Spotlight On: David Haws
David Haws, owner of Haws & Co., a Gold Key Dealer, florist and gift shop in Lehi, Utah, has been a valued customer of Hot Wire Foam Factory for years. He uses the tools to create excitement and inspire his customers and community with his display expertise.
Hot Wire Foam Factory: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
David Haws: We are a gift and floral shop in Lehi, Utah that has gone into many other design avenues to use my creativity.
HWFF: What led you to start working with foam?
DH: I have used foam for more than twelve years. It’s only been about the last four or five years that I have been using your tools. Your tools have made the job faster with more control on what I’m doing; more precise cuts, less wire brushing or sanding. I use all the tools on a regular basis, as all of them have their uses in every project.
HWFF: How did you find out about Hot Wire Foam Factory?
DH: I saw an ad in Village D-Lights magazine.
HWFF: Who did you build the float for? How long did it take you to complete it?
DH: Normally the floats are for a city, for their royalty to ride in other city parades throughout the summer. It usually takes two to three weeks to build them, depending how much time is available each day with other projects needing attention.
HWFF: How did you get involved with your city – is it a volunteer situation?
DH: I have been the local director of the Miss Lehi pageant and the state director of Miss Utah, which put me in contact with the local city officials and as state director, with other city officials throughout the state. We are paid for the construction of the floats, though with the amount of work you put into a float sometimes you feel like a volunteer. Again working with your tools, the job is cut in half or more because of the speed you can design large and small props.
HWFF: Is this a side hobby for you, or do you do this professionally?
DH: We have a store front, and we do all types of design work, for displays, commercial work, interior design, floats, etc. The design work that I do in my own show room is to generate excitement for displaying Department 56’s lit houses. Holidays are always a great time to showcase different designs. My first project was a witch’s cauldron with a fire under it, to display a Halloween village. Halloween displays are always great, and I have done tombstones, coffins with open lids, skulls, and extra large pumpkins carved out to display the lit houses inside.
This has generated a lot of excitement not only for the lit houses, but giving creative people ideas for making their own displays and for that reason I have been selling your tools to my customers to help in their creative expression in their displays at home. I have a great deal of background in set design and your tools are the tools we would use to do the fine detail work.
HWFF: Why do you use foam as your base for projects, instead of paper mache or another medium?
DH: With your tools you can go right to work if you have the foam – there is no drying or waiting time. Weight is a real issue too, because with foam you can create massive designs without the extreme poundage that comes with other media.
HWFF: Do you have a tip you’d like to share with our subscribers?
DH: First, I would strongly suggest getting face masks to protect your breathing and make sure you have good ventilation. My favorite technique in gluing for small to medium jobs is using insulation foam and skewers. The skewers are important for several reasons: they insert easily into the foam and you can get structural support in smaller detail for things such as fingers, small add-ons, embellishments, etc.
However, for me, the most important use is because the insulation foam expands, the skewers hold your design in place and can be removed once the foam is set up or left in the design for more support. Any pieces left sticking out of the foam can be easily cut away. Spray foam can be used to fill in areas that might need to be filled or to give some extra detail mass that once it dried, can be shaped.
HWFF: Do you offer classes?
DH: I would be happy to give private lessons. Please contact me at the store for more details. Our phone number is (801) 768-8306 and our store address is:
Haws & Co.
127 E. Main, Suite D Lehi, UT 84043