Interview with Wendy Arnett (Wendy Arnett), an employee of the company Zippo

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Today our guest is my American friend Wendy Arnett (Wendy Arnett) - it works for Zippo for 31 years, since 1978. In our interview, she rasskazyvet about his work and the people who surrounded her all the years of service. This is the first interview with an ordinary employee of the company Zippo, published in Russian.


- You came to work in the company Zippo itself, or is it a family tradition?

- In 1978 I was a young divorced mother and I was only 24 years old. I needed a job, and all the Bradford knew that the company Zippo - one of the best places you can go to work. George Blaisdell is characterized by particularly to young mothers who worked in the company, and young families are significant benefits. Unfortunately, I've never been familiar with Blaisdell personally - he died just a few months before I went to work for Zippo.

- How often in the company Zippo "family dynasty" when, for example, grandfather, father and son are all working in the same company? Or vice versa, the company new people who have no relatives there does not work?

- Some of Bradford says, "Be polite to all, never do not know in advance who is whose relative." Quite often the case is that the company Zippo are or have few relatives. Do I have the most at one time, all four of my brothers and sisters worked there. Right now in my Zippo has 2 sisters, cousin and my son. There are also workers who have no relatives there does not work, but this is rare.

- Bradford - a small town, all employees Zippo really know each other and are members of one big family?

- Of course, as in any family, there are differences. But when something happens to someone, you may want to help someone, you would not believe how much all responsive and willing to help and take part! Here is a story that happened to me. June 24, 2007 my son was in a serious car accident and was 2:00 in the balance of death while in the hospital in Rochester, New York. And our Zippo-family - everything, including the employees, the management, the owners of the company, ie everything - to help me in this situation. Vseo before they collected money to help me recover urgent expenses. My son had a broken back, had a lot of injuries and concussions. He was paralyzed and the doctors said it would be a miracle if he would walk again. There in the hospital, I spent 19 days with him. And the house we had to build a special ramp to bring the carriage with her son. So, while I was in the hospital, my colleagues from Zippo met at his house, do all cooked and had built a ramp for us at our arrival! Other colleagues have helped us at home, cooked for us, and so on - in short, I had only to say that I needed and I got it. I certainly know how to Zippo-family help each other, but when you find yourself the object itself of such assistance, it is simply impossible to believe. And my son finally started walking, and in April 2008 he again went to work! It was a miracle, and I would not have coped without the help of my colleagues. The company also provided me leave and then return to work part-time while I was still taking care of her son.

- Do you work in a department supervisor packaging - the words sound a bit boring, but what really is the job? There is space to creativity, as they say?

- In fact, nothing boring in my work does not. My duty - the final product packaging before shipping to customers, I also watch for her purity. We constantly train and train new employees. We are also working to improve the business processes, make up more effective methods, and so on ... In general, the work as work, nothing wrong with that!

- Tell me, is very different job in the company Zippo today compared to what it was 30 years ago? You do feel taken place during this time of change?

- When I first joined the company, I worked in the processing on automatic machines, which were coated on most models of lighters. And then I graduated to, shall we say, a senior specialist of the controller and the line, which I was in 1990. For all the time of course, I've seen a lot of changes! It is not that all the changes at first seemed to be correct. But most people do not like change! Of course, it takes time to realize all that they have made a difference.

- And when times were easier to Zippo-family - 30 years ago or now?

- It's hard to say, I would not claim that they were easier or more difficult, times were just different ... But for example, smoking bans, increased cigarette prices and layoffs rather severe blow to the company.

- During your work in a company has had three presidents: Robert Gailey (1978-1986), Michael Shuler (1986-2000) and George Duke in 2000. Have any special memories of each of them and their time management?

- All of them were very concerned about the employees of the company! George has a special relationship at all, because it is both the owner of the company, as opposed to the others.

- And if you were the president of the company Zippo, what would you change?

- Well, I would do so, to ensure that production has increased enough to take back all the workers, who at one time were reduced or dismissed, and then hire another new :)

- You do polzueshsya products Zippo?

- Yes, I like to give them basically. I myself do not smoke, so the house is used only household gas lighters Zippo. A range of leather products like wallets Zippo!

- Thank you, Wendy :) One last question - what do you wish rossyskim Zippo collectors and on behalf of all the big Zippo-family?

- Thanks for the brand loyalty Zippo! Collecting for your pleasure! :) I wish everyone to be happy, and occasionally come to us in Bradford for meetings of collectors, and just come - shall be very happy to meet any of you! interview for the Ukrainian magazine «Machine»

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

In the April issue of the Ukrainian glossy magazine «Machine», it so happened, there is little material - namely, my interview about Zippo :)

Read the online version of the article can be on the magazine's website .

Unfortunately, the log format can fit quite a bit of everything I narasskazyval. But here I am publishing the full data of the interview (in my original version) - tried in vain, or what? :)

Inna Krapivtseva questions asked and answered yours truly :)

- Tell us a little about yourself: who you are, what you do (life outside Zippo), where did your passion, your first cigarette lighter. When they began to collect and how much lighter now items in your collection?

- I have worked for many years in the IT-field, had worked in the area of ​​technical support (from a simple engineer to the head of technical support large hosting company), I now work as a manager of IT-projects.

Zippo was carried away about 3 years ago, as usual, it was an accident - gave a lighter, accidentally fell into the hands of a second, and slowly I "hooked." I became interested in the history of Zippo, search for information on collecting, and, of course, collect collection. Pretty soon it became clear that the Russian media about Zippo almost there, except for a couple of articles on the history of the company, so had to fill this gap - now I'm the first Russian site about collecting Zippo, ru_zippo community on LiveJournal, and is the author article about the Zippo in Russian Wikipedia - this article late last year received the status of a "good article" and resistance with value most complete description of the history of Zippo in Russian.

Now I have a collection of about 40-50 lighters. The main theme of the collection - old advertising Zippo lighters 1940-1970's with images of trucks and heavy equipment, but often I found other instances that have come to the collection, simply because love :)

- Does your collection is unique lighters, in your opinion, and what would you like to get?

- Quite unique specimens I still can not boast, but on the other hand, since I was primarily interested in vintage advertising lighters, Zippo, each of them is unique and for each there is a story, for example, the company advertised on the lighter. So to me, is valuable and unique every old copy.

- Why did you just got carried away Zippo?

- By chance, it was worth the first time he borrowed a few days Zippo lighter and read a couple of articles about the history of Zippo, as a matter of me "take over".

- What are the prices for lighters? I understand the question strange, lighters - hundreds, but still - expansion of prices from the most ordinary items to rare, so to speak, a record price. The most expensive lighter Zippo? That what deficiencies reduce cost lighters?

- Speaking of the modern lighters that are made now and sold in stores, prices in Russia starting from about 15-20 dollars depending on the model, can be up to 70-100. There are rare and collectible models, which can be found on sale, and for $ 200-300, about the same cost and Zippo lighters made of silver. The most expensive serial sovermennaya Zippo is about 8-12 thousand dollars - an exclusive model made of gold 750th sample.

If we take the vintage Zippo, a range of prices here can be much greater and the price depends primarily on the rarity of the lighters and demand from collectors. For example, the lighter of the first years of production (from 1933 to 1940) are valued most, the price at the auction can go up to 2-3 thousand dollars. Zippo lighters during World too valuable, they can be depending on the condition of 100 to 500-600 dollars. There are known instances and series, which are always in high demand by collectors and the price is also usually very high. For example, the famous lighter «Moonlanding», released in 1969 to commemorate the landing of American astronauts to the moon - each drawing is a lighter hand, auctions, this lighter consistently sells for $ 200-400. Traditionally high demand (and hence prices) for lighters advertising world famous brands, or lighters, dedicated to famous people and events.

Vintage lighters state also has a big effect on the price. Old lighters in original boxes are always more expensive by 30-50%, especially if she Lighter "like new", ie never to be kindled, not refill petrol and never taken out of its box. For example, in online auctions I saw a huge range of prices on the lighter 1946 issue - from 20-30 dollars for a heavily worn and scratched copy to about $ 600 for the same, but completely intact and in original box of vremneni. This can be observed with any other model of release: the spread can be very large.

Record prices given for Zippo - 37.000 dollars in 2007 in Bradford, in celebration of the 75th anniversary of Zippo Manufacturing Company the company auctioned off a copy in 1933, and that's just enough to pay for zazhiglaku French collector and part-time head of the French Mission Zippo. And the last record price - it sells on Ebay in January 2009, the same Zippo in 1933, slightly the used condition, it went for $ 11,758.98 (this I wrote on the site .) Although, of course, such prices are more the exception, but if somewhere every few years there is a sale of a copy of the first issue Zippo (beginning in 1933), the price for it is almost always a five-digit number in dollars.

- How many in Russia and the former Soviet Union collectors Zippo?

- No, not very much, but their number is growing. Most of those who are interested in modern and collects Zippo lighters are available in stores, the benefit of the annual range of Zippo is very large and there you can find copies for everyone. For example, some of my friends collect lighters with symbols of Harley-Davidson, Jim Beam, etc. Much less those who collect vintage Zippo - mostly because of the old Zippo market in Russia as such there is little, and they can be purchased only on foreign online auctions.

- Do you smoke?

- Yes, I smoke, although in recent years much less than before, and do not lose hope quit altogether. However, smoking and passion Zippo actually have nothing to do - there are many people who collect Zippo and do not smoke, they were passionate pure idea of ​​collecting.

- The main advantage of Zippo lighters and major drawbacks. Are there any disadvantages of these lighters?

- When the Zippo lighter was released to the U.S. market in 1933, its main advantage was advertised windproof - Design lighters can use it at a sufficiently high wind and flame is not blown. The second advantage of genius publicity stunt its inventor George Blaisdell - the famous lifetime warranty. Actually, these advantages and remained unchanged until now - Zippo burns on Werth, and if broken, the company will repair free of charge any Zippo lighter, regardless of what happened to her.

On the downside, I would say this is more a disadvantage, and especially - the need to care for a cigarette lighter. At least it must be ensured that no gasoline was over and time to fill it (on average one filling lighters lasts a week), and replace the flint. Some are lazy - it's easier to buy a disposable lighter and throw it away, when it will end. But those who truly love Zippo, on its one-time, of course, would not change. Some also complain sometimes the smell of gasoline coming from the
lighter, but it is also a subjective element, the more that the refueling brand gasoline smell not.

- Key lighters, which are prized by collectors especially - maybe some special limited editions or used with famous people ...

- Each collector collects lighters on your topic and therefore can not say that any instance of uniquely valuable or more popular than the other - for someone he is not interested and the other collectors are willing to pay for it is a large amount. But higher demand ogranichnnye collectible series (Zippo company produces such a regular basis, and from 1992 to 2002 produced a limited edition series called «Collectible of the Year»: lighters each year devoted to various historical events or dates in the history of the company, special packaging, which were designed specifically for collectors), and, as I wrote above, lighter with advertising brands, the first years of production lighters, Zippo World War II or the Vietnam War, issue devoted to famous people or events, etc . on But in general, I repeat, every collector is most valuable precisely the lighter, which he wants to get to your collection.

- Can we say that for you lighters Zippo - not just a hobby, but a business? Can I make money on it?

- For me it is only a hobby, but I'm sure that if you ask for, then it is possible to earn - Especially if devote enough time and good knowledge of the market and the needs of those who buy Zippo. Who knows, maybe this hobby and go to the next level :)

- Are you in contact with foreign clubs fans Zippo?

- Yes, of course. I am a member of the official U.S. Collectors Club Zippo Click (This club is sponsored by the company Zippo Manufacturing) and online club Zippo Enthusiast Network, which brings together about two hundred Zippo serious collectors from around the world, I have a lot of friends collectors from the U.S., Britain, Germany, with whom I communicate on the Internet. Also, a lot of members in the community ru_zippo on LiveJournal, I know there's a lot of talk among themselves.

The good news - this year, together with the official Zippo distributor in Russia, the company "Korolus" we open the first official Russian collectors club Zippo, where we plan to conduct live meetings participants produce (with Zippo Manufacturing Company) special limited series of lighters Club members. On looking for is already open club website: - everyone can join it, create interest groups, chat with other members in person or online, etc.

- Where can I buy exclusive model lighters?

- In Russia (Ukraine, I believe, too), there are no specialized stores Zippo - usually they are sold in gift shops, tobacco shops, etc. A sign that the vendors selling these Zippo - brand presence rotating display cases with lighters. These Zippo can not be sold in stalls or on trays! Each year the company produces a catalog of Zippo lighters, which consists of two parts - «Complete Line» (full range) and «Choice Collection» - the most beautiful and exclusive model year. These directories are available on the official website of Zippo, and if you are looking for a particular model of lighter (and each listing has its own article), it is easier to contact the distributor of the Zippo and find out where to buy a particular model.

As for vintage Zippo, then they can be purchased either on-line auctions, or from Western collectors.

- Where you complete your collection? Have interesting stories when you got a lighter?

- As a rule, I was vintage lighters fall either with online auctions, or from my foreign friends kolektsionerov. Current models of lighters commonly available in stores or at the Russian distributor Zippo.

About interesting cases - to be honest, I do not remember ... :) I can only tell the subject: sobiraenie any collection always takes patience and time, and the Zippo is no exception. Most important - is to determine the order for which you want to collect Zippo theme and stick to it - because collection is important not primarily size and fullness. Therefore, the search of interesting lighters is a very exciting process, but not fast, and still often have to fight the temptation to buy something "beautiful, but unnecessary" - different lighters with multiple and sometimes so tempted to buy something unusual and beautiful simply because they really liked :)

- Is there a collectors authoritative personality? Who is the biggest collector of lighters in the world?

- I can not answer about the biggest collector ... but their authority is, of course. First of all, the authors of books about Zippo. Such basic books for collectors issued no more than 10 names, and the most widely known and regarded as the "canonical" are three of the main (David Pura book on the history and collecting Zippo, Philip Taggart's book about the history of Zippo with automotive advertising, and a book about the history of Jim Fiorella Zippo the Vietnam War). In addition, there are several of the most famous collectible Zippo-sites are visited by almost every collector - their authors are also quite known among collectors. A list of these sites is given in the article on Wikipedia .

Master miniature masterpieces Claudio Mazza (Claudio Mazzi)

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

Surely each kolelktsioner Zippo heard the name Claudio Mazza (Claudio Mazzi) - Italian artist, creating unique fine art works on lighters Zippo. Claudio works with Zippo for about 15 years and in that time has created a manual about 11.000 Zippo-masterpieces. Basically Claudio Mazza hand draws limited series lighters, circulation does not exceed tens or hundreds of pieces, and these are a serious Zippo collection value. Some of his stories are available on factory-production Zippo, which also are loved by collectors. He creates unique and lighter - in a single copy customized collectors and members of the Italian club Zippo. His work is dedicated to a site by Zippo Mazzi .

Claudio Mazza - the only artist airbrush, authorized by Zippo to work with their products. Each lighter sold his work authorized by Zippo and entered into a special database Zippo-Italian club. In Claudio tremendous assistance provided by his wife Antonella Mazza, who is also president of the Italian Zippo-club , which consists of more than 500 participants.

Maestro Mazza managed to find time in his busy schedule and gave an exclusive interview to Zippocollector.Ru. This is the first interview with the artist, published in Russian. I want to express my thanks to Antonella Mazza (Antonella Mazzi) for assistance in preparing the material.

- How did your art career? When did you start to paint, and where did you study?
- As a child in Florence, I saw a picture of the great Leonardo da Vinci, they amaze me and captured my voobrzhaenie. They have had the greatest influence on my decision to become an artist. In 1979 I enrolled in the Institute of Art A. Venturi in Modena in 1984 and graduated with a Master of Arts in the field of graphics and photos. The five years of training have given me invaluable experience and shaped my love of hyperrealism paintings. At the time I first saw the airbrush and it was, as they say, love for life. Since then, he has become my main instrument, and still offers me his secrets.

- When did you start to draw on the lighter Zippo? Do you collect them before?
- In 1995, I met with the president of the Italian branch of Zippo at the show, where I worked for the company Ducati Moto, and we decided to try to do something with Zippo. I was the first artist airbrush poprobovavashim draw on lighters. The very first test was very simple, something like the picture with the lightning, but the result is very much the representatives of the company and I got a Zippo official authorized status and the opportunity to work with lighters Zippo. C now until 2008, I worked for the Italian distributor, Zippo Italia. Since 2008 I have been working on their own, directly on the orders of collectors and members Zippo Club Italia. I am the world's only authorized artist airbrush, officially working with the products Zippo.
The very first Lighter Zippo, that I saw was a model called «Vespucci», manufactured for the Italian market - I bought it as a gift for my father when I was 20 years old. I loved Zippo with colorful, realistic images, but then I do not kolletsioniroval them. I collected stamps, which he loved for the same beauty and realism.

- How much time does it take to develop a model of lighters, from the idea of drawing and ending with the first instance of a painted? You draw the first sketch on paper or canvas before you transfer it to a lighter? How long does it take to create a lighter, after the sketch is ready?
- It is difficult to answer this question, it all depends on the particular design. Sometimes you need to just play the pattern, if it is simple, we can handle a few hours. Sometimes when rabotash with a complex pattern-to-order, to create a lighter and it may take a week or more. Sometimes I come up with a prototype, and paint it on your computer or directly to the cigarette lighter - usually when I'm creating a series of lighters and need to create some sample sketches. Draw serial lighters much easier, and usually I can draw multiple instances of the day, if the pattern is not too complicated.

- You work every day, or only when the inspiration comes?
- My time is a minimum of 12 hours, sometimes 15-16 hours. Sometimes even have to work on Sundays, and sometimes I still do not have time!

- How to choose a subject for a picture on the cigarette lighter? You come up with it yourself, or the company Zippo orders you specific subjects to paint?
- Since I work directly on the orders of the collectors, I can choose any topics and subjects for pictures on their own, but the company Zippo, it shall approve each sketch. If the order is an individual, the lighter in a single copy, the customer can provide any subject for a picture, it can be a photo of his wife, children, dogs, etc. When working on a serial lighters that are made for my sketches, but mass produced in a factory Zippo, we work closely with the company Zippo - they tell me about their wishes for the picture, I can express their wishes.

- How many Zippo lighters you drew in my life?
- Can not say exactly, but I think at this point somewhere around 11,000.

- What are you drawing, except lighters?
- Earlier this did not play a big role for me, but now I'm focused on certain surfaces for creativity: my main canvas - is Zippo, at least I'm drawing pen and pocket knives. On this canvas I paint only certain subjects, which the company put it in my Zippo lighters.

- You work as an illustrator or artist to other publishers or magazines?
- In my 20 years I painted calendars for the company «Maserati Cars», it was in 1991-1992 ... Now on outside work I do not have time.

- If you are solo shows?
- Yes, quite often there are exhibitions in which I present pens his work. The last time these were in the U.S., in Atlanta and Washington.

- Do you have students that you pass the skill and secrets?
- Previously, I taught courses that teach his technique Airbrush. But I think that the style of art in many ways opredlyaetsya originally laid to waste and the artistic "flair." In the end, the airbrush - this is just a technical tool for the artist. At one time I also had and assistants, but in fact their help was not enough and I was not completely happy with, so over time I came to realize that I work exclusively by himself. Maybe from this reduced performance, but the quality is definitely growing.

- What, in your opinion, is the best and most favorite lighter, ever painted by you?
- An artist is difficult to answer this question. As a rule, the last work and often seems the best. Also, of course, there is a big difference between serial lighters and order a single copy. I think I still have a lot I can learn and the best my lighter, I had not yet created. Although there is probably just today I draw the best - with a portrait of my wife Antonella!

- You do not seem to have been to Russia? Want to say something Russian collectors Zippo?
- Yes, unfortunately, I was not in Russia, but would love to come. And all Russian collectors, I would like to say: "I hope that this little story about my work interest you and we can see some of you at the meetings of the club Zippo Club Italia. We have visitors from Japan, the U.S., India and around the world, and you, too, we will be very happy! ".


In conclusion, I will add that some of the serial Zippo Mazzi can buy at a discount to our partner store Dostavka-Podarkov.Ru: