I began making these pieces while taking a night course in metalworking. The first piece I made for sale was the hammerhead shark in the bottom row. I had several cast in Silver, and I took out an ad in the back of a dive maga-zine... an effort that resulted in about 5 sales.
Early Branding that I used
I carved all of my work by hand for several years, but as computer modeling and 3d printing became more widely available, I knew I would have to adapt! Now I am using a variety of software and hardware tools to create ever more complex designs. You can read more about the evolution of my process here.
I originally intended to pursue a career in science, but was thwarted by the more technical subjects. Fortunately I did better as a sculptor and designer, and now I have this venture to satisfy the frustrated scientist in me. All of these products and more can be found at the TaylorCustom site, and at my Etsy store. In addition to the trinkets, I have also put a lot of effort into creating and improving my product packaging.
I had done a bunch of anatomy and paleontology designs, but this is when my product line started to get seriously scientific.
I remember thinking, as I made this piece, that if it worked, it would be the coolest keychain in the world...
As with each new design, I try to add some new sort of mechanical functionality. I was a bit surprised that I got this to work... though in retrospect it seems simple
This is the second piece that was inspired by a trilobite nodule that my dad brought back to me from Bolivia when I was a kid.
I spent months trying to figure out how to design an articulating brain. The way the parts interlock made this a big challenge... Eventually I hit upon this arrangement, which uses a sort of euro-cabinet hinge.
Here is the articulating brain in the closed position
This orthoceras is am extinct nautiloid. This design came out particularly well!
This design shows how you can never predict what will be popular... I was unenthusiastic about this because it looks like a plain bean when closed, but it has been a best-seller.
This piece came out great, but I didn't design the features that hold the two pieces together very well... so ironically, these take a bit of blacksmithery to assemble.
I went online to research Paramecium and Euglena, two well known protozoans, and I happened upon a video about these amazing critters!
Here is the Choanoflagellate keychain in the open position. I had a huge amount of very expert help in getting the anatomy correct!
The ability to have parts plated in several metals can be used to good effect!
The thread inserts for this lamp finial were a challenging bit of hardware to source!
This Eye Keychain was the culmination of several developments. Click the link below to see the full story of its creation.
Hermit crab dissassembled.
Hermit crab assembled.
This was the first design I sold. I had several cast in Silver, and I sold them to the Boston Museum of Science store (where I was a cashier). I also took out a little display ad in the back of a dive magazine.
Over the years I've found ways to adapt my designs to many purposes: Lapel pins, drawer pulls, belt buckles and more.