Zortz were invented in 1980 while I was on a work study program at Henson and Associates (The Muppets). I was playing around with a clothespin one morning and thought what a great mechanism for a miniature puppet.
The first ones I made were carved out of foam mattresses and then dipped in latex rubber. This was a pretty arduous process, and the results weren’t the best. I later learned how to work with foam latex after a brief job working on a horror movie (Plutonium Babies). That’s when Zortz really began to evolve. There are several stages to working in foam latex. The first is sculpting a clay model of the Zortz character. That’s the fun part. Next, a permanent mold is created from the clay model into which the foam is cast. The piece is then baked for several hours. Additional features are painted on with rubber ink, and then the piece is cleaned, assembled, and prepared to go to work for you.
Zortz were originally meant to be miniature puppets but over time they evolved into noteholders — I guess out of necessity. I started selling them at street fairs and craft shows around NYC in 1983. Several local stores became interested in carrying Zortz and eventually buyers throughout the country were ordering them. Because each Zortz is made by hand they tend to have their own unique personalities and that personality will grow and change as you play with it. Believe me it’s true. I play with lots of them everyday.
SEE ZORTZ IN ACTION ON VIDEO BELOW!!!!!!
Funky Rock Designs are made from all-natural stones found along the coast and rivers of New England. Each product is unique and, like snowflakes, no two are alike. Our creations are art that is fun and funktional.
Hours are spent combing the shore looking for the perfect stones to be transformed. Each rock is hand-picked and carried to our workshop in Maine. There they are individually drilled to create vases, lamps, soap dispensers, candle holders, booze dispensers, and several other products. The shapes and textures are made by the pounding surf and are distinct to each rock. Each of these characteristics determine how it will be used. Some rocks are left natural, while others are hand-treated with oil to bring out their vibrant color or design, just as you would see them if they were washed up by a wave onto the beach!
Gathering stones has always been a favorite family past time and we hope some of the joy we experience will be passed on to you. The idea behind Funky Rock Designs is to bring a little bit of nature indoors in a unique form of funktional art.
Artisan-in-Chief Jeff Henderson and his Funky Rock Family hope you enjoy your Funky Rock product!
Charlotte Arvelle Behrens is an independent studio glass artist who works full-time in her Northwestern Illinois studio/gallery. With over twenty-nine years of glass experience she creates kiln fired glass art. All of her works are hand-crafted originals and are noted for the quality of their material,color and composition. Her pieces range from large sculptures, wall pieces, lighting down to smaller ornaments and suncatchers.
“Working with glass has been a journey to merge reality, spirit, and passion together in my work. By taking a common substance, in my case glass, along with themes and symbols which have evoked mankind’s emotions throughout the ages, I hopefully have transformed my glass into art to appeal to modern imaginations.”