Engineer launches UK business venture creating unique gifts
A Glossop businessman, who has travelled the world as an engineer, is using his specialist skills to create unique personalised coasters as his business relaunches across the country.
Steve Gray, who spent 30 years installing and maintaining machinery for retail giants across the globe, has perfected a specialist technique to create personalised wooden gifts that merge unique designs with laser precise cut outs.
Tawny Barn, in Glossop, is run by the 58-year-old who uses decades of engineering expertise to reconfigure his laser cutter to specifically support precise shape cuts in line with any design to craft unique Christmas presents, wedding favours or even business logos for promotions.
Steve Gray said: “My work took me all over the world and meant that I was regularly reconfiguring and maintaining specialist machinery. So, when I started Tawny Barn I was in a unique position to be able to modify the laser cutter to make aligning printed designs perfectly with the cutter simpler and more precise. It means I can now use any flat material from acrylic to MDF and wood to print and cut out intricate shapes perfectly. The possibilities are endless, unique photo gifts, logo designs for businesses and even personalised designs. It really is exciting.”
Having spent the past year touring craft markets including Glossop Artisan Market, Stockport Worker Bee Markets and Creative Connections with his original plain MDF cut out designs Steve is now looking to make his printed designs available nationwide.
Launching a new online shop through Tawnybarn.com this month people will now be able to purchase his new bespoke designs from anywhere across the country with free samples available for a limited time only.
Steve added: “It is a big step for the business. I have been touring craft fairs for the past year and all of my designs have been really well received so this now takes the designs to the next level merging print designs with precise cut outs. It means I can make coasters that are completely bespoke. If you can think of a design, I can make it.”
Steve who has spent the last 30 years working as a service engineer started S Gray Engineering in the town in 2003.
For the last 15 years he has travelled to everywhere from South Africa, Nigeria, Syria, Canada and Greece to install and maintain bottle fillers and other production and packaging machinery.
In 2018 he took up his new venture and set up Tawny Barn selling MDF shaped cut outs for arts and craft projects.
This year he is looking to make more intricate designs available and is now offering printed and cut out designs.
Tawny Barn can create any shape in flat material and has even helped with laser cutting clothing patterns.