Gourd, Pyrography, Wood Art and Supplies - Free Tutorials; Gourd, Craft and Pyrography Supplies
The Pyrography Specialists! Pyrography, Gourd, Wood Art by Alan and Nedra Denison - Free Tutorials; Pyrography, Gourd and Craft Supplies
Our work is unique, hand-made one of a kind and make wonderful gifts.
Alan and I started selling our woodcrafts and gourd art at local woodcarving and craft shows while living in Texas in the mid 1990's. We were having fun and keeping busy. Sawdust Connection was established & when I began teaching pyrography in 1999 the business grew to include pyrography/woodburning supplies and tools.
While Sawdust Connection has continued to grow and evolve over the years, it has and always will be a small, home-based family owned business. We don't have thousands of square feet of retail store front or warehouse, just a few rooms in our home that are dedicated to our art and the tools and supplies we sell. Al has his shop that he "allows" me to borrow as needed & I have my studio & store. When we are traveling our motorhome becomes our store on wheels.
Alan and I are native New Englanders but we have lived all over the country because of our jobs. We both worked for the Dept. of Veterans of Affairs and we owe the VA for providing us with the opportunity to both travel the country and to meet each other. Alan was an Engineer with the VA and spent his career supervising the construction of hospitals, research centers and doing major renovations. His job was very stressful and required moving every few years after a project was completed. After 30 years of service Alan retired and decided to relax and enjoy working in his shop. He has been a woodcarver and woodworker since childhood and has been active in local woodcarving clubs in TX and was past president of the Capitol Woodcarvers in Olympia, WA.
My career with the VA started as a clinical Social Worker working with Oncology, geriatric patients and later Addictions. After about 15 years with the VA I changed careers and worked my way up the "corporate" ladder to become Director of Human Resources of a small VA in Vermont where I met Al. From there Alan and I moved to Seattle where the stress, politics and BS became too overwhelming for me and I burned out and was unable to work.
Al's job required him to move again so we headed south to Texas where we lived for over 9 years. Al retired from the VA in 2003. Shortly after I was offered the opportunity to return to the VA and work for a year so I could qualify for my full retirement after working for a year. We moved back to WA where I worked at the VA in Tacoma in the Addictions unit. After fighting with the VA and the Office of Personnel Management in DC they finally fixed "their" mistakes and I was able to retire in 2007 with over 33 years of service. Three days later we were packed and heading to New Mexico to start the next phase of our life.
About The Business
I've been an artist since childhood but never expected or wanted to do it professionally, nor did I ever expect to follow in my dad's footsteps as a business owner. My father owned a successful retail business for over 50 years and while I never planned on having my own business it was only natural that eventually I start one of my own some day. Growing up, I spent time with my dad in his store and learned a lot from him. He was one of the first "discount stores" and he survived and even prospered as the Big Box Discounters came to town. What I learned from him is that people like getting good prices but as the words "customer service" seemed to be disappearing from our vocabulary, they continued coming to my dad because he understood what customer service was and that's what he gave his customers. I established my first business in 1993 in WA state. Having a background in art I wanted to do something that allowed me to be creative and after careful consideration and research I decided to make gift baskets. Not just any gift basket but each one was a unique artistic creation. Like my dad I gave my customers great service. I was a very active member of the Chamber of Commerce and developed a very successful gift basket business with many commercial accounts until it grew to the point that I could no longer manage it by myself. We moved to Texas and in 1997 I sold my gift basket business. Alan & I were doing some wood crafts and Sawdust Connection began as a means of selling our woodcrafts at local woodcarving and craft shows. When I started teaching in 1999 I started selling woodburning supplies and tools in my classes. Eventually the business grew and evolved into what you see now.
Sawdust Connection has been supplying pyrographers, woodcarvers, wood turners, woodworkers, gourd artists and crafters with superior quality products and customer service since 1999. It is because of the quality products we sell and the great service that we offer that we will continue to be here for many years to come. My philosophy...give customers more than they expect!
A Trailblazer...paving the way!
I get calls all the time & I'm still surprised when someone tells me they can't believe that I answer the phone & they get to talk to me personally. I never let fame go to my head & I have always tried to remain grounded. I don't have to remind myself I'm a person just like you, because I am.
But I do consider myself to be a trail blazer in this business because some of the things I've done had never been done before. Others eventually followed & in some cases even copied. I have had people say I was crazy to give away all the free information in my tutorials but my goal has always been to share my passion for art & to help people learn as much as they can without having to spend alot of money or try to find classes to learn. A hands on class is always better but it's not always available & my tutorials were my attempt to "clone myself" & teach people things they would learn if they were taking a class from me. Not exactly perfect but the best I can do without actually being there.
Blazing the trail:
- I was the first to offer free online tutorials entitled Pyrography 101. These were a spin off from the hand-outs I provided students in my classes. I later published a beginners instructional book entitiled Pyrography 101 which included the basics for people just getting started & step by step instructions with a very basic project & one to help master my "smooth shading" technique..
- At the request of my students who wanted a more advanced instrutional book. I was the first to write a book geared toward more advanced burners who wanted to learn to burn more natural, lifelike burnings using my "smooth shading" (gradient tones) technique. This book helped burners not only master my technique but also to burn a beautiful lifelike portrait.
- I was the first to offer woodburning starter kits paving the way for other dealers & Razertip to start putting packaged kits together to offer customers. I offer kits for general pyrography as well as specialty kits for gourd artists.
Why Shop at Sawdust Connection?
The answer is simple, I sell only the best quality supplies and tools on the market from leaders in the industry and I try to provide the same first class service that made my dad the success he was in his business for over 50 years. When you call the office, guess who you talk to...me! When you need help, I'm the one who will give it to you, not an operator or sales person who has never wood burned or worked on a gourd. You will get advise from someone who actually understands your needs and isn't just trying to sell a product. You will find I'm not a great sales person, just an honest person trying to help you find the tools and products you need and I will never try to sell you something you don't need.
Some people think I'm crazy when I try to talk them out of buying something because they don't need it but I've been there & I refuse to be like other dealers who try to make money selling things you don't need. And on top of all that I've got very competitive prices on everything I sell. What more can you ask for, good prices, good service and great products!
Sorry, but I cannot accept credit card orders over the phone. Because of the high cost of processing unsecured (un-swiped credit card sales) to small business owners I am no longer able to take credit cards over the phone. I recommend you order directly online for the fastest service. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. If you do not wish to order on line, please feel free to download my mail order form and send your order along with your payment. If you are sending a check please be sure you make the check payable to Sawdust Connection. We process mail orders within 24 hours of receipt to ensure you get your order promptly. If you are in a hurry for your order, ordering on our website is the fastest way and you have the option of using your credit card, debit card or pay pal. Ordering is secure and confidential...we do not receive your credit card information.
So, Who Ya Gonna Call...Sawdust Connection, The Pyrography Specialists!
I personally research and use every item I sell. Over the years I've used and sold many of the pyrography tools manufactured in North American. One of the main reasons I stop carrying a brand is poor quality control and the other is poor customer service. If I get poor service or my customer's get poor warranty service it's a good reason to move on. I ensure that they understand the importance that I give to supporting my customers and ask how will he/she will extend themselves to make sure that every customer is happy with his or her purchase. If a company fails to live up to my expectations I try to work with them but if it continues I am not afraid of firing them. I just won't sell products that I cannot stand behind and I can't stand behind a company that cannot provide the excellent quality & customer service that I expect & my customers deserve. You can be assured that everything you find in our inventory has been tested and used by one or both of us.
For more information on my pricing and philosophy please go to the store front.
Welcome To My Website and Store
I thank you for visiting my new and much improved website. I hope you enjoy browsing through my store front, our galleries of gourd and pyrographic art, wood carvings and woodworking. I carry Razertip pyrography systems, pens and accessories. I also carry a wide variety of pyrography, woodworking, gourd and craft supplies, such as Foredom rotary tools, mini gourd and jig saws, basswood products, gourd and pyrography books, and a wide variety of tools and supplies for gourd artists, wood turners, woodcrafters and other crafters. You will find the website easy to navigate and find everything you are looking for in one convenient place.
To start shopping please go to our Store Front and be sure to check back frequently for new items.
Thank you for taking the time to visit our website.