The first time you hold a finished Tom's Drag®© in your hand, you cannot imagine how much inspiration and work it represents. Let’s take Anton the Snail for example.

The Tom´s Drags are all artisan pieces. From the initial design to the finished work, everything is created by hand, carefully painted and decorated with love. We’d like to show you how we work.

Step 1: The Sketch

It all begins with an inspiration that the artist draws with a few quick strokes. Animal figures, human characters or decorative objects find their initital expression in a sketchbook, notebook or if need be, on a napkin. In a detailed sketch, the artist works out the particular traits that unite to form the magical overall image – how the colors and patterns typical of Tom's Drag creations should be arranged on Anton the Snail, for example.

Step 2: The Carved Pattern

Now the process enters the third dimension: an artisan carves the pattern for Anton from a piece of wood. This pattern has the same size, proportions and details as the finished object. The artist hand paints the pattern, based on the original sketch. The result is a prototype that we later use to verify the effect of the finished object. This pattern must be made very carefully, because it is also the basis for the mold in the casting stage.

Step 3: The Natural Rubber Mold

The mold is the ‘mother’ of all Tom's Drag works of art. It is made of natural rubber. Through a small opening in the mold, the artisan pours a specific amount of liquid marmorin, a mixture of ground marble and synthetic resin. The mold is sealed and then agitated back and forth by hand for a designated length of time. This allows the liquid to penetrate every corner and harden. We always make several molds because the rubber wears out over time.

Step 4: The Casting is Finished

When we remove the hardened casting from the mold, it has the typical mat white, dull color of unwrought marmorin. The next step is to file down all of the casting burrs. Each casting is primed in white and carefully polished by hand so the colors of the finished object are saturated and brilliant.

Step 5: Drawing the Contours

On the smooth, polished primer coat, our artisans use pencils to draw the contours of the color fields. Later, the artist will follow these contours as orientation instead of using templates.

Step 6: Painting

Let there be color! Painting the Tom's Drag is the step that takes the most time. Here again, we only do the work by hand. Armed with an entire arsenal of brushes – soft ones, hard ones, thick and thin – the artist decorates the object with the many intricately beautiful patterns and colors that give the finished Tom's Drag artworks their charm. We pay special attention to the faces of our characters, adding details, highlights and shadows to evoke the appropriate expression.

With special adhesives, we apply the gold leaf and then seal the surface. We only use high quality artist’s paints and varnishes for our creations.

Step 7: Finishing

Finishing is the last step in the process. It requires a good eye, a quiet hand and plenty of care. Using tweezers, our artisans individually attach characteristic accessories such as eyelashes, earrings, chains, piercing, rhinestones and additional details. Each Tom's Drag is a unique, hand-crafted work of art.

Studios Around the World

As you can seen, every Tom's Drag is created in a highly elaborate production process. Haste is counterproductive here. The people who have mastered the techniques required are few and far between. Even highly talented artisans need lots of practice until they can create our forms and our richly detailed, sophisticated patterns in the quality we require. 

This is why for many years, we have invested heavily in the time it takes to train the artisans in our studios. The result is a collection of unique, eccentric, often provocative artistic creations that all have one thing in common: they transcend prevailing paradigms and spread joy.