So you want to know a little background on Artisan Dice? Check out this video interview I did with the awesome folks at BBG.CON last year.
Ok so if you're in a hurry and don't want to watch the video, here's the short version. My name is Charlie Brumfield. I'm fat. I'm bald. I have an unhealthy obsession with dice. Oh, and I like pie, which is one of the reasons I'm fat. I run a small outfit called Artisan Dice that was started as a happy accident right here on Kickstarter 1 year ago. Myself and the rest of the Artisan Dice crew are located in Dallas, Texas where we spend our days handcrafting dice from exotic woods and metals. We're basically a bunch of gaming nerds with a penchant for making the best dice on the planet.
Nothing about our dice is subcontracted to anyone. Every step of the process is done right here in house by our craftsmen, unlike a lot of other Kickstarter projects that outsource to a fulfillment company, job shop, or machine shop. Every dollar you spend goes to keep gamers like you making the dice you love. This is our job. This is our craft. This is what we do. We make dice. We make Artisan Dice.
Backer Levels Explained:
We have a ton of them in the project. With over 100 different woods and nearly 20 different options for metal dice it can get a bit confusing. So here's what the backer levels are in a nut shell.
For starters all of our dice sets come in a solid Red Oak dice box at no extra charge. Ok that's not exactly true. Anything from the Gaea's Preserve list comes in a Wenge Dice box. And if you select a Grove, Horde, or the Luggage, all dice contained in that level will come inside your Ray Jones dice box. Any addons will still come in their own Red Oak dice box. Each of our dice boxes are crafted from a single solid piece of wood. There are no joints to fail and it will last as long as you own your dice.
With the $100K Stretch Goal we've unlocked The Scribe so you can now Get a matching pen and pencil with your dice! If you add on The Scribe to a set of dice we will expand your dice box to hold The Scribe as well. Like the set pictured below.
Like everything else we make, The Scribe is available in a myriad of options. To start with you can choose to have your Scribe crafted from any wood on the Druid's wood list, or you can choose from the Archdruid and Gaea's Preserve lists by adding on $15 or $30 dollars to you pledge. You also get to select the hardware that best matches your wood of choice from The Scribe's List Below.
The Scribe's List:
- Satin Chrome
You can read more about The Scribe in Update #20.
- Dragon - A full polyhedral set (1d20, 1d12, 1d10, 1d00, 1d8, 4d6, 1d4) or a set of 10d10s crafted from your choice of Aluminum Brass, Bronze, Copper, Stainless Steel, or Titanium.
- Dragon's Breath - The same as the Dragon backer levels but your dice will be flame polished by our artisans to reveal a dazzling display of colors. Flame polishing results in a different rainbow of colors for each metal.
- Chromatic Dragon - The same as the Dragon backer levels but available only in 6061 Aluminum and anodized to your choice of 10 different colors from the Chromatic Dragon list.
- Armored Dragon - The same as the Dragon backer levels but available only in 6061 Aluminum and electroplated in either Chrome or Black Nickel.
- Prismatic Dragon - The same as the Chromatic Dragon but includes each die anodized a different color. The Prismatic Dragon will include ALL colors from the Chromatic Dragon's list.
- Drake - Single Metal d10s and d20s along with pairs of d6s. If you add-on enough Drake level dice to total 4 or more dice your order will come with a wooden dice box just like our full sets do.
- Drake's Breath - The same as the Drake backer levels but your dice will be flame polished by our artisans to reveal dazzling display of colors.
These are the types of metal you can choose from at the Drake and Dragon backer levels.
- Aluminum Dragon: crafted from Aluminum 6061 (~180 grains)
- Brass Dragon: crafted from Brass 360 (~558 grains)
- Bronze Dragon: crafted from Bronze 932 (~510 grains)
- Copper Dragon: crafted from Copper 145 (~554 grains)
- Steel Dragon: crafted from Stainless Steel 303 (~476 grains)
- Titanium Dragon: crafted from Grade 2 Titanium
What are Dragon Dice? They are solid metal dice that are individually crafted for the gamer that demands the best dice on the planet. These are not cast zinc dice that are plated to look like other metals. These dice are machined from solid metal billets using the specific alloy listed.
What about these Dragons Breath Dice? Well you can read more about them in Updates #4 and Update #5. In short we use a intense controlled flame to develop a crystaline oxide layer on the surface of the dice. By varying how hot and how long we flame polish the dice we are able to coax different colors from each of the different metals.
Aluminum cannot be flame polished so we had to come up with a different way do give our Aluminum Dragons some character all there own. To that end we took a vat of acid, bit of lightening in a bottle, mixed it together with just a spot of alchemy and developed out Chromatic Dragon line of Anodized Aluminum dice. Our Chromatic Dragon backers can choose to have their dice anodized with any of the following colors.
Exotic Wooden Dice:
- Druid - A full polyhedral set (1d20, 1d12, 1d10, 1d00, 1d8, 4d6, 1d4) or a set of 10d10s made from your choice of over 70 different exotic woods on the Druid's wood list.
- Archdruid - A full polyhedral set (1d20, 1d12, 1d10, 1d00, 1d8, 4d6, 1d4) or a set of 10d10s made from your choice of nearly 30 different exotic woods on the Archdruid's wood list.
- Gaea's Preserve - A full polyhedral set (1d20, 1d12, 1d10, 1d00, 1d8, 4d6, 1d4) or a set of 10d10s made from your choice of finest exotic woods Mother Nature has to offer on the Gaea's Preserve wood list.
- Dryad - Assorted wooden dice. We have levels that include a single d6, dF, d10, or d20, as well as a set of 5 assorted d6s or dFs and a set of 36 d6s perfect for you wargamers out there. All Dryad backer levels are made from a random selection of the over 100 species of woods we have available.
- Nixie - sets of six sided dice made from your choice of exotic woods from the Druid's wood list.
- Pixie - sets of six sided dice made from your choice of exotic woods from the Archdruid's wood list.
- Nymph - sets of six sided dice made from your choice of exotic woods from the Gaea's wood list.
- Ent - A full polyhedral set (1d20, 1d12, 1d10, 1d00, 1d8, 4d6, 1d4) or a set of 10d10s made from a specific type of burl wood (tree cancer.) Most of these are limited levels and will sell out super fast.
In addition to our brand spanking new line of Dragon and Dragon's Breath Dice, we are expanding our line of wooden dice found in the above backer levels. Our Druid's and Gaea's dice are painstakingly handcrafted from exotic woods found all over the world.
Our new Druid Dice will include over 60 new species of wood, in addition to roughly half of the 44 types of wood we launched our original Kickstarter with. That adds up to a metric ton of exotic woods for you to choose from at our Druid and Nixie backer levels.
Druid's Wood List
- African Mahogany
- American Holly
- Apple Wood
- Argentinian Lignum Vitae
- Black Limba
- Black Mesquite
- Black Walnut
- Bois d'Arc
- Brazilian Lacewood
- Brown Ebony
- Chakte Viga
- Chakte Koh
- Culrata Rosewood
- Eastern Aromatic Cedar
- East Indian Rosewood
- Guayacan Lignum Vitae
- Honduran Mahogany
- Honduran Rosewood
- Honey Mesquite
- Laurel Negro
- Lemon Wood
- Louro Preto
- Mediterranean Olivewood
- Orange Agate
- Osage Orange
- Pau Ferro
- Pau Rosa
- Purple Heart
- Red Heart
- Red Oak
- Rengas Tiger
- Spanish Cedar
- Staghorn Sumac
- Texas Ebony
- White Oak
- Yellow Heart
And becuse that is nowhere near enough woods to choose from we added the Archdruid and Pixie backer levels for the $20K stretch goal. These levels can select from an even nicer, if a bit shorter list of woods of absolutely gorgeous woods to have the dice crafted from.
Archdruid's Wood List
- Black and White Ebony
- Black Palm Wood
- Bethelham Olive Wood
- Claro Walnut
- English Walnut
- Macassar Ebony
- Palm Wood
- Red Palm Wood
- Red River Gum
- Tigerwood (Goncalo Alves)
- Yucatan Rosewood
Now that we've surpassed the $50K mark we've unlocked Gaea's Preserve. Which is a short list of the worlds finest woods. To make this cut, a wood must not only be stunning in it's own right, it must have a certain je ne sais quoi. An element and pure awesome that other woods just don't have.
- Pink Ivory
- Snake Wood
- Ancient Bog Wood
- Ancient Kauri
- Khamphi Rosewood
- Blue Mahoe
- Bristle Cone Pine
- Waterfall Bubinga
- Mpingo (African Black Wood)
- Desert Ironwood
- Macadamia Nut
Groves, Hordes, and The Luggage:
- The Luggage - The Luggage comes with your choice of a full polyhedral set of dice or 10d10s made from the exotic wood of your choice from the Druid's wood list. Instead of our standard Red Oak dice box that holds a single set of dice, The Luggage comes with a super swanky Ray Jones chest style box that will hold your entire Artisan Dice collection.
- A Grove - is a collector's set of 5 polyhedral or 10d10 sets of dice made from the appropriate wood list as noted is it's description. A Grove come in a The Luggage sized Ray Jones dice box.
- A Horde - is a collector's set of 5 polyhedral or 10d10 sets of dice made from the list of metals in its description. All of your dice will be nestled in their very own laser cut foam insert inside a Ray Jones dice box that is slightly larger than The Luggage.
Our Hands on Approach to Crafting:
Each one of our dice are painstakingly crafted by the Artisan Dice crew from a solid piece of metal or wood. Once the rough dice are removed from the CNC machine our craftsmen finalize the shape and polish each facet of every die by hand in a labor intensive and time consuming process. Our dice never see a vibratory or rotary polisher. This handcrafted approach gives Artisan Dice wonderful crisp edges and a finish that can't be matched by automated methods.
Every die is polished to bring out the material's true beauty. Most woodworkers stop sanding at around 400 grit. That's where we're just getting started. Most of our dice are sanded to a minimum of 800 grit and some woods are polished to 2000 grit. We actually have to buy our sanding disc from an auto body supplier as no woodshop carries fine enough sanding discs for our needs.
We're gamers and we pride ourselves on making functional pieces of gaming art. So unlike some other premium lines of dice, our dice are not shelf queens and are meant to be played with. If any of our Druid or Dragon dice should they ever become damaged we will repair or replace them for free. So by all means, role them like you stole them.
$15,000 - Red Oak Dice Box Upgrade: Unlocked
$20,000 - Archdruid Backer Levels: Unlocked
$30,000 - Dragon's Breath: Unlocked
$40,000 - Titanium Dragon: Unlocked
$50,000 - Gaia's Preserve: Unlocked
$60,000 - Chromatic Dragons: Unlocked
$70,000 - Prismatic Dragon: Unlocked
$80,000 - Druid Expanded: Unlocked
$85,000 - Archdruid Expanded : Unlocked
$90,000 - Gaea's Preserve Expanded: Unlocked
$91,542 - Breaking Old Records: Unocked
$95,000 - The Dice Monster: Unlocked
$100,000 - The Scribe: Unlocked
$110,000 - The Drunken Druid: Unlocked
$120,000 - Crunchy Nuts: Unlocked
$125,000 - Dragon's Scribe: Unlocked
$130,000 - Dragon's Breath Scribe: Unlocked
$135,000 - Scribe in a Box: Unlocked
$145,000 - The Nymph: Unlocked
$150,000 - Gaea's New Clothes: Unlocked
$155,000 - Gaea's Collector's Set: Unlocked
$160,000 - Gaea's Bounty: Unlocked
$165,000 - Graphite Dragon: Unlocked
$170,000 - Taste the Rainbow: Unlocked
$175,000 - Nickle Dragon: Unlocked
$180,000 - Armored Dragon: Unlocked
$183,084 - Double Down: Unlocked
$185,000 - Damascus Dragon: Unlocked
$190,000 - Iron Dragon : Unlocked
$200,000 - Mega Scribe : Unlocked
$210,000 - Tungsten Dragon: Unlocked
$220,000 - Armor Up : Unlocked
$230,000 - Noble Dragon: Unlocked
$240,000 - Drake's Horde : Unlocked
$250,000 - Bahamut's Horde: Unlocked
$274,626 - Triple Play: Unlocked
Risks and challenges
Risks: I launched my first Kickstarter project a year ago, hoping to raise a whole whopping $300 and make a few sets of exotic wooden dice as a side project. To my surprise, the goal was met on the very first day and the project went on to receive over $90,000 in pledges. Needless to say I wasn't at all prepared to meet this demand, and ended up spending a ton of time and money on buying the right equipment and a developing the process to handcraft dice at a pace at which we can keep up with demand.
The experience gained from the first Kickstarter project means that we now have an excellent grasp of how much materials, shipping, and labor will cost. We have produced numerous prototype polyhedral sets developing the Druid and Dragon Dice lines we are now offering though Kickstarter. I am confident that they can be reliably produced at the highest quality and are something you'll be proud to own.
With that said we are facing one big problem. The small 4 axis desktop CNC machine and a low end laser cutter we purchased worked fine for developing the process of creating polyhedral dice. However now we find ourselves in a position where we need to upgrade our equipment as our current gear was never intended for the production environment. Added to that, the fact that some species of wood just can not be worked on our machine due to low spindle speeds and weak stepper motors. It has became obvious that we are in need of an upgrade. Especially to handle the Dragon Dice line as metal dice will require a larger machine to produce them on any kind of scale.
To that end we are using this Kickstarter project to raise funds to upgrade our gear to better withstand the rigors of the production environment. If we hit our funding goal we will be able to upgrade our current equipment and as our project grows we will be able to add better, faster, and more capable machines with each stretch goal to handle the increase in number of backer rewards we have to fill.
By setting up our project to scale with the number of backers we receive, it will allow us to tailor our work shop to fit demand without the need for unwarranted and potentially astronomical start up costs. Which gives our project a high probability of success.
Challenges: During our first Kickstarter we had a steep learning curve. First and foremost we were not prepared for the amount of backers we received. Unlike other gaming projects which tend to be produced in large overseas factories and shipped out all at once, we handcraft our dice right here in Dallas, Texas. Since we do everything under one roof, it can get a bit hectic. So to help facilitate the quick shipping and tracking of backer rewards throughout the crafting process we have created a new position.
Please allow me to introduce the High Master of the Books to the Grand Craftsman of Wooden Randomness, Slayer of Numbers, Bringer of Order, and Maestro of Shipping; David McLeod. He is solely responsible for ensuring that all of our backers receive their rewards as ordered and in a timely fashion, as well as facilitating prompt responses to all of your questions.
Since David was promoted to High Master of the Books to the Grand Craftsman of Wooden Randomness, Slayer of Numbers, Bringer of Order, and Maestro of Shipping our ability to track and process orders has gotten infinitely better, this combined with our better understanding of production techniques and the scaleable project model, will allow us to deliver all of our backer rewards in a timely fashion, no matter how many backers we receive.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter