Part four, artisans

The construction of a Planck

A journal of my first mechanical keyboard build.

Part four

Artisans

Now if you thought the community was a little crazy when it came to switches, them wait until you hear about artisans.

Artisans are custom keys in different shapes and colors. Not like a different color on your alphas or mods (your ABCD… keys or your “enter” or “shift” keys) but completely custom. Like these.

At first I thought it looked ridiculous. Why would anyone put keys like that on their keyboard? Well, like everything in this hobby I quickly got pulled in.

I was designing my keyboard and I had settled on this look for my board.

I really love the look of the two grey colors mixed with the baby blue and pink colors. I could have been satisfied here, but I felt as if something was missing. Something to make the board more unique. Anyone can get this exakt colorway from Signature Plastic, so I wanted something to make my board stand out in a crowd.

So of course I started looking at artisans.

Now here is the thing about artisans that really confused me at first. You apparently can’t buy artisans whenever you want. You can’t just pay for this tiny piece of plastic (or metall, or wood, or glas, or whatever) like you can for most other things in this world. Almost all of them are hand made and so there are a very limited supply of them. So I have found that one of the more common ways of solving this problem for the seller is to start a raffle. If you get drawn in the raffle you get the opportunity to buy an artisan. If not, well, better luck next time.

I do not like to wait, so I started to look for more conventional ways of getting an artisan for my board.

I knew right from the start that I wanted something pink or baby blue. I started googling and before long I had found my perfekt artisan.

The pink kitty paw was a perfect match for the colors of my board and I could order it directly from KBDfans.cn. I placed my order and the “ZOMO Aluminum and Silicone Kitty Paw Artisan” arrived a couple of weeks later in my mailbox. I payed 40 dollars including shipping for the thing. When I write it out like this it seems crazy to pay that amount for such a small and insignificant thing. But the thing is, I really think its wort the money. It puts a smile on my face every time I look at the thing. And I can’t wait for the board to be finished so I can hi-five that kitty paw every day, all day.

I found out later that this design was a copy of the “meowcap” by KeyKollectiv

You can’t buy the original any longer unless you get it second hand, so this was my only real choice if I wanted to get a pink kitty paw artisan. And I have to say that I really prefer this modell since its made from aluminum (it feels wonderfully heavy) and the design is a lot cleaner.

It arrived like this.

And it looks like this on my board.

I have to say that I’m really happy with the way my board turned out. And yes, the last parts of the build finally arrived. (The Swedish postoffice took 31 days to deliver the package to me. I’m not kidding.) But more on the board and the build itself in the next part of this series.

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