Thursday, November 09, 2006

For the last task in the creation of the duckie I wrote up some silly sayings and a message for the back of the box. And then waited for word that the duckies had shipped. To save on frieght charges, which can be significant, the Quilting Rubber Duckie was to ship with several new Celebridcuks, including Captain Hook. As is goes with most things, a little problem cropped up in that Captain Hook's arm didn't quite fit in the box, so the entire shipment was held up a little.

In the meantime the large quilt trade and consumer shows held annually in Houston were upon us. Two boxes of ducks were air shipped to my hotel. Upon arrival I retrieved them and hustled up to my room to open the box. She is everything I envisioned and more. She's beautiful!

Friday, October 27, 2006

... just a few days later these photos arrived. That's it! That's my Quilting Rubber Duckie!

And she's more beautiful than I had ever dreamed.

The magic word must have been "pastel" for her coloring is right on. I realized as I stared at her photos that I had been totally successful--because I was beaming ear-to-ear.

Now, how many to order and how to market them?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

I was stuck in Atlanta traffic on my way home when Craig called to tell me he had e-mailed me photos of the molded and painted duckie. Wow--that was fast!

My eyes must have been saucers as I waited in anticipation of the photos coming up. Yow! She's gorgeous! So, so close. Just a little bright. Too primary for my intended audience. So I sent my suggestions to Craig and...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Having given my a-okay, the sculpt was off to the factory in China to be molded.

Meanwhile, in preparation for the following step in producktion Craig asked me for the colors I wanted the duck painted. I sent him a tracing of David's drawing with the colors painted on and the Pantone numbers accompanying in. I wasn't very happy with the way my colors looked. Afterall my medium is fabric, not paint!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Next step: the sculpt. Bring on the duckie in 3D!

Once again I held my breathe as I opened the e-mail and the first pictures came up. It's amazing how much detail David got with the clay-like material he uses. More than any other duckie I've seen. And interesting that he used pieces of--is that wood?- to make things like the bolt of fabric and scissors and rotary cutter.

But the quilting wasn't right. It looks like couched ribbon rather than thread.

Sure enough the second time was a charm. She's wonderful!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The e-mail arrived with the first images of the sculpter's drawings. I opened it and was pelasantly surpised. While it wasn't "it" it was on the road to being my vision.

The sweetness was there for sure, and the expression very good. It was interesting to discover that "quilted" brings to mind for most people a mattress pad.

I knew we were on the right road and could get this to where I wanted it.

To help David understand what quilting means to quilters, I scanned some pages from a book showing actual quilting stitches on fabric. His next effort was so right-on! Hey David, you're a good stippler! The wings became feathers rather than quilted. Much better. Love that top knot!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The process started with imparting my vision to the sculpter. Having proven to myself that my sculpting skills--or lack thereof--weren't up to the task, I sketched the duck in my mind as best I could to give Craig's sculpter insight into my vision.

In my collecting and research for the book I had fallen for the pretty ducks of the 50's and 60's with their subtle detail and coloring. They were nothing short of beautiful. That's the feel I wanted in my duckie. So, I posed several of these ducks and included them with my sketches. I hit "send" and the e-mail sped off into cyber space. What would come back to me I wondered.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

In my research for the book I befriended Craig Wolfe, founder of Celebriducks. The man who took a chance that character ducks immortalizing celebrities would be a hit. Yup, you guessed it, they are! Story has it that Craig and a friend got the idea while in a hot tub. Appropriate...

Craig started his Celebriducks line with such caricatures as Mona Lisa, Betty Boop, Santa Claus and the Three Stooges. The line has since gone on to popular sports figures, music icons and even Jesus himself!

Always supportive of my vision and sure of my drive, Craig was ready to help when I finally decided to take the leap to design my own duck for production.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

That first effort was created using FIMO, which proved to ill-afford the detail I was after. I made further attempts with self-hardening clay, such as those seen here.

Meanwhile my rubber duckie book was accepted by Running Press--the editor raved over my proposal.

The book became the Rubber Duckie Kit: a pop culture book about rubber duckies packaged with a very generic, readily-available duck. The history of rubber ducks fascinated me, and together with the current rubber duckie collectors and makers served up a rich history and interesting and hilarious text.

The book was condensed into a Rubber Duckie Mini Kit which resides in a display by the check out counter at major booksellers.

Still, no rubber duckie of my design, but with over 100,000 copies sold in the first year, my notion that rubber duckies have tremendous appeal was confirmed. With thirty books to my credit this was my bestseller. Oh yes, there is a market for things rubber duckie!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

This blog is dedicated to the realization of my dream to design, have manufactured, and distribute a rubber duckie.
Having collected rubber duckies for several years, I gained an appreciation for old ducks, made in the 60's. As I researched the makers of these collectibles for a book I wrote (my best seller out of 30 to date!) I became more and more fascinated with them. For example, the Rempel ducks were made by a Russian immigrant who arrived here in the States with nothing. This husband/wife team recreated his idyllic childhood with a book brought to life by the rubber characters he sculpted. These were pretty ducks made by entrepreneurs who loved what they did. Why couldn't I do the same today?
In my research I found several modern-day entrepreneurs who were making rubber ducks , much like toymakers of four decades previous, only the manufacturing is taking place in Asian countries whereas the toy business was centered in Akron, Ohio previously.
As a quilt designer my medium is fabric, so as I set about sculpting from clay my first attempts were scary. Over time I made a few decent duckies. Also, I worked out characters in quilts, honing my idea of what a rubber duckie is.
Of course, on the surface this got me nowhere in my pursuit of bringing my own duckie to market.
Or so it seemed...