Craft Platforms: Case studies 蓝顶研木社-Blue Wood StudioJune 16, 2020 2020-11-15 9:26
Craft Platforms: Case studies 蓝顶研木社-Blue Wood Studio
Blue Wood– an immersive woodwork experiencing studio
- Offering wood products and course experiencing for customer
- Using table saw and laser cutting machine to improve their efficiency
- Promoting products through social media including WeChat and Tik Tok.
- Having WeChat group chats including more than 800 followers
Figure 1: Blue Wood’s store and wood crafts
Blue Wood is a woodworking experience studio in No. 66 Yinjiachong Creative Community, Changsha, and was named the third place in the Changsha Maker Competition. Zhou Li is the founder and designer of Blue Wood, and the whole team has four full-time employees from different art design majors such as graphic, architecture, and industrial design. The wood studio will use some digital equipment and software to assist the production of wood products. It mainly provides customers with handicraft course experience services, including woodworking experience, wood art exhibition sales, and combined courses with leather goods, weaving, and floral art.
Blue Wood regularly cooperates with Changsha Library and Hunan Library to carry out weekend offline activities. It also cooperates with local universities in Changsha to organize events to expand its popularity. Besides, Blue Wood is trying to promote its works through social media such as WeChat, Tiktok, to attract Handicraft lovers and develop long-term fans.
DIGITAL ‘TOUCH POINTS’
Use of Digital equipment
The Blue Wood has table saws, laser cutting machines, CNC machines and etc.. The SAWSTOP PCS52 table saw the studio equipped was imported from America, which is famous for its professional and precision. The equipment provides a safety system to ensure safe operation of user. When user starting the machine, human body and wood (different resistance) are identified through micro-current detection, and it will automatically brake when it encounters the human body.
蓝顶研木社拥有台锯，激光切割机，数控机床等设备。 SAWSTOP PCS5型号的台锯是从美国进口的，该品牌以其专业度和精准度而知名。数字化体现在设备配备安全防护系统，以确保用户安全接触。当用户启动机器时，设备通过微电流检测可以识别出人体和木材（不同的电阻）的区别，当遇到人体时它会自动停止。
Figure 2: Table saw machines of Blue Wood
Use of Social Media
Blue Wood has opened accounts on major social media, like WeChat, Tik Tok. Those social media platform is efficient for them to communicate with customers. The WeChat subscription will regularly send the articles of recent events and excellent woodworks to their followers. Besides, the founder of Blue Wood has two WeChat groups, including more than 800 woodcrafts lover. It enables the studio to get the feedback and advice of the customers directly, and they can sell the products through that platform. In group chats, the wood product auctions are organized every Sunday night, each time they will select three teachers’ works; the price of the product is always at a discount. Such events trigger the curiosity of customers and attract them to buy the products.
Besides, Blue Woods will also promote its events through other media channels. Because the studio will regularly organize events with the library in Changsha, it can indirectly publicize its studio through Changsha library’s website and WeChat subscription. The Library subscription posts inform, such as activity notice, activity registration, and activity summary every week. Many crafts lovers can find the studio by WeChat articles and webpages.
Figure 3: Blue Wood’s WeChat subscription screenshot
Another media platform Blue Wood engaged is Tik Tok, which is a short-video sharing platform. Blue Wood has accumulated a certain number of followers on Tik Tok. The Operator of the account will share the works and daily life of Blue Wood for people interested in woodworks. Also, they make tutorials videos for students to learn. Although they have not actively sought the media to promote, there are many sensitive media interested in crafts come to cooperate with them. Recently, the store has made a promotional video in cooperation with Hunan Mitochondrial Culture Communication Company, which will also help them release the video across the social media channel.
蓝顶研木社入驻的另一个社交媒体平台是抖音，是中国最近很火的短视频分享平台。 蓝顶研木社在抖音上已经积累了一定数量的粉丝。该帐户的运营者会分享蓝顶研木社的作品和日常生活在平台上面。此外，他们还制作了教学视频供学生学习。尽管他们还没有积极寻求媒体进行推广，但是有许多对手工艺品感兴趣的敏感媒体开始与他们合作。 最近，该商店与湖南线粒体文化传播公司合力制作了宣传视频，公司也将帮助他们在社交媒体平台上发布视频。
Figure 4: Blue Wood’s Tik Tok home page screenshot
Use of digital software
The digital software currently used by Blue Wood includes Auto CAD, Sketch up, and Photoshop. The staff will draw a sketch in Auto CAD first and then transfer CAD file into the laser cutting machine for cutting. Photoshop is mainly used to process some photos and pictures.
蓝顶研木社目前使用的数字软件包括Auto CAD，Sketch up和Photoshop。工作人员首先在Auto CAD中绘制尺寸图，然后将CAD文件传输到激光切割机中进行切割操作。 Photoshop主要用于处理一些照片和图片。
The digital platforms involved in Blue Wood ’s making and marketing
The challenges of applying digital platforms in Blue Wood:
There are some potential challenges when applying digital platforms in Blue Wood. The challenges for using digital technology and social media are summarised below:
The challenges of using social media Blue Wood:
- The team lacks resources, channels, and time for media operating
The current challenge is that the media resources and channels the studio have is limited, it is difficult for them to promote their products well, and the founders don’t have enough time to invest in social media operations. Recently, they have also tried to find new channels through friends, such as Taobao, crowdfunding, and eBay.
- It’s hard for them to manage accounts of different media platforms.
Although Blue Wood has settled on multiple online social media platforms, it’s difficult for employees to operate various social media accounts. For example, they have Taobao’s online store but have not yet started operations. Because different platform requires different contents, like WeChat subscription is for sharing articles and TikTok is for sharing videos. The team is hard to spare the time operating multi-platform accounts.
- Blue Wood is understaffed and lacks media operating professionals
Most of the staffs of the Blue Wood are engaged in handicrafts, requiring professionals who are good at media operating, and the founder is responsible for all online operations and also manages the entire wood studio offline, which is overworked for him. It is challenging to balance the time between them; sometimes, they have to reduce their work on media operating for offline businesses.
- Blue Wood人手不足，缺乏媒体运营专业人员
Blue Wood的大多数员工都从事手工艺品，工作室缺乏擅长媒体运营的专业人员，并且创始人负责所有在线运营，还线下管理整个Wood Studio，这对他来说工作量过大了。平衡线上和线下两者的时间安排具有挑战性。他们不得不减少对线上的运营工作以维持线下工作室的良好运转。
Blue Woods also pay attention to the protection of their intellectual property products. Some Blue Wood’s products have registered on the book of patent office. The Conch speakers designed by Zhou Li have applied for utility patent, which was made by wood and used the superposition effect of spiral cavity.
蓝顶研木社还十分重视对产品知识产权的保护。 Blue Wood的某些产品已在专利局的上注册。 由周力设计的海螺扬声器已申请了实用新型专利，该专利由木材制成，并利用了螺旋腔的叠加效果。
Figure 6: The photos of conch speaker deisgned by Zhou Li
The studio mainly provides handicraft course service, which is divided into three levels, including advanced, intermediate, and elementary courses. The elementary course provides for children. The intermediate course is suitable for adults and offers an opportunity to experience handicraft first-hand. The advanced course is a systematic learning course, which teaches you how to make wood products safely and efficiently.
With a membership system, Blue Wood members will be provided with systematic, comprehensive, and professional training.
Blue Wood is a woodcraft experiencing studio for handicraft lovers in Changsha, founded by Zhou Li in 2017. The studio has four formal employees who major in art design. The founder, Zhou Li is a designer with six years’ experience in woodcrafts making. The studio mainly provides different levels of handicraft course service, which attracted woodcraft lovers. In the production process, they will use digital equipment and software to assist them makes the wood products. Moreover, the studio will participate in the competition held by the government to expend its popularity; they also regularly cooperated with the local institute like libraries and colleges to invite craft lovers to join in their activities.
Social media is an important channel for them to promote their studio. Blue Wood has settled on several social media platforms such as WeChat and Tik Tok. The media platforms provide opportunities for them to introduce their products and communicate with customers conveniently. Because they cooperated with other institutes, many craft lovers know the information about Blue Wood by the channel of library and college. Recently, Blue Wood has cooperated with a media company to help them make and release the promotional video.
Please visit the following site to know more about Blue Wood
Craftplatforms.org has been produced by the project research team at Queen Mary University of London, UK, and Hunan University, China.
Contact E-mail: email@example.com
Prof. Nick Bryan-Kinns
School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science
Queen Mary University of London
London E1 4NS
Prof. Hao Tan
School of Design, Hunan University
Yuelu Mountain, Changsha