. So okay. Like, yeah, your printed pieces are just always so beautiful.

Cassie  18:14  

Um, I, I don't I don't have a secret. I have a laser printer. And I just, I just print them. And I try to design really clean without a lot of like stuff in there because I know that when it shrinks, you're going to lose all of the clarity. So I try and design knowing that it's gonna get weird. And I do lose a couple. Like I lose some things like there's, you know, funny, sort of cheeky text on stuff that gets too small to read. And maybe sometimes that's for the best. But like, Yeah, I just I design thinking about the small and I do I lose its status. Did you use a cricket? I know. I have a silhouette. So I'm actually a little bit limited in what I can cut. I hear that the Cricut can cut anything.

Cassie  19:21  

If you have the maker it can cut cut up too. Well. I found I'm really only successful with 1/16 inch. I think that's the biggest actually. But still, it's not perfect. But yeah, I can cut a lot of things. I have to say I loved your little stickers to you, like one of those notebooks and the stickers that you made are adorable.

Cassie  19:48  

Thank you. Uh, yeah, I try to think of like the most kind of absurd thing that I can do. Like, is this even possible? I try and push it to the very edge of like, what will break, I had a couple sticker designs that they just wouldn't cut, right? Because, you know, the designs were wrong or the shapes were wrong or whatever, it couldn't turn that corner just right. So no, I had to push it to the very edge of like, what would work physically? With the machines?

Rachel  20:24  

And let's talk sighs you mostly work in play scale? Right? I

Cassie  20:28  

do. Yeah. I just maybe, I don't know. Maybe I'm like, oh. And one to our scale just feels really small to me.

Cassie  20:40  

Okay. I yeah, well have skill. Oh, my early, you know, half scale and under. Like, can't do it can't do it. Yeah, I love Love Your Work, like I said. So in your website, you have a store where people can do digital downloads, which is awesome. And you even have tons of freebies. And I also know, you were really generous with your tutorials.

Rachel  21:09  

Oh, thank you. Yeah, I have I actually I was gonna say, I feel really guilty, I have a bunch more that I need to upload. Actually, I really want this sort of stuff to feel a sense. Because a lot of you know, a lot of it involves new stuff, you know, 3d printing and laser cutters, and all this stuff just sounds really scary. So it's, you know, it's important to me that it be fun and open and accessible. And I just want people to not be intimidated by the whole mess of it.

Cassie  21:46  

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I appreciate the tutorials and things because, you know, I've done a few myself and they're time consuming. I don't think people realize how time consuming sometimes it can be especially if you had to do voiceover or, I mean, I think you even had the text going on it I mean, that takes time. So out of all the things that you do because you do a lot I mean, you doing the printing the cutting the 3d all that the laser what's what's your most favorite, would you say thing to make?

Rachel 22:18  

I I don't know, I just it doesn't really matter

Cassie 22:24  

what I'm making. My favorite thing is when somebody comes with a story, they'll like see a piece and they'll be like, Oh my gosh, I remember this time and have a story. So like, it doesn't really matter what I'm doing. If I can get like somebody to like, provide me with like, you know, just like emotional tidbit. I'm like yes, that's it. I like evoke to this thing in you Well, I kill you mine that resonated with me. Oh my gosh, yes, please do

Rachel 23:00  

with your work is I mentioned you the cast iron skillet is because of my grandma. She had this woodstove that was one their heat source for the whole house. But two that was what she cooked on. Even though she had the the modern stove. She always went to the cook stove to cook. And I don't I don't know how she did it to get regular heat. But whenever I think or see one of those skillets I think of my grandma. And I actually my husband I that's what we cook on now mostly is our cast iron pans. So that's what I thought of when I saw your your beautiful. My grandma,

Cassie  23:42  

thank you so much. That's amazing. That's amazing. My You know, my grandparents used to throw a pot of beans onto the cookstove in the winter too. So I think it's just the grandparents thing.

Rachel  23:56  

I think so. But they are they are really nice to to cook with for sure. And speaking of them, I didn't even ask you so like, you know, you talked about oh, we just printed out as a free download. But I think what makes you so special is the the end detail. You have so much detail in the I think it's paint that use or you know, to make it look kind of rusty used. I think that's where your creations come to life is the end result of making them. Yeah, cuz anyone I think can print it off, but it's what you do at the end to make them look real, which is so amazing.

Rachel 24:37  

The cool thing about 3d printing is if you mess it up, you can just print another one.

Cassie 24:46  

So like don't be afraid to experiment like what does this paint do? What does this other paint do? What does you know what happens if I Sham you know hot glue in here. Like what You know, you're free to experiment because you can just make a new one, like, if you totally destroy it, no problem make a new way. Freedom, even just knowing that that's a possibility is really, it's super freeing to me, you know, like, it just oh, I can I can make a mistake, it's not a big deal. You know, this isn't some, you know, $40 kit that I bought off eBay that was only made for two years in the 70s. And if I ruin it, it's, you know, it's fine. Print anyway.

Rachel  25:35  

Well, that'll bring me into my next thing, then you, I'm going to quote you here from Instagram, not to put you on the spot. But it just was an older post, I believe that you had. And so maybe you evolved. Or maybe you're thinking is different now, but maybe you can, you know, have a little more to say on it. But you said, I hate being bad at stuff. And the acknowledgement that I will almost certainly be bad at it the first time. Usually keeps me from even trying. And when I read that, I think a lot of people feel that way. Like, Oh, I can't do that I'm not an artist, or it'll just suck or, you know, anything. So is there anything? Do you still feel that way?

Cassie  26:19  

Absolutely. Like, every day, I, you know, I'm learning a new thing. So like, every day, I have to be pretty bad at something, you know. And that's fine. Like, you just, that was kind of a relationship, you know, give and take I had to make with miniatures. If I want to make miniatures all day, I'm probably going to be an absolute novice, and I'm going to fail a ton. And it's scary. And it's, I guess, it's fun. It's humbling, and it's fun. I am absolute trash at tons of stuff that I do. And I don't die. And like, keep trying. Yeah, I just get up the next morning, and I'm excited to try again and a new thing or a different thing or start over. Like, it's just totally fine. You know, 

Rachel  27:26  

love that. No, when I read that, it just, I think a lot of people feel that way. Or even my kids say that to me sometimes. Like I don't know how to do that, or I won't be good at that. I'm not gonna try. I hear that all the time. So that's awesome that you are trying. So what is next for you? What do you think you're going to make? Like, how do you wake up and say, Oh, I think I'll make this today. Do you have a running list? things you want to make? Um,

Cassie  27:55  

I do. I have I have a huge list. The next so my next like, thing to be conquered is walls. I really want to figure out what to do about walls or maybe not walls. Like I really like the idea of creating the you know, the illusion of space without actually like, blacking it into a box. I don't know. I don't like

Rachel  28:28  

so like a piece of paper that like let's just say wallpaper type things. But it looks like there's a room

Cassie  28:36  

like, like a like a bookcase that surrounds a window and a floor. So like not, I don't know what else I'm playing with. Like how to how to give the idea of space and playing with space. Next, I'm grappling

Rachel  29:01  

that sounds amazing. I wish I could call in your head right now and just see what you're seeing because it It sounds really cool. So is this something you would do on your 3d printer? Or is it something more graphic like 2d?

Cassie  29:14  

I think so. I think what I'm going to play with next is some foam. I'm going to try some like foam carving to do you know maybe brick walls or stone I I'm not sure. I've been watching a lot of tutorials about foam carving and painting and distressing and seen work so I think I might try a brick wall. One wall for starters. See how that goes. And I need a place to put them.

Rachel 29:48  

I will be watching. One thing we didn't talk about is your clay so you even do a lot with clay is this would you say you enjoy clay? I guess you wouldn't. If you You know, you make it, you probably enjoy it, right?

Cassie  30:04  

Yes, I really like. So I like molding and casting. Like I think I think I sort of have that leftover from like, you know, high school ceramics. So like, anytime you can make a mold, and then like cast multiples of things, it just feels really satisfying. So like I've been practicing, because once I figured out that you only have to make one and something that you like, as like, Oh, I can make one good bread, I can make one. Good. Whatever, you know, so I've just been practicing and working on my mold skills.

Rachel 30:52  

And then it's just all about being good at painting. Really?

Cassie  30:56  

Yeah, I'm like, again, because because I mold it. If I messed up painting one of my breads, I can just throw it away. No one has to know that that one was accidentally orange. Right.

Rachel  31:12  

So one thing I hear a complaint about casting is it's so expensive. Do you find that like the putty? The two part putty is that I assume what you're using? Do you find that a thing with you too expensive?

Cassie  31:29  

can be intimidating. I actually. So I'm working on a whole wrap up video of every single mold I made with one tub of mix it Putney because I you know, I was curious, like, what, what does this even mean for a minute? Yeah, what does a half a pound to me? And so I'm actually working on a little video to show you what a half looks like what you could do with it. What percent of it was a failure? Because I absolutely had fails. So you know, I'm going to measure it by weight and be like, I'm working on it. I will tell.

Rachel 32:11  

Yeah, so if someone really wants an answer, like me, I know where to find you. But how does someone find you?

Cassie  32:18  

Um, or wherever you posted? I'm kind of only on Instagram. I don't. I honestly don't have the bandwidth to be everywhere. So right now, I'm doing Instagram maybe someday. Something else.

Rachel 32:36  

And it's Tinkerbell makes right. Tinkerbell. Yes, he. Yeah. And I'll have this on the show notes so they can find you. But I'll definitely be looking for that post and these walls for sure. And so cool. So do you know off the top your head? What your Etsy store name is? It's Tinkerbell makes the same. So yeah. Who You Are you have some amazing things on Etsy. And this to wrap up to I had to Google your word, your description on Instagram, what's the word that you used? will abuse you? I'm like, Okay, what is that? So I have it and then I'm like, Oh, that's so cool. Basically mean small things or, you know, so that's so cool. I've never heard of that word. It's a Yeah, it's Even when I'm trying to think of my logo and my name, I'm like, trying to Google all these things. You're small. What's the word for smaller little that word never came up. So I love that word. Thank you for introducing me to that. Well, I can't wait to see what else you have. Cassie, thank you again for joining me today.

Cassie  34:02  

Thank you so much.

Rachel  34:04  

Keep it up. Like I said I love seeing your work. And as I mentioned, I'll put all your you know ways your Etsy store your Instagram so people can follow you and and find all these goodies too. Thank you. All right. Enjoy your day. Okay. Bye

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