At a tailors shop in the U.S some years back, the guy serving me heard the Australian accent and proceeded to tell me that he’d always wanted to visit Australia, because it’s just like America was 200 years ago.
Me: What are you talking about?
Misguided Tailor: You know; no major roads, no big cities…
Me: What? We have cities.
Misguided Tailor: No you don’t, you’re like all colonial. Like we were 200 years ago.
Me: Dude, I live there. I’ve seen a city.
Misguided Tailor: Nah. I’ve always wanted to go and see all of that….
Very apt that the first time I got my hands on a World Aeropress Championship: Super-Unreal Edition, early on in the production process, was in Maldon, Victoria just down the road from where they were crafted. An 1853 gold mining town that looks like it progressed as far as 1854, Maldon would have fit this guys (and many others) vision perfectly. Shame I didn’t get more promotional pictures there. Kept the dream alive and all…
Scott Ferguson and I created the Soundgarden Aeropress in 2017 at his training lab / workshop at DNA Custom Paint. I should clarify this by saying Scott did all the real work, I just directed creatively and ate his pizza. If the airbrush had been in my hand, it wouldn’t have ended up as the masterpiece it is today.
In the year since, it’s garnered plenty of interest online and a lot of queries on how it was done. I’ll be honest and say I had no idea who was behind the online persona of @timstyles when he messaged on Instagram asking similar questions. I told him how we did it and sent him the link to the write up. The penny dropped when he replied asking if I’d like to collaborate with World Aeropress Championship. My coffee may or may not have ejected from my nostrils at this point.
Thus began the journey of a few months working with Tim Williams of W.A.C, designer Willow Berzin of Full Circle, and Toby Parkinson of Hydro Central. Culminating in the release of an exceptionally stunning product, coordinating this project has been an absolute blast. Below is a collection of pictures from each step of the way. I hope they accurately convey how much fun was had by all on the journey, and the passion that went into creating each one. All images can be clicked on and enlarged.
With the prospect of 200 units needing painted, Scott was quick to point out that the 10hrs total time spent on the Soundgarden Aeropress wasn’t feasible and the cost would be astronomical.
After throwing alternative ideas around with a colleague of mine, he put me onto his cousin, Toby Parkinson. Toby owns Hydro Central; a hydrographics business that specialises in customised dipping of Harley Davidson, car, and hot rod parts. Before even knowing what an Aeropress was he was more than happy to get involved because, in his words, “I love doing funky shit”.
By the time we’d finished our initial communications, he’d bought himself two Aeropresses to play around on and show us how effective hydrographics could be. The prototypes he delivered were jaw dropping.
The downside to hydrographics was twofold. Dipping a cylindrical object leads to an unpredictable seam appearing on one side, and when time isn’t on your side you are limited to stock images/patterns; none of which matched WAC’s branding. Toby had offered to airbrush the Aeropresses instead if we could provide him with a design concept.
Enter Willow Berzin. Willow put together an impressive array of concepts for Tim, all of which captured WAC’s corporate colours perfectly.
With the final design and artwork settled on, it was back to DNA’s showroom to settle on colours with a huge amount of technical assistance from Scott Ferguson. Pink Pill and Ozone Blue were finally settled on.
Toby Parkinson is an absolute champion. The amount of work required for each unit far exceeded what he initially thought. But he 100% rose to the challenge and worked like a trojan for over a month to complete them. Each Aeropress had to first be sanded to remove the original logo and numbers. Plastic primer was applied to prep for paint then a white base coat was applied.
On the brew chamber, the pink was laid down first before the blue was applied as a gradient to solid over the top. The plunger components were done solid blue. Each colour had at least 2 coats applied.
Artwork decals were then applied before the units were clear coated to protect both the paint and decal. Units were then left to cure.
The final step was to clean up any defects and buff the units to a high gloss. One of the most time consuming parts was reboxing the Aeropresses in their original packaging for transport. Initially, reboxing an Aeropress with all its additional components is the equivalent of solving a Rubix Cube. Toby is now officially the Aeropress Reboxing World Champion.
We asked Toby to send through a video showing the production process. We got the video below in return. It’s a must-watch for a good laugh and captures the fun had in creating these….
PUBLIC RECEPTION: 2018 WORLD AEROPRESS CHAMPIONSHIP IN SYDNEY
Released 3 days prior to the WAC finals in Sydney, the online component sold out in no time. The balance were made available to the punters at the Worlds where there was a huge amount of interest…one buyer loving them enough to buy 20 in one hit! At time of publishing, the remaining units were placed back online for purchase.
Post-Champs Instagram posts from around the globe:
Disclaimer: Paints and products used in the production of the Soundgarden Aeropress, prototypes, and WAC Super Unreal Edition are not classified as food-safe. They are primarily used for applications in the automotive and hot rod industry and are heat-safe to temps over 200 degrees. Due to them not complying to food-safe standards, we cannot recommend their use as originally intended by Aeropress Inc. Users do so entirely at their own risk.