Name: Dre Fandetti
Biz name/website: Crafts With Dre
Hometown/Current town: Rhode Island / Massachusetts
Epoxy Resin Artist
We got to know this sweetheart of the Maker world in Hartford! Dre Fandetti is an epoxy resin/mixed media artist and a brand ambassador for TotalBoat and Makerpoxy. Dre is also the founder of the Clubhouse podcast In The Shop, that she and her partner, Lucas D'Angelo, host. Make48 is also teaming up with Dre and Lucas for our MAKE FOR GOOD CHALLENGES, where Makers will have 48 hours to build a project that will then be donated to a nonprofit, worthy cause or family/person in need. The goal is to spread a little bit of kindness because let's face it, we have all needed a little help from time to time. See the Instagram post here.
Get to know more 'bout Dre, and how she began her Maker journey.
How long have you been doing epoxy and how did you get started?
I’ve been doing epoxy resin artwork since May of 2020. I first got introduced to epoxy resin when I was scrolling through Instagram and absolutely fell in love with epoxy. Once I saw Jess Crow incorporating acrylic painting into epoxy art, I knew I had to give it a whirl for myself. After a little bit of time and some research, I ran to Michael’s and bought epoxy right then and there!
I think it’s also important to note that I started epoxy at the start of quarantine. I noticed that working with epoxy was something that could keep my mind occupied after finishing my master’s degree in Occupational Therapy, and it was an added benefit that it also made me super happy to be able to create some really fun stuff! I’m super blessed to be an ambassador for TotalBoat, and now? I’m stuck on it for life! (Get it? Epoxy is sticky!)
Do you have a favorite piece? Why is that special to you?
I actually have two favorite pieces! One that I find special is one of the first pieces that I incorporated acrylic painting into. It was completed in a “river table” style, and it was one of the first times I had to think about painting multiple layers to create a 3-D effect with the fish. I think the reason I find it so special is because I found that it was such a wonderful learning experience. Every time I poured another layer, I learned something. I learned that it’s so important to pour very thin layers in between each pour to create a more seamless 3-D effect. That piece stayed in my family, which I am so happy about.
My second favorite piece is a 2-D fish painting that incorporates the “wave-effect” which was made for The Maker Camp Maker Swap event that was put together by my friends. Each Maker brings an item that shows off their skills, and it gets swapped with another maker! I like it because the fish looks like it’s jumping out of the water!
Honestly though, the pieces where I can incorporate my love for epoxy and my love for painting? Those are truly all of my favorites. There can be quite a bit of time that can go into some of these paintings, and quite a bit of heart that also goes into them. The joy that gets put into those pieces are what makes me feel connected and attached to them. I always try to make sure that I take some good photos of them as keepsakes.
It was great having you in Hartford. What was your time like at the event and did anything surprise you about it?
I had such a wonderful time in Hartford! I was delightfully surprised with how well all of the tool techs worked together! I think it was great that prior to the event, a lot of us already knew each other from social media. It was cool that we knew each other's strengths as makers ahead of time, which was super helpful when it came to communicating with the teams and with each other!
I was also astounded by the creativity of the teams, too! It’s wild that the teams were all given the exact same prompt, but they were able to come up with 8 entirely different projects and designs for prototypes! It was so wonderful to feel the buzz of creativity running through the beautiful MakerSpaceCT!
If you were on a team for a Make48 event, what 3 other makers would be on your team?
I would definitely love to have my better half, Lucas from @mannmadeinma as part of my team! I would love to have someone with amazing energy to also be included! Someone spunky like Lindsay @woodbrain or Joanie Sprague @joaniesprague would be SO much fun!! If it were an all-girl team, I would want my friend Brooke from @makersworkshopllc there too! She’s super tech savvy, brilliant and just absolutely hilarious!
You were at Makers Camp this year. How was that experience and how many years have you been going?
This was my very first time going to the Catskills Mountain Makers Camp at the Blackthorne Resort in New York, and it was seriously such a wonderful experience! It was amazing finally getting to meet all of our friends from social media, and we were able to partake in so many different types of making events! They had blacksmithing, demos and hands-on experiences with Alaskan Saw Mills, glass blowing, welding, chainsaw carving, welding, and my favorite: epoxy! And that’s just naming a few things!
This was also my first year ever being a demonstrator for TotalBoat at Makers Camp, and I just had such a blast being able to work next to such talented epoxy artists, like Jess Crow. I was also so happy and honored to be able to work next to Lucas @mannmadeinma, Roy @vintageaxeworks, Joanie Sprague @joaniesprague and Keith @shipwrightskills! The TotalBoat crew was absolutely amazing as well! They were so helpful, and I am forever grateful to be part of the TB fam! I love being able to teach, and being at Makers Camp was such a joy! It made my heart so happy to have the opportunity to share my knowledge of epoxy art with my friends!
What has being a maker and being in this community meant to you?
Being a maker has honestly been one of my favorite things I've ever been a part of. I just found this community at the end of 2020, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. This community is and has been so supportive, which is interesting considering that realistically, some of us are somewhat in “competition” with each other in the business sense!
I love that there’s a community-over-competition mentality, which is just wonderful. Everyone encourages each other, and so many members of this community are willing to help each other out, which I think is just beautiful. Some people in our community have gravitated towards making for mental health purposes, which is a reason why I turned to this community as well. The people of this community have not only become friends, but some of them feel like family now. I’m honored to be part of that. It’s definitely magical.
For those wanting to learn epoxy, what’s the best way to learn? Do you have epoxy resin classes?
Yes, I’ve been hosting private virtual lessons! I'm contacted by most of my clients through Instagram, @craftswithdre, but I can also be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for quotes on class prices. This year, it’s a goal of mine to set up a website for classes so definitely follow along so you can sign up for one!
Are there any projects you have coming up next you'd like to share?
We’re super excited for the upcoming Make48 events and for the Make48 workshop challenges! We’ll be brainstorming some ideas for a project we can make in our shop within 48 hours that might be able to help those in the community!
**The Fundraiser Is Live! Check out Dre's post and head over to Etsy or click the link here. This purchase benefits an amazing 6 year old named Leila who has been diagnosed with kidney cancer and recently underwent surgery to remove a 3lb tumor and one of her kidneys. A port was placed in her chest for chemo. While she is a fighter, she's got a long road ahead of her and will incur many medical bills for her family. All proceeds of this sticker sale will be going directly to Leila's family. This is a preorder that will be open until 2/28/22 - at that time stickers will be ordered and shipped out!
One tool you couldn’t do without:
Hmm… I would probably have to say a heat gun. I have too many, but it’s because they can all be used for different techniques and different reasons.
Maker who inspires you:
I would have to say that one maker that truly inspires me everyday is Tiffany Marchand from Night Carver Designs! She and I have been friends for almost a year now, and let me tell you, that girl is always hustling and thinking of different ways to expand her brand, and she is so successful at it! Every time I see a post of hers on Instagram, I’m always inspired to think about how I can improve my own brand.
And lastly, what’s the longest you’ve stayed up to finish a project?
Haha! I’ve definitely been known to “go to bed” (𝐚𝐤𝐚 lay there and think about epoxy projects) and then gotten up and gone into the shop just to “fix one thing” on a project I had worked on earlier in the day, and then stayed there until like 2am working on other projects.
I usually have about 3-5 projects going on at the same time. I’m definitely a night hawk, and I feel like that’s when my creativity starts to flow. It’s so quiet and calm at night, so it’s easier for my mind to focus on just one thing. I always keep a notebook by my bed so I can draw or write things down before I go to bed so I don’t forget them in the morning, too. The fun never stops!