I really love that I get to work with people who appreciate the beauty of well-made, high quality snow globes, and “behind the scenes” of my production line is a truly fascinating place to visit.
So I thought I’d take you on a step by step journey, showing how I help my clients design their dream snow globes.
Step 1 – The Research Phase
If it’s to be a sculpture of an actual place or building, this research phase includes utilising Google Earth and Google Maps to see the roofline, which helps to give a clear “top down” view of the building structure.
Step 2 – The Design Phase
After the research phase, I create a 2D digital design for every client. That design is usually done prior to confirmation of the order, so that you feel 100% comfortable about the visual potential of the final product.
As you can see here on the left, the digital design, although strictly 2D, does have a nice realistic feel to it, and allows us to confirm layout, colours, base shape and colour as well as logo placement.
We work on this digital design with unlimited changes at zero cost and zero obligation until you’re completely satisfied that I can produce your own high quality snow globes faithfully. It’s only at that point that we confirm the order, and arrange a deposit payment.
Step 3 – The Sculpting/Model Production Phase
Once we’ve agreed on the digital design, it’s time to produce the model. Most of the time this is done with hand sculpting of the tiny setting and all detail. In the case of these Catalina Island Casino snow globes, we actually decided to use 3D printing. The images below show each view of the setting, which was printed to create our initial model.
Whether we use hand sculpting or 3D printing, the resulting model is equally impressive, with the tiny setting being faithfully replicated with exquisite detail. You can see our first version here which was hand sculpted.
To give you an understanding of the detail involved, the setting you see here is sculpted on an area of just 5cm in diameter.
Given 3D printing and design is still relatively new, it can create some extra costs so 99% of the time, we do rely on hand sculpting which has a charm all its own. Either process is guaranteed to provide you with the high quality snow globes you’re expecting.
After seeing images of the model from all angles, you can make as many changes as you like, at no cost. The sculpting process usually takes anywhere from 2-4 weeks, and after the design is signed off, we create a mould that will then be used to produce quantities of what we call the “white setting”.
Step 3 – The Painting Process
Once the snow globe inner sculpture is signed off, each individual part of the settings are hand-painted. If there are many small pieces, the setting actually fits together like a jigsaw puzzle, with the tiny elements “plugging into” the setting, as you can see below with the mountain backgrounds and tiny boats.
Remembering how small these are, you can perhaps appreciate the level of detail and workmanship that goes into painting these high quality snow globes perfectly.
Once again, multiple changes to the paint colours are allowed in order to get them perfect. There is never a charge to you for changes, it’s all included in the process. In fact, paint colour changes can be made as late as the last few weeks of production, prior to assembly!
Again, you’ll receive close up and detailed images of the painted setting from all angles and sides, so you can be confident of the final finish.
Step 4: The Assembly Process
After the painted sculpture is signed off, that’s when we assemble the snow globes with their matching bases, and add decals or assemble with a debosssed or engraved base if required.
You receive final images from all angles of the assembled globe, and at that point, if you would like to receive the sample in hand, we can ship it to you. Once this first sample is signed off, we complete the larger production process over a period of about 1.5 – 2 months, depending on the quantities involved and the time of year.
Once they’re completed, the globes will ship to you via your preferred method of transport (air or sea) and you’ll have them in hand usually about 90-120 days after we’ve started production.
I hope you’ll agree that the process from design to production is impressive – my team and I take great pride in producing custom, high quality snow globes that take the humble globe from kitsch to divine.
Got your own design in mind? Check out more information about my quantity production process and apply for your own custom pieces today.