Thursday, March 29, 2012

Jiggs Digs: Pin Me Down

Unless you have been living under a rock lately, you have noticed the increasing popularity of lapel pins. More commonly worn on a hat or stashed safely in a pin case, lapel pins have embedded themselves into phan art culture. It seems that there are new pin makers every day and there’s no shortage of band related pins being traded and sold.

Most will agree that the loose association of artists known as Central Part Of Town (CPOT), and the early creation of MYFE were the pioneers of pins in the Phish scene. There were pins created as far back as 2003, but the explosion occurred when the band returned in 2009.

Long collected in the Disney and Olympic circles, pins have become some kind of sub-currency in the Phish scene, with some going for upwards of 3 figures.  It’s definitely not the materials, as most are well constructed of inexpensive simple metals. And it’s not the lack of manufacturers either. With a few minutes and a search engine you can find more than a few vendors. It seems to be that perfect combination of clever design, Limited Edition releases, and originality that sees certain pins skyrocket in value.

This month, Jiggs Digs takes a closer look at pins and what goes into them through a conversation with Josh and Christy from Pin Me Down.

1. How long did it take between collecting your first pin and making your first pin?
Josh: The first pin that we collected  was the 2003 Trey bobblehead.  We are absolute junkies when it comes to Phish merchandise, both official and lot goods.  At the time (2003) we were only friends, but after are collections merged, we always really enjoyed that little pin.  We both still have our originals, one of them still in the stapled cellophane baggy. 

Our first pin was released May 31st, 2009 at the Fenway Phish show.  For years many of you may have enjoyed our veggie quesadillas at a parking lot near you.  We were trying to create something more tour friendly, easier to transport and different.  Seeing another pin released in Hampton (Better than a UFO) gave us the confidence to move forward with our plans.

2. Can you talk about your creative process and what goes into creating a pin?
Josh: Most of our pins are a collaboration between the two of us.  Most of our pin ideas are truly inspired by the respective music of the band for which we make them.   We try to not only push the boundaries of the interpretation, but also try to push the boundaries of the median.  We try very hard to use all dimensions of our concept in the design and execution. Songs, lyrics, and the life we lead all feed into it. 

Progression of the NYE 2011 pin
Christy: Most of our designs begin on paper, and are scanned in and traced, others are created on the computer.  We occasionally use CAD/CAM software for some of the metal casting design when it gets difficult to explain our thoughts.

3. Do you have a favorite pin?
Christy: I can't choose... I really like the antelope bobble pin and the Fenway park CPOT pin.

Josh: My favorite pin right now is the handmade PH wings from unique pin designer Justin Willis, they are off the hook!!!

Number 9
4. Pin Me Down is the company behind the Hurricane Relief Spinner pin. How did you come to work with Waterwheel on that pin?
Josh: Perseverance.  We wanted to make a pin for Phish since we got into this game and were always searching for a way.  We spent a lot of time contacting some friends of friends so forth and so on, but it basically came down to shear (11 months worth) perseverance and emailing back and forth.  Grind Grind Grind.

5. What do you think makes certain pins so valuable?
Josh: We both believe that pins are there own artistic median and that inherently adds value to pins that are well designed.  As far as certain pins being more valuable, there are so many factors. How cool is the design, how large is the edition size, who made it and when it was made probably weigh the most into "value".

Christy: Also, there is a speculative end of the valuation as well.  Even with this being said, some of the pin prices surprise us on a regular basis!

6. Is this something that you are able to do full time?
Josh: Right now we are. I used to be a corporate trainer at a large bank, but in late 2010 left to work on pin design full time.

7. Does being on tour affect whether or not a certain design does well?
Josh: Absolutely, tour pins are at the heart of what we all do.  Being out on the road is our favorite place to be and it shows, so for us, we sell more pins on the road.

8. If you could change anything about the community what would it be?
Josh: This is a tough question, it really take all kinds to build a community and our pin community is full of all different types of individuals.  I wish there was less drama.

Christy: I  just want more people to come join in the pinsanity!

9. Can you hint at any upcoming releases?
Josh: We are always working on some new crazy designs, but hopefully some of our summer tour pins take this to a new dimension. 

Christy: You may see some Dank Sinatra pretty soon as well.

10. What keeps you going?
Josh: It may sound cliche, but being able to see the band we love, the band that put us together, is really the most important thing that keeps us going.  It drives our life and inspires our work.

Christy: We are so lucky to have the most amazing, supportive group of friends and family anyone could hope for.

To check out Pin Me Down, visit their site here:
Want to start collecting Phish Pins? Start here:


Do you know someone who should be featured in Jiggs Digs?
Email and let me know. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Alaska Twitter Giveaway!

It's that time again!

For those who haven't played before, the rules are very simple. All you need to do is tweet the message below exactly as it appears without quotes. A random winner will be selected from all the mentions. You will be mentioned on Twitter, or contacted via DM with a request for your mailing address. If you don't respond within an hour, I'll need to move on to another winner. (So come back at 6pm tomorrow!) You must have your tweets out by 6pm EST, Friday March 16, (and respond by 7pm.)

The winner will receive a Limited Edition Jiggs Alaska pin. And that's all there is to it! Good luck to everyone and happy tweeting!

"Check out these Alaska pins from @jiggslikesphish"

CONGRATULATIONS to for being selected as the random winner! Thanks to everyone for tweeting!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My Friend Auction

As promised, here is the auction for the final My Friend My Friend shirt in my possession. The shirt is an XL, and I have no more. (Literally this is the only one, so emails asking for other sizes or garment styles will not be returned.) As some of you may have heard, I will not be making any more of these or other product logo style designs. So, this will be your last chance to snag this one for your collection.

The auction will take place right here on the blog. Please either sign in to your account, or provide an email address where you can be reached. 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the Mockingbird Foundation, and I will ship the winner the shirt for free. The starting bid is $10. Please bid below in the comments section.

This auction will end at 6pm EST on March 14th. The winner will be contacted immediately. Thanks and good luck!

Please note: If the winner does not respond within an hour, the next bid will be chosen as the winner.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Alaska Pin!

Picture Introducing the Alaska Pin, with removable spinner! This 9 color Alaska pin is made with black nickel. Measuring at 1.25" with out the spinner and just under 1.5" with the spinner attached. The spinner features the words popping above the mountains. The "old piano" features a moose (also in black nickle) stamped right above the keys. The spinner stays in place with the top clutch, and can easily be replaced with one of the locking pin backs. (Mine has stayed with a black rubber clutch, but you may want a locking one just to be sure).   They are LE of only 100, and numbered on the back and stamped with the Jiggs logo. 

 $15 shipped while they last.

Get yours here.