the making of chester the snail
Do you ever wonder what goes into making a product? Maybe how many people are involved? How many hours it takes and how many hands are all over a project? I'm going to break it down for you here and share how Chester the Snail was born.
Before we start, there is a fun fact about this guy. Chester was my maternal grandfather who was the grandfather of all grandfathers. He taught me to relax, take long walks and just enjoy life to the fullest. It was only fitting to name this sweet guy after my 'poppop'.
I had a vision of this snail tape dispenser but first needed to make sure it didn't exist out there in the world.
The next step was to take what i had envisioned and get it on paper. I had many ideas - in fact i first i wanted it to hold two rolls of washi tape but learned through the process that wouldn't be feasible in order to keep the correct proportion of the snail. What you see above are some of the images i pulled through my snail research and one of my final sketches i used.
The images of snails and my sketch with dimensions would then be passed to a 3D artist to create a drawing of the snail. This is a very intense and precise step because the final set of drawings would be used to have a mold created in the factory.
Back to the drawing board we went. There were 3 more iterations before the final set of drawings became final and approved.
The image below shows the final set of renderings that was used to create a 3D printout (which is very cool) and also to create a mold to produce all the snails.
Once the mold is created, work can start on the snails. Keep in mind, that one mold can only produce about 40 snails. So think about the handwork that needs to be done in order to produce hundreds and thousands of snails. It's intense and each mold is created by hand. You can see it here.
Seeing my design come to life was one of the best moments of my career. I've never designed and been part of ceramic production prior to this so i learned as i went. It was exciting, challenging, frustrating, and amazing! Talk about a big bottle of emotions.
As far as hands that were involved in producing one single product, the list is pretty big. Me, our logistics coordinator, the 3D team, the 3D print team, the factory coordination, the artists at the factory, the production team and the packaging team.
If i had to guess how many man hours and emails? Hundreds.
I put together a video to see the handwork in action also. You can see it here.
Enjoy him and enjoy owning a piece of my childhood memories.