Author Topic: F. A. Q.  (Read 89724 times)

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Offline ClackFactory

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F. A. Q.
« on: Wed, 30 November 2011, 15:17:39 »
There are many questions with their respective answers to be posted, hold up while I gather some of the more choice ones. I will keep the dirty sexual favor related ones out (you know who you are).  XD

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Q: What motivated/inspired your pusuit of these keys?
A: In 2007 was in a bad car accident and I was regretting not focusing on my own art. I decided to revisit an older fine art sculpture of mine. While I was working on it some people became interested in parts of it, and, well...
My keys have become an even more complete representation of the original (unfinished) sculpture, so I moved forward with them instead. I may still revisit that sculpture once more.

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Q: What is your inspiration for some of the designs?
A: I'm pulling from a number of different areas actually. Mostly the themes presented in my original sculpture (see above^) as well as current social themes, however, some have come from commissions.

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Q: How many different designs/styles have you made?
A: Many. Hundreds I would guess, some similar to what you have readily seen and many which are privately held.

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Q: Why so many skulls? I'm a fussy pants and I want answers!
A: Grow up! =P
Despite it's many potential juvenile incarnations elsewhere, this one is rooted in the meaning of the original sculpture it was derived from. The skulls even have a name, though I don't publicize it. In short I call them "i". Think of the skull more in the symbolic sense like in the "poison" sign or in "Dia de los Muertos".

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Q: Can you make a skull look real also?
A: LoL, yes. This was my design and logo for the project. Many people liked it and it stuck.
I'm a professional figure sculptor and fine art sculptor in general, well versed in anatomy. There are other skull designs that exist by my hand as well.

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Q: Why do you have so many colors and how many colors have you made?
A: What can I say, I like diversity I guess. I don't just make keys with my processes and equipment so some colors come from other pursuits, commissions, and some from that old "spice of life" thing.
I would have to count but I'm sure there are over 300 color styles by now.

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Q: What materials have you made keys in?
A: Oh good gawd! Well, *gulp*, here goes...
(no particular order, just as they come to me)
PS, ABS, PUR (various), POM (Delrin), vinyl, aluminum, titanium, bronze, wood (various), SI, PC, PP, LDPE, CFRP (carbon fiber), GRP, FRP (general), UP, EP, PVC, PBT, lost souls (i keed), latex, NR, charcoal, stones (various), onyx, amber, shell, bone, silver, gold (usually plated), police (lulz copper), brass, steel, glass (various), hopes and dreams (loling), proprietary polymer composites (engineered by yours truly), bizmuth, pewter, stainless steel, PET, fused silica, tungsten, ceramics (mainly porcelain), paper (various), photo polymer (for lulz, had to make a computer feel special too), aluminum cans (twas cool!), acrylic (various), sugar, candy (various), chocolate (various and filled), sweat and tears (from various gods), paint (to prove a point), icecream (ode to an old friend), ice (twas chill), enamels (mainly for cloisonne and champleve), and tape (a lot funnier if you knew me). 

Can you tell I have a varied background and like to experiment? =P
I'm likely forgetting some but this should help out those who are constantly wondering to within an inch of their life. I'm trying to gather many of them for one big photo shoot. Some were sold in small quantities and some were never sold/distributed. I know I forgot some, but you get the point. =P

Q: What is/who/are "dibs"?
A: 1st rule of dibs, do not talk about dibs!

Q: What keyboards and switches will your keys fit on?
A: I have keys compatible with Cherry MX switches, Topre switches, IBM Buckling Spring switches, and ALPS switches. They are always labeled as such and are usually labeled for which particular keyboards keys and rows they happen to match closely with or replace.

Q: What's the difference between FXESC and Clack Factory? CFK?
A: FXESC is the name and hub for all of my artistic pursuits so the Clack Factory would be under and a part of that as a specific pursuit of my keyboard related work. As for CFK, it's Clack Factory Keys, or someones favorite fast food chain backwards. =P

Q: Is this ____ one of your keys? Or How do I know if I have one of your keys?
A: All of my keys are marked with either "FXE" or "CF" in a circle or rectangle, if not you've been duped!

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Q: Have you collaborated with or endorsed the use of your designs (artistic or functional) by other makers (manufacturer/hobbyist)?
A: 99% of the time NOPE! They either directly copied my work or at best were heavily influenced by it. All of my art is copyrighted.

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Q: This keycap has a stem similar to yours, how can I tell if it's a cc.
A: A number of individuals have copied my stem designs, offsets, inner profiles, and styles. Why? Because they were apparently good designs. Look for my markings mentioned above^ to see if they were made by me.

Q: Wait! Will you still sell through Elitekeyboards.com???
A: Yes, I will be offering mostly different items here in different quantities, EK is my distributor and deals more with specific volume runs and such.

Q: Where can I buy your keys?
A: How did you miss the question above?  ^

Q: I want so and so key, can you make it? And can you do it now?
A: Probably and probably not right now. XD
Honestly, I really have a lot on my plate right now. I will hopefully be available for simple custom runs soon and complex ones at a later date.

Q: What OEM or company do you use to make your keys?
A: It's just me and my gnomes on equipment designed, fabricated, and operated by... me!  =)

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Q: Where are your keys made?
A: 100% in the U.S.A.  Believe it or not that includes everything! My materials are also 100% made and sourced in the U.S.A as well as my equipment (fabricated and/or sourced).

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Q: Do you throw away your mistakes?
A: No I keep them close by in order to stay humble. LuLz
Honestly, I recycle, reuse, and upcycle over 90% of my materials and components by weight, volume, and quantity.

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Q: Do you use computers to make your keys?
A: NOPE! These works are all crafted by my hands. I use old prototyping practices as well as special techniques I have personally created/developed over the years. I have a custom built duplicator (similar to a pantograph) that I use from time to time. I don't use cheap silicone molds nor do I use overly expensive hardened steel ones stuck in an injection press or a paint pot.

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Q: Can you tell me more specifics on how you make your keys?
A: Yes, but will I? Probably not. I did that a few times long ago and the individuals turned around and tried (emphasis on "try") to copy and sell them.

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Q: Can you teach me how to make keys?
A: Yes, but will I? See above^. I have taught a good number of students how to do similar things in a more simplistic process. Some of their projects included better versions of some of the other keys you see around.


Q: Can you tell me what ghost keys you have and when they were available?
A: Nope!  ;)

Q: Can I get some free stuff?
A: Uh... can I?

Q: Can I buy a ton of your keys for a discount and sell them?
A: You mean, can you be a distributor? At this time I am only selling through Elitekeyboards and myself (Clack Factory, clickclack).

« Last Edit: Sun, 27 October 2013, 14:08:48 by ClackFactory »
A.K.A. "clickclack"   Vendor link ->Clack Factory   I've done so much with so little for so long, that I can do almost anything with nothing at all

Offline ClackFactory

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Re: F. A. Q.
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 22 September 2012, 16:43:38 »
Hi everyone,

Thank you all for your interest in my keys and the support and motivation you provide in that interest.
In my artistic expression and related pursuits I am continually confronted in life with what the following quote summarizes.

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"  -Charles Caleb Colton

Well, sometimes it is and sometimes it's not. To say it's variable and yet clearly defined would be confusing if not true. So I think it best to
help with simple clarification for those unfamiliar with my copyrighted works. If you need to get into the fine specifics of imitation, copying, and derivative works and how they "might" differ then I suggest you take a studied look into why you are having to tow that line so carefully. Seriously, think about, don't fool yourself, because no on else is.


First up, there is the issue of my artwork existing in multiple forms by my hand. Clearly my work exists in multiple three dimensional forms and for those who may not know my work also exists in multiple two dimensional forms as well, including photography. There are illustrative works that exist from concepts to finished artwork in various media.

I also work very diligently to keep my work (and representation thereof) at a high standard. This in part helps to avoid confusion, saturation, and devaluation of the work I have tried tirelessly to create and build up over the years (no easy task that any artist can attest to). It is very easy to ride someone else hard earned wave because they are already doing all the hard work for you. This is why copying exists, it's easy. Many people mistake the ease or difficulty of making a physical copy as the be all and end all of the work. This is however not the case, the infrastructure and public appearance is often just as comprehensive, intense, and creative if not more so than the work itself.

Secondly the issue of donations and special requests is also something I hear about quite often. I have done numerous contributions to people who have represented some sort of heart felt story. Why, well... because I'm human. When it comes to this community sometimes since I feel such a strong connection to you guys I let stuff slide or overindulge a good bit more than I should. I often get the family emergency, pet emergency, scholastic emergency, automotive emergency, GF emergency, employment emergency, big fan emergency? (lol), and "threat" emergency (if you don't do ... I will do ..., type stuff). I get this multiple times a week (on a slow week). As one could imagine this gets a bit difficult to deal with and does contribute to general delays in my work. On top of that I would say about 1/3 seem to be a bit disingenuous and I feel I got burned/suckered. The other two thirds make me feel warm and fuzzy inside but somtimes also like a sucker. "Why is that", you might ask? Well, not for the reason you might think. It's due to the fact that the "secondhand" market is substantial for some of the work I have created. When you add in the freebies, donations, and what people sell for profit, that seems to amount to more than what I make from them!!! You could say I'm a crummy business man and/or you could say that I'm just extremely flattered that people are this interested in my work.

And just to put a point on things I see around here in different posts and threads I will offer this here semi-crude analogy-
If you saw somebody go to Toys "R" Us, buy up all or some of a specific toy, then sell it right outside for more, how would you feel about that?
Now, lets say "YOU" were a mom and pop store, artist on the street, gallery, etc... and you see the same thing happen to you... think about it.
I exist on this site, I am a community member here.


For the TL;DR crowd (well sorta)-
I generally do not authorize the copying of my work, especially if you asked me after the fact. My work is indeed copyrighted (duh).
I get heart felt stories all the time as well as favors asked, I indulge some of the time, sometimes to my detriment.
Copying does far more damage than many of you think, (laws exist because of just that fact).
I work exceptionally hard to keep my work and representation thereof to the highest standards that I can.

And last but not least, (and I should capitalize this whole sentence but it would be too garish)-
Why do some of you act as if I'm not a community member here and sitting four inches away?

Thank you for reading, understanding my view(s), and respecting my legal rights.

-cc   =)
« Last Edit: Sun, 23 September 2012, 08:01:42 by ClackFactory »
A.K.A. "clickclack"   Vendor link ->Clack Factory   I've done so much with so little for so long, that I can do almost anything with nothing at all