November '22

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6 0 G R A P H I C S P R O • N O V E M B E R 2 0 2 2 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M LASER ENGRAVING REPORT E ven before owning an engraving business, Scotland-born John Morman was no stranger to lasers. A British Royal Navy veteran, Morman worked as a mechanical engineer for 34 years where he gained extensive knowledge of industrial lasers within the fabrication industry. With this knowledge in mind, in 2003, Morman's brother-in-law Mike Esler approached him about his recommendations for sandcarving equipment. Esler, owner of Irish Eyes, a Fredericksburg, Virginia-based embroidery shop, was looking to expand at the time and wanted Morman's opinion. As Mike rented within a historic building with limits to the physical changes that could be made, Morman instead recommended going the laser engraving route. From there, Morman began researching the early 2000s laser engrav- ing market for appropriate equipment for his brother-in-law. After six months of research, he gave Esler his recommendation — who then decided to reinvest within his existing embroidery business. "Of course, by that time, I had caught the bug," says Morman. After all that research, John and his wife, Mary Jo Morman, took the plunge and bought themselves a 30-watt Universal Laser engraving machine. GETTING STARTED Living in San Diego, California, at the time, John set up shop in their garage and began work for their first retail customer, Irish Eyes. Once that was established, they began searching for more clientele. "We knew there was a Celtic store on Coronado Island, and we knew the people really well — we had been customers of theirs for years," explains John. "So, I did some work with their sur- name." He then engraved the owner's clan crest and coat of arms on glassware and plaques, as well as laser marking on stainless steel and pewter pieces. He continues, "And I took it over to them and said, 'Here's what we're doing. If you'd like us to do some stuff like this, you're welcome to, and you have these as display pieces. If you're not interested, it didn't cost me very much, and you've got a Christmas present.'" From there, the owners of the Celtic shop agreed to work with them. In addition, the shop also did many Celtic festivals/ Celtic Heritage Meets Laser Engraving Virginia-based Celtic Tides celebrates heritage and culture through laser engraving John (right) and Mary Jo Morman (left), the owners of Celtic Tides. (All images courtesy Celtic Tides) By Marie Fennema Engraving of a coat of arms.

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