The lucky guy is firstname.lastname@example.org, with numerical order 793. Thank you, everyone, for joining. See you next time.
Update 3 11/11/23
Today marks a significant step in my journey with keycap design as I finalise the outermost layer. What you’re witnessing is the casting of the second resin layer, ingeniously shaped to resemble transparent, terraced rice fields, complete with the enchanting effect of a gently sparkling starry sky. This final resin layer not only offers a splendid visual treat, mimicking the ethereal beauty of twinkling stars suspended in the cosmos, especially noticeable in a lateral view, but it also allows light to permeate unobstructed to the underlying layers of wood and paper.
This captivating effect, a first of its kind, was initially implemented on select screens in the retro TV collection. Now, it’s being splendidly adapted to the expansive canvas of the Artifact design, creating a breathtakingly beautiful result. The image barely does justice to what I’m feeling in my hands; the keycaps, when tilted, reveal the mesmerizing beauty of this effect.
With this design, I’m thrilled to unveil four distinct versions, each representing one of the four seasons, and available in three sizes: 1u, 2.25u (enter), and 6.25u (spacebar), complemented by SA and Droplet profiles. The group buy is set to launch next Thursday, 16/11, at 11 PM (GMT+7). As always, we’ll host a prototype giveaway the day before. I invite you to join us in this exciting launch.
Update 2 30/10/23
As mentioned in the previous update regarding the effects layer for this design, I decided to add two additional transparent layers to the frame. For the first layer, I emphasized the grandeur by unevenly protruding the inner wood grain from 0.5mm to 2mm and then covered it with a subtle hue to prevent the upper resin layer from blending away.
Finally, after casting and polishing the second layer, what we have in hand is this fantastic 3D hologram effect. Additionally, I sprinkled some sparkling particles reminiscent of snowflakes from the mountain peaks in the winter version, which was truly magnificent.
Compared to the previous designs in the Artifact collection, the number of layers this time is remarkably high. While the frame layers consumed 18 layers of wood and paper, we added nine more layers to the base. These base layers are fragile to create a space for the stem, ensuring a seamless design.
I plan to launch the prototype versions of this collection in a Groupbuy at the beginning of November. I’ve designed for three sizes: Spacebar, Enter, and 1u keycaps.
This design reminds me of my Forbidden Realm model, which won the award for the most beautiful keycaps in 2017, organised by Deskthority. It truly brings back a lot of memories.
Update 1 22/10/23
It has been quite a while since the last model in the Artifact collection was introduced (first launched at the end of 2016 with the Oasis model). I finally had the opportunity to introduce the next version due to the complexity involved in crafting this type of keycap. Right from the first version, we employed techniques such as cutting and layering wood and paper together to create the desired height and depth for the keycap layout.
This time, the challenge was to elevate our Artifact series to a new level, using 18 layers of meticulously examined wood and paper, along with perfecting the manual dyeing technique for each paper layer.
Step 1: The first task was laser-cutting thin wood sheets (or paper for certain layers). The cutting process itself wasn’t lengthy; luckily, the laser cutting machine handled this part very well. The challenge here was to accurately align the laser-cut parts and determine the amount of material being used. This was particularly challenging with the spacebar, where, after cutting, up to 200 pieces needed to be removed from the frame. Removing these pieces after cutting was quite tricky because they were tiny and weren’t completely cut by the laser beam… believe me, you wouldn’t want to try it.
Step 2: Ultrasonic cleaning was done after removing the pieces from the frame. Each keycap had to be cleaned individually because grouping multiple keycaps at once would make it difficult to sort them out. Each layer had different shapes and varying numbers of puzzle pieces, and, I emphasise, there were up to 18 layers.
Step 3: Thorough drying in a dust-free environment was crucial, as it would affect the subsequent steps.
Step 4: The dyeing process followed. There were more than 10 different colours in a single 6.25u spacebar, totalling 200 pieces. We had to sort the pieces by colour and layer for each keycap individually. Therefore, working with small batches made the dyeing process manageable. Additionally, the dyeing times for paper and wood differed significantly. You wouldn’t want to see a piece of paper dissolve in water and have to cut a new one to replace it; trust me on this one. Afterward, the previous steps were repeated for each layer.
Step 5: Drying again, but this time, the difficulty level increased. The dyeing process made the material quite sensitive. Applying too much pressure during drying would leave marks on the paper and wood pieces. Overall, this step required extreme caution. Any mistake meant starting over.
Step 6: Arrange each piece, stick them together, and trim excess if necessary. This step wasn’t highly challenging, but it demanded infinite patience. The glue had to be used to secure the pieces. Too little glue, and the layer being glued might fall off when working on the next layer. Too much glue, and it could spill over, thickening the layers. The worst-case scenario was the glue spilling over the edge, damaging the entire block.
There are still many steps left to complete the process, including the base, casting stem, and creating effects like flowing rivers and skies. I will do my best to achieve the highest visual impact and maintain a simple and comfortable appearance.
I hope to execute this model flawlessly after returning to this wood assembling genre after four years. Fans have always requested me to create this series, but I want to remind you all: I haven’t forgotten about this series, but it’s incredibly challenging to produce and involves a lot of steps. Fortunately, Jelly Key’s customers are individuals who demand high artistic elements and respect the craftsmanship involved in a keycap. This continuously fuels my passion for creating keycaps with the most increased complexity and requires the highest crafting skills in the market.