Lindsay Zeulich: Making Magic with Her Hands

Lindsay Zuelich doesn’t like to define herself as one thing. Instead, she proudly states she’s a magician, making magic with her hands.

Raised by a single father who had a huge collection of tools, she became his helper whenever he was fixing up anything. Every holiday, she would get a new tool for her own collection. Her dad, Jack, was literally a jack-of-all-trades, and Zuelich grew up always being told “There’s nothing you can’t do.”

Above: A young Lindsay helping her dad, Jack

Beyond building work, Zuelich was the first girl on her middle school football team, then switched to wrestling for high school so she could stay in her own weight class. On the other hand, she was always making her own clothes, even sewing her own prom dress. At college in NYC, her majors reflected a wide range of interests, but all centered around creating with her hands.

Above: A few of the flasks, wallets, and lighters Zuelich veneered

Soon, she opened her own brick and mortar store, Wood Brain. Zuelich collected a wide variety of exotic veneers from local woodworkers and boat builders and applied veneers a plethora of products, from flasks to wallets. At the same time, she started her Instagram account and began making friends in the maker community.

Above: Veneer art! Zuelich with a self portrait and one she did of her friend Rachel Metz’ dog, Callie

As her platform grew, Zuelich wanted to branch out into YouTube and start creating more than just veneer work, after getting burnt out from being a one-woman shop for years. She saw her friends in the community doing well, and decided to give it a try.

Throughout college and her brick and mortar days, Zuelich also worked at Trader Joe’s, creating signage for them while getting the salary and benefits that allowed her to dive into YouTube until she was making enough to pursue content creation full time.

Above: The before and after of Zuelich’s kitchen renovation

The first of her YouTube projects came from renovating her own house. Living on the same lot her whole life, her dad surprised her on her 18th birthday with the mother-in-law suite built in the back. After he passed, she moved back into the main house and began renovations her dad had always dreamed about.

Above: Zuelich’s large greenhouse, with a koi pond

From building a stunning greenhouse with a koi pond to removing the walls between the kitchen and dining room and rewiring the house, Zuelich has been transforming the space she lives in, all while documenting it on YouTube.

In order for her content, and her mind, not to get stagnant, Zuelich started exploring other avenues as well. Finding a large, old key collection of her dad’s, she did her first big epoxy pour and made a 8 ft. by 2 ft. countertop with the keys embedded in it. There were so many keys, she also made wall hangings and smaller tables, gifting one to TotalBoat!

Above, Top to Bottom: An epoxy countertop embedded with her dad’s keys, and his tools displayed on the wall; the table Zuelich made and gifted to TotalBoat

Zeulich started out using TotalBoat MakerPoxy, as it has an easy 1:1 ratio with a long 60-minute working time, calling it ‘beginner-proof’. But once she played around with it more, she expanded into using TotalBoat ThickSet epoxy for deeper pours and TotalBoat TableTop Epoxy for its thicker viscosity and shorter cure time.

Above: The fiber optic MakerPoxy night ceiling Zuelich made

Instead of going with a boring wood attic hatch, she decided to make one out of epoxy and fiber optics, creating a glow-in-the-dark moon on her ceiling surrounded by stars.

Above: Zuelich and her friend, Craig Cowan of @thebarefootforge, goofing around at Maker Camp 2021

After attending the first WorkBench Conference and doing a large-scale campaign, Zuelich found herself surrounded by like-minded people. With Craig Cowan, @thebarefootforge on Instagram, they started “The Maker’s Happy Hour” podcast, conveniently, right before the COVID pandemic started, so she was able to continue meeting and connecting with others until they could meet up in person again.

Above: Zuelich’s “The Most Beautiful Boat in the World” – award-winning boat from the 2022 TotalBoat Makeregatta

Fully in the community now, it’s hard not to find her at an event making everything more entertaining, while giving the best epoxy demos in the TotalBoat booth!

Above, Top to Bottom: The epoxy skulls from Zuelich’s molds with her ‘Wood Brain’

Recently, Zuelich has been experimenting with making her own molds for epoxy. Naturally, starting with a skull and wooden CNC-carved brain, she worked to make the skulls crystal clear in some areas, and matte in others. So far, moldmaking has been one of her favorite projects, and she wants to continue learning how to make them with the least amount of waste.

Above, Top to Bottom: Zuelich varnishing the pieces for her turtles’ new home, including a shell-inlayed epoxy ramp/house

In addition to epoxy, Zuelich has been using TotalBoat varnishes, using Lust marine varnish on the outside of her ‘Turtle Town’ build for her red-footed tortoises, and TotalBoat Halcyon varnish on the inside for easy cleanup.

“I can’t wait to start experimenting with the paints and even flotation foam! It’s so nice that TotalBoat has such a wide variety of products for so many different applications.”

Above: The 2022 Maker Camp TotalBoat Crew! From left: Alex of @alexwalkertexasranger, Justin of @_callmemabie_, Kristy, Keith of @tipsfromashipwright, Leah, Cheryl of @totalcher, Katie of @builtbythebay, Mike of @totalbmike, Kristin of @total_kristinb, Lou of @tipsfromashipwright, Lindsay of @wood_brain, Halsey, and Dre of @craftswithdre.

To see her latest home projects and experiments, follow Zuelich @wood_brain on Instagram, Wood Brain by Lindsay Zuelich on YouTube, and listen to The Maker’s Happy Hour wherever you get your podcasts. ■

Article by Leah Kossak, TotalBoat Social Media Specialist

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