About a month ago, I was walking into my kitchen and looked at my Maytag fridge that I've had for about 6 years and thought out of the blue "I should make that into a Police Box". I'm not sure why I thought that, as it was first thing in the morning and I wasn't thinking, but I seem to get my best and weirdest ideas just out of the blue; and this one sure fits that. Just like making the blown glass bacon ornaments. Just woke up one morning and thought: "I should make bacon!" and I did and it was silly. So, a parody of a Police Box wasn't actually out of the ordinary around here.
I had to be a little bit secretive, though, as my partner, BJ Johnson, likes his living space to be on the Architectural Digest and Dwell side, so perhaps having a big blue Police Box at the end of our galley kitchen would not go over well. So I went to work to see if I could find reasonable Police Box photos to even see if it would be possible. I found some reasonable photos, so figured it was ON! Of course, I could only work on it in little bits and pieces, as I have a Real Job™ that takes up 10-16 hours a day. I also had to figure out a way to suggest the idea to my partner.
Unfortunately, most of the photos I found of various Police Boxes were from weird angles, or only showed the top half or had something in front of them. It took a total of 9 different photographs, piecing together the front of the building. I also had to find good photos of the type of little phone door on the front that I wanted, and the "Police Box" sign that goes on top. Then it was time to measure my fridge, and find out that it didn't fit!! Argh!!! If I printed it as is, there would be no way to access the ice and water dispenser, but that didn't matter much since it would look crappy to begin with. It was time to bring my partner into the design phase, because he's really good at possibility thinking engineering.... uhoh......
To my great surprise, he said he was OK with the idea, perhaps a little confused, but OK. Great! He suggested I take a photo of the fridge so I could bring that into Photoshop and design the new Police Box print right on top of it. Makes sense! Why didn't I think of that? So it was ON! again. And of course, with my partner now involved, things rapidly spun into Much More Complicated, as he is always doing. We decided that to make it look best, the sign, cap and light needed to be a separate piece on top of the fridge. This would give it the height that it needed to not look like a HobbitPoliceBox, and magically also allowed the ice maker to fit nearly exactly behind the little phone door!! WooHooOOOooo!
So while I was crafting the door skins themselves, BJ went to work making the top cap. In the end it's a very sleek design and looks great. I even found a wonderful light that truly looks at home on top of the Police Box. I slit the little phone door and built a stiffened door behind the skin so that it could be opened and closed to get ice! But hmmm, it was still missing something... what..... The sound! Of course! But how.... It would be best if the sound happened when the doors opened, so I went to work on figuring out how to make that happen. Fortunately, as crazy artists, we often face a problem with: "How hard can it be?" so very few things are actually not-doable. I found a sound module online that fit the bill perfectly. We programmed it to play some fun sounds when the doors open! When it went in place, the whole thing came together!!
If you know me at all, you'll know I'm a big Facebook poster - projects I'm working on, disasters in the art studio, good days, neat art pieces I make, lots of pictures of my cats, a few pictures of meals or desserts I make, even more pictures of my cats.... It took nearly everything I had not to post progress photos or updates about making this Police Box fridge, but BJ said that if I posted it before it was complete, I'd never get any cocoa again. GAHH!!!! What a fate! So I held back until the whole thing was finished. Whew! And then for Halloween, I posted this photo of my fridge:
And people liked it... and people shared it.... and more people liked it and more people shared it. I was out in my hot glass studio, working on some ornaments and lighting, came back in from a grueling day to find that the shares and likes numbered in the many thousands. What the......? HUH? BJ's photo had started it's journey into Viraldom and history. Huge sites like ThinkGeek and their Facebook page, I F***ing Love Science, Doctor Who and the T.A.R.D.I.S., Doctor Who and the Tardis by Craig Hurle, ThatsNerdalicious, GeekAlerts, Reddit, ZDNet, The Huffington Post, United Kingdom and even a little blurb on IMDb. Our fridge has also been spotlighted on InnerSpace TV show in Canada and a newspaper article in Australia. Unfortunately, our names did not travel everywhere the photo did, but we (and our wonderful fans and friends) posted comments wherever they saw it to get us the credit! I had no idea it would be such a hit. I just made it for a fun distraction in my kitchen.
Many of the people commenting on it were looking for where to buy it though, so we decided we would make kits for various refrigerators. The kits include the fridge skins, with or without an opening phone door for ice makers, and the separate cap for the top with the light, and an optional sound box and side skins for fridges that are not recessed into the cabinetry.
I've been in contact with the people at BBC Worldwide trying to get a license to use the Doctor Who trademark with these, and we're in negotiations, but haven't signed a deal yet. So for now, they're just Police Boxes. When we do get the license granted, we have more Doctor Who specific products planned, but for now, just the standard Police Box. We're obviously not sharing these designs with BBC. That would require a Non-Disclosure/Non-Compete Agreement to be in place. Would you want one? What else might you want your fridge to be turned into? And how much fun is it to open those doors?? It's great fun, I can vouch for that!
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