When I first began creating D20 candles, I was welcomed into the tabletop maker's community with open arms and I knew I wanted to lift up other makers as they had done for me. So I set out to collaborate with a hand-made dice maker to create the first D20 treasure candles. V the owner and maker behind Dice-awaii was the very first to collaborate with me, and as a part of my Maker Lift Up series, I thought who better to interview first? Meet the creative mind and talent behind the cutest dice out there!
V: Hi, I’m V! I make handmade resin dice with my husband and specialize in bold, colorful, and silly designs. You can come to us with your most outlandish ideas and we’ll turn that into a set of dice. We make dice to spread happiness because everyone can use a bit of joy in life!
The Fabled Flame: How’d you get into dice making?
V: Well, it’s a bumpy ride but really it started with the birth of our son about three years ago. My husband and I had both climbed the ladders in our respective careers and were doing fine enough that we had decided to start a family. One month after our son was born my husband was laid off without warning and he scrambled to find another job that paid as well. My job had equally tried to shame me for leaving work during a very trying pregnancy and I was no longer welcome back to that position I left a couple of months previous. My husband was able to land a job running a restaurant and ended up working two jobs for most of this period to make ends meet. After two years of frantically trying to keep all the plates spinning, we decided we needed to change the direction our lives were going. The corporate system just wasn’t doing it for us and since we already had a huge love for TTRPG’s and had a small hoard of dice from before the child, we decided to get into dice-making. With our combined knowledge of business management, it grew from a hobby we happened to make a little money from to a brand that we are both very proud of and can see ourselves doing into the foreseeable future.
FF: What is a day of dice making look like?
V: It all starts at about 7:30 AM when my toddler wakes up and would like breakfast. Once everyone is dressed and fed my husband and I figure out if we need to make any silicone molds that day. We work on that while keeping our son active and attempting to preserve our sanity. The afternoon tends to include at least one conversation about how we would like the rest of the week to pan out. Before we know it 9 PM rolls around... Bedtime!
That’s when the real magic happens. Any crazy ideas either of us had throughout the day along with orders, re-pours, and Patreon sets get done and thrown in a pressure pot. This is also when one or both of us will do polishing, inking or preliminary packaging for the next day.
FF: Were you surprised by anything when you got started?
V: I suppose the biggest surprise was just how new and mysterious everything was when we got into dice-making. Everyone knew that art n glow made resin and you could color it but inclusions, petri pours and even different silicones to make molds were not commonplace. It really felt a bit like a new frontier and everyone was just trying to figure out the basics as opposed to now where people are really starting to push the boundaries of what can be accomplished.
FF: What is your favorite thing about dice making?
V: This is the easy one! Before we even knew our brand name we had already decided that the core tenant of our business was making people happy. Every decision we have made since then has been to further that goal. Hearing from someone after sending WIP (work in progress) photos that we had “perfectly captured” what they had requested in the conversations regarding their commission is why we do what we do. Whether it’s setting modeled clay chicken feet in dice for a voodoo priestess character or finalizing color palettes for a dozen separate d20’s for a client and all their friends, knowing that we can bring joy to someone in this world where one often forgets to be happy is our favorite part!
FF: Do any of your designs that have a special meaning?
V: Most of our dice have been made through the commission process. The designs are unique to each person’s story. There was one commission fairly early on that holds a special place in our history. As we finalized the dice for a ‘galaxy-like’ set the person we had been talking with passed away unexpectedly. The next correspondence we had was with his brother asking if we would be comfortable still fulfilling the order for that person, as they had been looking forward to receiving the dice. We gladly sent the dice- and a couple of pendants made in the same style for his family members- and asked if they would like to name the set in his memory. With the brother, we decided on the name ‘Ino Galaxy’ because when we pass on, we go on to create stars.
FF: You just launched a Kickstarter! Tell us more about it!
V: On August 4th we launched Koi-waii Dice which are 7-piece sets of handmade dice inspired by the patterning of koi fish. We met our funding goal in just over an hour and it is live until September 3rd at 3 PM. We are so excited to see the enthusiasm and support for this project and cannot wait to see where this journey will lead us.
Support the Koi-waii Kickstarter HERE