Business Card Holder
The business card hold is really the accidental prop; I had never intended to use it as a salable item. In 1996, we bought a space at a Halloween Trade Show in Chicago, IL. While the HEDZ were the central focus, I wanted to jazz the display up with some other items. So we built a coffin which was used to collect other company's business cards and I built two business card holders like the one you see here. The display was balanced, so I made the business card holders balanced as well. There was one with the handle of the left side and another with the handle on the right.
I made the original two prototype business card holders out of regular materials, just as I had don with a lot of the other HEDZ prototypes. The hatchet handles were actually wood handles I purchased at a hardware store. The axe was made of my favorite modeling material for creating semi-smooth surfaces: Model Magic molded around a piece of flat wood (to give the model magic strength.) Then I glued that to a block of wood in the back because the axe handle was so heavy a lever that the thing tended to want to topple over on it's side. The hand was made from a life-casting kit I purchased at a hobby store. Yes, that is actually my hand. Then I set it in the model magic and put our company logo in the back.
They looked pretty neat when complete, so we decided to use them to not only hand out business cards, but to collect them as well. We did this by auctioning one of them off to entice people to throw their business cards in the coffin. It worked pretty well, too; we got several hundred cards that way. In fact there was so much interest in them, that I decided to make them somehow.
I couldn't very well make a bunch of life-casts of my hand, so I decided to talk to Ed, the owner of the ceramic mold-making shop who was helping me create molds for the ceramic dish products. He thought the mold wood pick up the wood grain and folds in the life-cast well. I decided to leave our logo off the back of it because we were going to sell the thing to other business owners, so that was lost. The molding process worked well and we were soon producing ceramic business card holders.
You may notice that the prototype photos up there are of a left-handed holder, which the final ceramic versions are of a right-handed holder. This is because we cast the ceramic molds from the right-handed prototype. Unfortunately the original right-hand prototype was destroyed in the molding process. Since I still had the left-handed one when I created this page, I was able to show you the photos of it since it wasn't used after the Halloween show.