A Personal Touch With Your Supporters Club Membership


Created by Pier Volunteer, Tony creates each Supporter Club Keyring by hand, adding an extra personal touch to our appreciation for your membership


The new annual membership scheme invites locals and visitors to Clevedon alike to become a part of the Pier’s future with the Supporter’s Club. The Club has many advantages, including 10% of food in the Glass Box Restaurant, priority booking for events, a car sticker, and this beautifully hand crafted key ring. To find out more about the Supporters Club, click here. Tony tells us in his own words the story behind this membership gift. Thank you to Tony for his hard work!
“I’ve been a volunteer at the pier for 5 years and thoroughly enjoyed the various roles I have undertaken. One of these was leading beach cleaning parties, which reinforced my concerns about the amount of waste plastic in our environment.The pier shop has always sought to stock locally made products but it seemed anomalous to me to sell plastic crab lines (made in China). I came up with an idea to make environmentally friendly versions with wooden frames and hessian line and bait bags (sewn by a fellow volunteer). The idea was welcomed by Nicole who suggested using recycled pier planks for the frames, instead of buying wood. Based on this refinement, I thought it would be nice to print the providence of the wood on the frame, so I approached the maker of volunteer badges, who owned a laser engraving machine, to do this for us. Thus the Clevedon Pier Eco-friendly Crab Line was born, as a cooperative enterprise, and went on sale in the shop in 2021.Having launched the crab line my thoughts turned to what else could be made from old pier planks. Fridge magnets were the obvious choice as the only ones on sale in the shop were plastic and also they could be made in a similar way to the volunteer badges. I developed a few designs and arranged for my friend with the laser engraver to produce some. When these went on sale earlier this year, they were so popular that I decided to get my own laser engraver and some basic woodworking machinery to help with production.The next major project, requested by Nicole, was to come up with some recycled wood items to sell in the shop for the Platinum Jubilee. The first stage was to develop a version of the official Jubilee logo in the specialised laser engraving software. Then I came up with 3 designs featuring this logo: the first obvious choice was a fridge magnet; the second was a key fob; and finally a small wooden pendant. All of these were approved and I set about manufacturing a total of 250 handmade items in time for the Jubilee.In April 2022 Nicole invited me to come up with potential designs for a pier wood item to include in the welcome pack for the proposed Pier Supporters’ Club. My original thought was that a fridge magnet would be suitable partly because they proved popular in  the shop but also since it was anticipated that about 500 would be required and this item is relatively easy to make.However, once the design of the club logo was released in August, the round nature of this did not sit comfortably into a rectangular fridge magnet so a key fob, similar to my Jubilee ones, became the preferred choice, with an engraving of the logo on both sides.Having agreed the design, the first step was to reproduce the logo with the specialist laser software. This is quite a complex process involving tracing the intricate lines and combining these with geometric shapes (i.e. circles and straight lines) available in the software.Once the laser design was finalised, production of the key fob involved the following stages:·       Cut the extremely weathered edges and faces from the old Opepe planks to produce reasonably intact wood;·       Saw and plane 5mm by 60mm strips;·       Mark out the outline of key fobs using the laser engraver; ·       Drill the holes for the keyrings (this could cause splitting or splintering if left to later); ·       Cut out the shapes roughly using a fret saw;·       Sand the edges of the key fob to the final shape using a bench sander; ·       Round all the edges  by hand sanding, to produce a smooth tactile item;·       Laser engrave the design onto both sides of the fob (using a jig to hold 4 at once, to reduce set up time); ·       Apply 2 coats of varnish to both sides, rubbing down with fine glasspaper between coats. The initial batch of 100 was delivered in September having involved about 30 to 40 hours of work or around 20 minutes for each key fob. 
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