I recently had the great pleasure to briefly talk with the artisans Booper and Kudos from KeyKollectiv on their newly announced collaboration. The collaboration has resulted in the Kosmonavt, an epic cap that perfectly blends styles, techniques, and designs aspects from both artisans. The Kosmonavt is an iconic Booper Cosmonaut with an encapsulated skull in the helmet, a method that KeyKollectiv has become known for (Furt, Schrodinger, Kill-Wala all utilized their encapsulation method). This is also one of the first high profile collaborations between two artisans, and possibly the first of many to come!
Who originally had the idea to do the collaboration? Who approached who?
They did! If I remember correctly.. I think it was first approached in a reddit thread and then Kudos sent me a PM.
It all kind of happened organically. When we established KeyKollectiv, the idea was to have a platform where we could work with others. We loved the concept of art collectives and wanted to apply that concept to artisan keycap making.
When we were teasing the Key-Wala/Kill-Wala release, Booper made a comment about how awesome they looked. She was always an artist that Koala-T and I wanted to work with so I jokingly asked her to do a collaboration with us. We really didn’t expect that she’d be open to it but were stoked when the idea become more of a reality.
How did the new design come to be? I think it perfectly encapsulates (see what I did there?) the best of Booper/KK in a single cap, which is really exciting. This is really the first high profile collaboration of this nature to ever happen.
Well, I think that cosmonaut cap is just begging to have something in the helmet! I had talked about it with Binge before and had been thinking of how to pull it off.. but then the encapsulation King and Queen came about and I was more than happy to collaborate with them. The skull just works I think? I think we were both just on the same page there. It’s a fun new take on an artisan that’s been done several times. And I knew the skull would be adorable after getting my hands on a Kill Wala.
KeyKollectiv has been working a lot with encapsulation. We liked the direction that we were going with Furt, Schrodinger and Kill-Wala. Booper’s lineup is widely regarded and we felt that encapsulation would be the best approach to maintain the integrity of her work. We discussed several ideas and settled on the cosmonaut.
About the collaboration – yea! How cool is this? My favorite thing about this hobby has always been the community so I’m thrilled to work with other talented and passionate people! It’s been a lot of fun. I can’t say enough good things about Kudos and Koala! They have been super cool and easy to work with.
In terms of an artisan collaboration, I’m not entirely sure if this is the first high profile project. If it is, we are excited to be a part of this project. It’s been incredibly fun (albeit hectic) and we are excited to see how the community will react to it.
Technically speaking, how difficult was this cap to pull off?
I’ll have to let Kudos and Koala answer that one!
From a technical standpoint, Kosmonavt was probably the most difficult cap to produce. When we were initially in the planning phase, we wanted to make sure that light could pass through the visor even if the suit was opaque. In order to execute that, we needed to treat the visor and helmet as two separate parts. Though complex, that was fairly easy based on our experiences. However, the skull being part of the equation really threw a wrench in the process. In the end, it took five separate mold parts to execute. Because of the complexity of casting this cap, failure rates were high and it takes us about 10-14 hours to make each cap.
Who handled the production of these caps?
Kudos and Koala! They are really something else. KeyCollectiv is a well oiled machine!
KeyKollectiv handled things from the production side. We knew Booper had her plate full at the time and we’ve spent a considerable amount of time fine-tuning our production workflow. In the end, it just made more sense for KeyKollectiv to take on the task.
Is there any chance of future collaborations or a desire for more in the future?
We would absolutely love to work with Booper again in the future. We’d also be excited to work with other artisans as well. It’s interesting to see what sort of ideas/designs will come about when artisans come together!
Oh I’m totally down for that. I hope this is just the beginning!