held in July in Bradford, PA, USA - the home of Zippo & Case,
Many pieces found new homes with Zippo staff & passionate collectors.
I have also been honoured with the special friendship of the Roseart team (also of Bradford),
producers of the exotic Roseart table lighters & have created a handful of pieces for them.
About 1992 a good friend, Rudy Galloway, gave me my first Zippo,
a 1991 Operation Deep Freeze Slim Ultralite Zippo,
on his return from working with Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica.
It was lovingly used, & later became the first Zippo that I hand worked
with a double-sided artpiece of mine.
That involved replacing the Ultralight chips with anodized aluminium engraved plates
as I had decided that I wasn't happy having a Zippo that there was more than one of.
That became the start of a love affair of producing only one-of-a-kind designs on Zippos.
After much more use & admiration from other Zippo lovers it's now retired
Click on thumbnail for larger image
Since then my everyday lighter
has beena 1996 Original 1932 Replica, 2nd Release (love that shape!)
with another design & my motto "In all things be passionate" in miniscule letters.
Yes, it's not one of my better pieces,
but like the old saying of
"Builders having the worst houses"
there never seems time enough to do another special one for me.
However, & despite this, it's still much loved as it has been used as a hand-rest
whilst working most, if not all, of the later pieces.
P.S. the circle in the middle wasn't part of the original design,
it has been worn there by rubbing on the dome back inside it's belt pouch
Pieces are only available direct through this website (here) & rarely appear on the secondary market.
As each design is worked entirely by myself it means yearly output numbers are low (eg 2009 saw 69 pieces).
There is a 12 - 18 month waiting list on custom designs done to order.
Pricing is based upon time involved & the cost of the base Zippo.
A single piece can take between 3 & 35 hours depending on the complexity & coverage of the design.
Some past Zippos I have worked can also be found in the Past works section
About Paul's one-of-a-kind Zippos
Click on flag for
newspaper article in Chinese
As a stylish, functional lighter with a lifetime guarantee Zippos are unparalleled,
the perfect canvas for a miniature one-of-a-kind artpiece.
See here for a Youtube video on how a Zippo is produced
The designs are worked into the Zippo
using hand held rotary engraving (1st pic.)
& decorative sandblasting (2nd pic.) techniques.
By using different depths of blast and/or engraving
a great variety of colouration & effects can be obtained.
This is very difficult to clearly photograph
as many of the designs can only be fully seen
by moving the Zippo around
causing the light to highlight different parts.
Over time & with use the colouration will darken a little.
Each piece is signed P.G.F.
Early ones usually have PGF in the bottom right corner of the front face.
Later ones have P.G.F. & the year it was done to the right of the Zippo logo on the bottom stamp.
Pieces worked since 2005 have a tiny "No 1 of 1" on the bottom of the face opposite the hinge,
although some have it in other areas depending on the design.
Since the start of 2009 each piece has been specially coded & detailed records kept.
Sadly, as a result of a few computer crashes (aaaaaargh, hate that!),
my personal records of most of my earliest pieces have been lost
although I can instantly recognise them.
Should you ever have a query if a piece was done by me
please don't hesitate to ask
In 2003 I began communicating with Zippo for official acceptance of my work
as a "Zippo recognised artist".
Whilst anyone can purchase a Zippo & do whatever they want upon it,
from a legal standpoint it cannot be then sold as a Zippo without Zippo's permission.
I was honoured with a verbal acceptance by Mr Mike Martin,
Zippo's past Vice President of Sales & Marketing,
on condition that each piece is strictly a "one-of-a-kind"
& that photos of each piece are filed with Zippo.
Vol. 3 of the 2007 ZippoClick (Zippo's official collectors club) magazine published this article ->
Work on Case knives (a subsidiary of Zippo) started in 2007
with the kind permission of W. R. Case & Sons' President,
Mr Tom Arrowsmith.
The making of the 4 piece "Cross" Zippo set
Handcutting a stencil for sandblasting of 1 of the 4 Zippos to become part of "The Family" series.
Each piece in this series took nearly a day to complete as the design covers all faces except the bottom.
"The Family" finished - this series was displayed in a group art exhibition at Allegory Gallery in Christchurch (2004) prior to it's next stop, Bradford,PA,USA for the 2004 Swapmeet
The original hand drawn art
The computer produced stencil prior to affixing it to the Zippos
The making of the 4 piece "The Family" Zippo set
"in all things be passionate"