Monday, December 19, 2005


As promisedI’m sure you’re all at the edge of your keyboards waiting – I’m posting pictures of the Humboldt Club key chains I’ve been working on. There were a few setbacks, some disappointment, and some design revisions, but I am generally pleased with the end product.

The first problem was with the rubber stamp I had made. It looked fine but I didn’t think it was big enough. I gave them a sample of the wood and I just said I want the text to fill the space. I’ll take some credit for this because I should have told them explicitly what point font to use. I could have printed something out at home and taken it in.

At any rate, I went ahead and used what I got. It’s not really the end of the world. So I stamped the wood and put on a coat of shellac. After it dried I added the keys, and chain I picked up at the hardware store. Here’s what I ended up with.

I was really not happy with it. The chain was all wrong and the lettering still bothered me. I decided I needed to do it over. The first thought was to re-cut new wood and make it smaller. I then decided to look for another stamp that I could use to boarder the existing text.

I stripped off the shellac, and because I had oiled the wood I could easily sand off the exiting lettering with steel wool. The ink did not really penetrate the wood. I then re-stamped the wood and shifted the lettering towards the top. With a second stamp I add some “scrambled eggs” to the bottom. Sort of Victorian-esque, I guess.

After that I but on a single coat of shellac. I didn’t want it to be any darker than it already was. I decided to use steel beads and died hemp string instead of the chain. I felt I was reverting to some proto-hippie state and I added the beads and hemp string. In away the hemp and beads are a nod to the present Humboldt County, if you know what I mean, while the old-growth redwood and skeleton keys are a nod to the areas past. Below is what I ended up with. They look odd in the pictures, but I think they came out alright.

I ended up making 8 of them because that is how many keys I got off EBay. I vacillate back and forth as to whether this is a good gift or not. If it were me I know I would like it, but I’m not sure how others might like this sort of thing. I’ll still picture a reaction like, “Oh, it’s nice” {fake smile} “What is it?”

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