Perry Bonin of New Iberia, Louisiana ordered his first CarveWright in 2008 after attending a woodworking show in Austin, Texas. He became really interested in the vast capabilities it could bring to the woodworking shop he had built for himself after retiring.
At that time, he had been focusing on building large furniture projects, which were proving to be challenging for his very small shop. While learning to use the CarveWright System, his interest grew more towards special projects of a smaller nature. Friends started asking if he could make this or that, a sign here, or a plaque there. Stemming from his previous profession as a draftsman, his design interests were peaked.
A second machine was added in 2010, when he needed to complete a set of the 14 Stations of the Cross for a Christmas gift. Today, his full woodworking shop is there just to support his CarveWright machines. He sometimes has both running 8 hours a day for 5 or 6 days a week to keep up his inventory for the craft shows which he has participated in for the last 11 years.
I enjoy creating some simple projects for customers that make their eyes light up, such as a simple cross for an Eagle Scout so he can complete his benches for the church, or a simple memorial for a woman whose husband has passed away. I enjoy special coasters, business and personal signs, but my favorite is lithophanes, which are mostly memorials.
He has Designer PRO plus almost all of the add-ons, but his favorite feature that he uses the most is the “Import to Trace” feature of 2d Vector Drawing Suite. “I have used this many times to create special projects from pictures customers have sent to me or clip art. I don’t hesitate to order from the very fine pattern makers or the pattern depot to create very special projects.”
Some of his best sellers on the craft show circuit are from the Projects of the Month Subscription, including the wreaths, which are great sellers, and customized rosary boxes for the older ladies. “You can really make some money with the CW machines.”
“I enjoy being able to stay in contact with my carver friends across the US on the Community Forum and CarveWright Carvoholics Facebook group. It really helps that there is always someone who has a better view point on a process or method. I enjoy both helping and learning from the newbies or older carvers in and around my area with their questions.”
As for the future, Perry says his craft show days are mostly over, but he still stays very busy with requests for projects from past customers and via word of mouth. Every once in a while he’ll go set up at one of the small craft shows just to stay in touch with the people he has met over the years.
When asked to describe his overall experience with CarveWright, he smiles and answers, “This has been a great journey for me in my retirement.” We’ve enjoyed being on this journey with you Perry!