Drew's pilot run is complete :)
WOO HOO we made it through Drew's pilot run and what an eye opening experience it has been. We'd like to share a little bit about it so you can understand what goes in to creating each and every Drew as it is quite an epic process...
There's no denying that the pilot run has taken longer than expected *SIGH* but through our team sharing images and videos we have been able to witness the incredible amount of work and level of hand detailing and skill that goes into make Drew the Pencil Lamp. There are nine steps alone that go into crafting the solid wood body - take a look at the videos below so see some of the processes involved.
Seeing the pencils literally take shape has made us really excited about delivering the final product.
You get out what you put in as they say and we have put in EVERYTHING to get Drew to where we want him. In order to achieve a beautiful body in every Drew we've had to reject a small percentage of lamps as once the tip was sharpened down it exposed natural defects in the grain :(
There's really nothing we can do about this - wood is simply not perfect. We had to double our pilot run to test more of the wood/process to gain an understanding of the likely percentages of lamps which would reveal imperfections in the tip (this of course adds to the timeline and adds to the expense also). Things like this go to show how crucial the pilot run is especially when using a natural material. The benefit however is of course that EVERY DREW WILL BE UNIQUE as no two Drews' will have the same grain in the tip which makes him even more special we think!
For the pencils where the grain revealed a natural divet, our team gave us the option of filling them in. We decided against this option because we wanted the product to be as beautiful as possible, especially for our first ever run. This may not be sustainable in the future but for now we feel strongly that this is the best way forward (although again it's meant more time and more expense). We'd welcome your thoughts/opinions on the Filled Natural Defect Drew below...
Due to the complications with the wood (as we all some other casualties during the pilot run) we are short on materials for the initial run of 1,000 lamps. The knock on effect is that we can't send the whole 1,000 lamps to our logistics team but instead will need to send in batches. Again this means more expense to us but we just WANT TO GET YOU YOUR LAMPS ASAP!
In the interest of full disclosure we want to share that the date we've been given for the first round of shipping to the logistics team is August 16 (we sincerely hope that this date is FIRM and that it's smooth sailing from here on in). The logistics company we are using is called Floship and they are experienced with fulfilling Kickstarter orders (which is why we chose to partner with them for this project). We have full confidence in them to get the lamps out in an efficient and professional manner once that first delivery arrives.
Essentially what we want you to take away from this update is that although things are taking longer than we would like, there are good reasons for this and it is all to ensure that you receive the best possible end result - a special Drew just for you!
Michael & George
Everything is looking sharp.
The assembly line.
Specially designed powerboards.
Testing for colour consistency.
Loving the polished brass, it's positively gleaming!
Production Update June 12, 2017
Sorry it's been a while since our last update BUT turns out launching an electrical product on a global scale is quite complicated, especially a lamp with a unique switch/bespoke mechanism like Drew.
The testing has tested us and our purses however we are determined to see Drew through and ensure he ticks all the boxes for our customers around the world. All of the Electrical testing is now complete and the unexpected/pricey Chemical testing is still in progress (required for our EU friends).
While we've had a few little surprises/challenges leading to delays, we have also been pushing back on our industrial design team as we had different opinions on what was acceptable and what was not in terms of quality control. For us, achieving the highest quality finishes of the completed lamps is critical. This has come at a financial cost (as we've had to add another step in the production process) but we are determined to make the best lamp we possibly can YEAH :) We have done are are doing everything in our power to make this happen.
BUT WHEN WILL I GET MY DREW we hear you ask! We know you're bursting to welcome him into your life and we want nothing more than to make that happen but we are at the mercy of our industrial design/manufacturing team to finish the testing, start the pilot run, then complete production (if all goes well during the pilot run) and deliver to our logistics team. They are saying this will happen in July. They previously said June but the Chemical testing has pushed out their timings *SIGH*.
The best news is that we are on the home stretch YIPPEE! The other great news is that all of the Giant HB Lamps are on their way to their new homes now and quite a few have already arrived YAY...
And here's a pic of Drew's twisting switch/dimmer being tested... On and off 10,000 times we're told!
While Michael was living it large in London (6ft Giant HB Pencil Lamp large that is!) the sun was shining but sadly he didn't get much time to enjoy the fab weather as making 19 Giant HB Pencil Lamp Boxes from scratch and assembling 19 Lamps solo is a BIG job. GOOD WORK M :) Check out his pictures documenting his trip below.
A big shout out to all our amazing artisans who skillfully craft the components that go into creating our original pencil inspired lamps. It's been nearly two years since we last released a batch and it was quite nostalgic for M to be back where the very first Pencil Lamp was created which then led to the birth of Drew.
Thanks for your ongoing support,
George (and Michael)