I recently got word of an interesting eBay shop, where Abraham Neddermann sells a couple of unusual and hand-crafted dice. He currently offers several odd dice (like a d3, d5, d7 and d9) crafted from aluminium and an Ankh D6, where the numbers and the ankh (replacing the number 6) are made out of brass. Wow, this is pretty cool. When I had the opportunity, I asked Abraham a few questions.
Stargazer: Hi Abraham, please tell our readers a bit about yourself.
Abraham: My name is Abraham Neddermann, and I have always wanted to be an Inventor (I’m 28 yrs old). All my family is full of artists (aunts), tech teachers (uncles) and craftsmen (dad & granddad).
I studied electronics because I’m very talented on mechanics. Always dreamed about a mill and a lathe, but could not afford it until recently (1 year).
I have had an awesome luck on which teachers I have met over my life, because they all have taught me the “old school” ways of work, and love for perfection. So in the end, I have evolved into some sort of modern craftsman.
I worked as warehouse assistant and lather as a R+D electronics assistant. But recently, in part due to the recession, they dismissed me (in good ways, there was not that much work).
At that time, I had had just bought mi milling machine.
Stargazer: How did you come up with the idea to craft unusual dice?
Abraham: Everything started with me NOT wanting to make a die for a friend. ^^
That friend asked me for a 13-sided dice, but being a good deal of work, I redirected him to a manufacturer I found in “dicecollector.com“. Unfortunately for him, the manufacturer was not taking orders, so he convinced me to make him one. (I had to overcome my natural aversion to charge money for something to people I know). After a few prototypes (one with roman numbers, one too long, and one with off-center numbers) I finally made one he did like. I charged him 22€, but in the end, I really had not made any benefit, because had to buy numeric punches and the aluminium).
At this point, my obsessive/compulsive personality kicks in. Having been a RPG player (and game master) for 12 years now, my mind just wandered over the metal dice, and I asked myself how would a D5 or a D7 look like (on the same style as the D13)
So I started making all the odd numbered dice from 3 to 13. Then, some friends bought some, and about a month later, I just decided to open a eBay shop. (It has low maintenance costs and is easier to manage than other e-commerce options, but is a hell in user friendliness).
At the bottom end, Unconventional Dice exists (Or I want to believe that) to make those dice noone else makes…and to push the “dice” into the future (like the carbon one…).
Stargazer: Please tell us a bit more about the dice themselves.
Abraham: My machines are not computer controlled, so each die is made with love and passion (well, in reality, each die is made with good music (from Loreena McKennit to Daft Punk) under my noise-cancelling headphones.
As I said, I am a little obsessive compulsive when it comes to ideas. So when a “theme” kicks in, i just can’t stop to wander over it. That leads me into things like the Carbon Fiber dice, as you can see, the 3 sided dice, pushed to the extreme. In case you wander, the answer is yes, it performs better than the regular 3 sided dice. (because the mass of the dice is so off center, it is less likely to stop on a round edge).
About how they handle on the table. Well, the D3 and D5, are “big” in comparison to other types of dice, but when you get into the D5 and over, all other manufacturers I have seen, just drop the common sense and make big chunks of metal with N sides. In my case, I decided I wanted the dice to be usable, so all them are small (15*25mm) and relatively light.
Of course, their use is limited because we are used to even choices on our games but on the other side, that means that is unlikely that you need more than one of one given die, so you won’t end rolling tons of metal into the table. ^^
Stargazer: And what about the numbers on the dice? How are they put onto the dice?
Abraham: Which ones?. The metal dice have the numbers “engraved” (punched) on and then painted by hand to make the numbers readable. The symbols on the plastic D6 are metal fused into the plastic. That gives the die a somewhat special feeling, specially on the steampunk one (gearwheel) because the symbol has this metallic shine that paint has not.
Stargazer: Thanks for answering that questions for us! I wish you luck with your dice shop and I hope we’ll see more of your cool dice at the gaming table in the future!
Abraham has provided me with a couple of photos that, I now want to share with you. Please note that some of the dice shown are still prototypes, so they are not available at the shop, yet.
You can click on the thumbnails above to see a larger version of the photos. I have to admit that I currently don’t see that many uses for the odd dice, yet, but I love Abraham’s other dice. Especially the Steampunk and Predator dice are pretty cool, and I am tempted to get a set of those dice, when they are finally available in his shop.