6 out of 18. 8 out of 18. I counted the viable caps. I dumped the duds. At this point, I wasn’t even keeping the defective ones for archives. Fresh from the mold and straight to the trash. This was becoming infuriating. This “resin-fusing” technique required quite a bit of work. Preparation of the molds takes roughly an hour. First phase was 3-4 hours. Secondary prep required another hour. Final phase was another 3-4 hours. The total — 10 hours. 10 hours to make each key. At a 33-50% success rate, each defective cap was a day of work. Each dud, a slap in the face.
Obviously, the process needed more refining. PM’s poured in asking when Furt was ready. Offers to help fund the project were kindly refused. It wasn’t that we didn’t need the help. We were too stubborn to ask for hand-outs. The decision to turn down offers stung even more when we opened the bucket of silicone. Empty. We stared at each other and knew what needed to be done.
I opened the little acrylic box in the closet. We used these archives as reference for any future collections. To Koala-T, our archives were the only reminder we had of our past failures and achievements– a KeyKollectiv time capsule. One day, we would take them out and laugh at how crude they were. But today, these last SnacKeys would help pay for more supplies. I reluctantly posted them up on /r/mechmarket. Two minutes and they were gone. It wasn’t enough to buy more supplies so holiday gift money was withdrawn from the bank account. I was determined to bring Furt to the masses.
But Furt wasn’t ready for the masses. Up until now, failure was never an option for me. Hell, KeyKollectiv mods brought me to the brink of the City of Los Angeles putting a lien on my apartment and I still pushed forward. But no matter how much I pushed this project, the results were the same. Low yields and lost resources. “You’ve got to know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em”.
Pulling the plug on Furt was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve made in the lifespan of KeyKollectiv. Over this time, Koala-T and I had grown such a strong attachment to this little blob. Every time we pulled the molds from the pressure pot, it felt like pulling life from a bubbling cauldron. He felt alive. Full of personality. The mischievous look on his face and the souls he devoured inside his fat slimy body. It was so hauntingly charming.
Did it hurt financially? Absolutely. But what got to me was that we would not be able to share Furt with the community. The photos just didn’t do it justice. You had to hold one in your hand to appreciate the details and aesthetics. In the end, only 25 Furts made the cut. I reminded myself that at least there would 25 people out there who would truly know how I felt about Furt. We raffled off the survivors. Over 350 people entered. We felt the pang of defeat as we sent those Furts out in the mail. And with that, we placed the molds into that little box in the closet and turned off the lights in our lab.
A touching review of Furt from one of the proud owners (Credit: esplin2966):