Furt: Genesis

Koala-T and I put our minds together. We wanted to showcase a new encapsulation method that I was developing. Earlier that day, I had a eureka moment at work. Instead of simply submerging objects into semi-cured resin, why not try to “fuse” resin completely? In theory, it seemed feasible. Now, it was a matter of developing a method that was reliable and reproducible. I must admit, resin seemed like an unpredictable and volatile medium when I first began casting. Experience has given me the confidence to change this outlook. Although I am still at the mercy of resin, there was a sense of control that I now possessed.

I spent the following week developing this method. Despite my best efforts to mitigate the amount of time/materials/money lost during the experimentation phase, the losses were significant. “Gambler’s fallacy” is a fallacy in which the subject believes that low probability will eventually yield higher probability over time. It was stubbornness and gambler’s fallacy that led me to persevere despite facing failure time after time.

Skulls are so trite. But I’d be a liar to say that I didn’t want to sculpt one badly. Koala-T had been toying with some concepts on her own as well. Unfortunately, a skull wouldn’t have meshed well with the ideas she had. “How about a skeleton?” It wasn’t a bad idea. A skeleton would open up our options. An encapsulated skull would mean that sculpting a face would be mandatory. But a skeleton gave us a wider template to work off of.

I spent days with a magnifying visor on my head and precision dental tools in my shaky hands. When you’re encapsulating an object in something as small as a keycap, there will be certain parts of the cap that need to within nanometers in order to provide ample clearance. Looking at my finished sculpt, there were definitely areas that were no thicker than a few sheets of paper.

“It looks creepy”, she said. “That’s kind of the point”, I said. She held the master of the skeleton in her hand. “It’s so detailed!”. I was satisfied with the sculpt but we needed to find a way to incorporate encapsulation. We felt that the surface of the cap needed to be fairly simple to offset and contrast the detailed interior. Koala-T whipped up a cute little amorphous blob. This project was falling into place. I took the measurements and adjusted the skeleton. “There. It’s now cute and creepy”. We named him Furt.

Conceptually, Furt was ground-breaking in our eyes– but for those who aren’t familiar with resin casting, I’m sure it would be pretty underwhelming. Sure. Furt was cute and creepy but he needed personality. Once again, we put our minds together and put together a cryptic backstory to breathe life into that little critter.

“Meet Furt. Little is known about his origins. Legend has it that he was once a powerful wizard who lost his body in his quest to attain eternal life. Others say he arrived on a fiery meteor and is not of this world. What we do know is that Furt hungers. In order to sustain himself, Furt must constantly feed on souls. Luckily, Furt is quite pleasant when he’s not on an empty stomach. Don’t miss your chance to take one of these critters home. Don’t worry, KeyKollectiv is supplying the souls!”

I jumped the gun. In my excitement to show the community Furt, I rushed to get photos out. The pictures didn’t do it much justice. Reception of Furt was mixed. Although we had an outpour of support and excitement, it was apparent that he wasn’t ready. It was a major departure from SnacKeys. Ultimately, the aesthetic of the keycap greatly outweighs the execution/technique to the community. Koala-T warned that it was too early to present Furt to the world. As always, she was right.