Where do I start with this unique deck of playing cards? First of all, the Wrench and Rodent deck is created by James Kellogg who designed the playing cards after his favourite sushi restaurant with the same name. The deck is a beautiful and honest portrayal of everything that captivated him: the amazing environment, the people and the unforgettable food!
Secondly, artist Josh Sorenson has masterfully crafted the Wrench and Rodent deck- the custom courts and pips are very easy on eyes and the backs are truly mesmerising! Amazing work!
We managed to get a hold of James for a quick chat on his design background, the inspiration and idea behind the Wrench and Rodent Playing Cards and his Kickstarter campaign.
Can you tell us about yourself and what is your design background?
Well to start my name is James Kellogg and I own the only magic shop in North County. I have been doing magic for roughly 13 years now and just dabble in cardistry (to be honest I'm awful lol). I don't have too much of a design background, but some of my best friends work as artists for Disney and also draw for freelance video games. So of course, with some super talented friends, I had to ask them to help draw the cards. The main artist on the deck is Josh Sorenson; amazing artist.
The Wrench and Rodent Playing Cards is your second Kickstarter Project. Why Kickstarter?
I was thinking about going to other places, but Kickstarter had such amazing backers. With the first project that got funded I was still short money from hidden fees with different manufacturing companies which caused delays. The backers sent me money even after the project was funded to help even though I never even hinted at the fact that I wanted more money. Completely took me by surprise and made me Kickstarter dedicated.
What is your inspiration behind the Wrench and Rodent Playing Cards? How did you come up with the idea?
The inspiration was from a sushi restaurant in Oceanside, California. The restaurant was just a one of a kind place that had an environment and food that you just can't resist going back to. After my, I think third visit to the restaurant I started seeing playing cards on their walls. After finding out that the restaurant was pretty much designed on gifts from people it had a feeling like no other place. Then it was as simple as asking the restaurant if I could design a deck of cards and they were super excited; just as much as I was.
How much time did you spend working on the deck?
From the moment they gave me the ok till it was up on Kickstarter, I was always working on the cards. It was roughly a six month process talking to friends and artists and lastly the restaurant owners (Davin and Jessica) to get a final design.
What was your most brilliant breakthrough when designing the deck?
What I think was the best thing with this deck was the edge markings. So what that means is, if you bevel the deck slightly in your hand, you can see exactly where the aces and the kings are in the deck.
What are your thoughts about the continuous strong growth of playing card projects on Kickstarter?
I love that playing cards on Kickstarter are getting funded. My only concern is it looks like people are creating cards just to create cards or make a few bucks. This is the exact reason why I have roughly six deck designs with no story behind it but this one has a story. I feel like that's what a deck should be, not just a random deck with no meaning behind it. And because of that I believe that great decks are getting missed because of the flood of decks available. I just hope that people can read through whether a deck of cards is just a design versus something that the creator put their time into it and had a passion with the outcome of the deck. If that makes sense lol...
Finally, what are your favourite playing card decks?
Once I mention my favorite decks you can probably see all the design in my deck. I have two decks specifically that I can't get enough of and those are David Blaine's Series A White Lions and Dan and Dave's Regulation Playing Cards Vintage Plaids.
Thanks for your time James! I hope the Wrench and Rodent Playing Cards hit the finding goal soon. If you like what you’ve read here and want to support the James and the Wrench and Rodent, you can find it on Kickstarter here.
Pledge starts from $12 and the deck will be printed by the USPCC. There are multiple add-ons available such as uncut sheets, Anything is Possible bottle, Joe Porper card clips, posters and t-shirts.
There are also multiple rewards that are waiting to be unlocked once the project hits its stretch goals. Most notably the very limited edition Wrench and Rodent Playing deck of cards at $64k. It will be foiled, embossed and printed on the highest quality stock.