Our Police Box Fridge – Refrigerate! Refrigerate!

   Posted by: BJ Johnson in studio

This Artist's Refrigerator Does It Superlatively

All work and no play dulls the mind. For Halloween, Joy thought that it would be a great idea to dress up our refrigerator as a parody on a certain police box. Our fridge is nice looking in it's own right, but the doors are non-magnetic stainless. The fun we used to have populating the fridge with odd stuff held on with magnets of all kinds (some of the magnets we have are really cool) was no longer possible. It'd have to be all taped on. Inelegant, and spur of the moment additions are out the window if ya gotta go searching for the tape dispenser.

Our fridge sits at the end of our galley kitchen and is already the focal point. As long as we can't cover it with bits of stuff, may as well cover it, period, with something really fun and inspiring. We're artists. Inspiration is essential.

It's a French Door, bottom roll-out freezer style, so the double door design of a Police Public Call Box fits right in and the proportions are right, too. How to make it happen?

Good question.

Joy originally started working on the idea and then ran into a snag. Looked good in her head but when it came down to doing it in reality, stuff didn't quite line up with the fridge parts. Figuring out how to place what, where became a hurdle. The refrigerator still needs to be functional after the makeover. Getting everything integrated, so that it looks great and works well was paramount, and it took some finesse. Tall order but not outside of our capability, by any means. After all, We Build Cool Stuff! & that ain't easy.

She had trepidations about asking me about anything to do with this, as she thought I'd nix the whole thing. As if... In addition to the many things I am, you may readily gather that I'm a horologist. Always have been fascinated with time and timekeeping devices. You could say that H.G. Wells and I grew up in different times together. There are a few clocks in my collection that are over 150 years old; as testified by the Kitchen Clock sitting on the counter, along with a face from an Ansonia Dew Drop that needed some TLC.

The sharp-eyed will spot the cow-spotted device on the south counter; it's my Italian espresso machine. There's a TARDIS cookie jar on the north counter near the vintage Kitchen Clock. The cookie jar gets triggered as I leave the kitchen with my espresso and a cup of cocoa for Joy each morning. Gotta have as much fun whenever you can, while you can. Keeps you sane or, in my case, crazy. Anyhoos, a time travel refrigerator is right up my pit lane. What's not to like!?

Our Police Box FridgeCompounding the problem, not to make a pun, the front stainless steel surface is a compound curve; not flat like a Police Box. Not so simple. Then there's the top. In order to make it really complete, the Police Box roof had to be devised that would mount on the top of the fridge, overhang the sides, clear the doors, hold the beacon sitting on the apex and still allow access to the cupboard above. Then there's the ice maker and control panel to be able to access. Still, it was clear that it's something that somehow needed to happen, so it was time for a bit of "Johnsonizing".

Interleaving this with a large and intense commission that has been consuming the studio for some months, during times when we were waiting for epoxy to cure or just taking a break to let the mind relax, we'd advance the design to the point where a prototype was finally in order. Once that was a success, then the rest would follow. The brain began percolating and I thought it would be great to hear the de-materialization sound when the doors opened. Processed a couple of sound files and got that working, then moved on to the beacon for the roof.

In its completed form, the telephone door provides access to the ice maker and control panel. The sound plays every time the big doors are opened and the rechargeable beacon on the roof is the icing on the Police Box cake.

Police Call Box Telephone DoorOnce I settled upon the "ADVICE & ASSISTANCE OBTAINABLE IMMEDIATELY" I knew what I had to do. The "ICE" in "ADVICE" was just too ripe. We're also thinking of highlighting the "ICE" in "POLICE". After all, it is an Ice Box.

Now, if we only could get it to go back in time to when food was less expensive and stock up. Of course, when it came forward, we'd have to ignore the stale dates. Makes me smile every time I see it and laugh when I open it for some refreshment. All refrigerators should be this happy. You can have one of your very own to light up your kitchen.

police-box-websiteSince I took this shot and shared it, my photo had started it's journey into Viraldom and history. Huge sites like ThinkGeek and their Facebook page, I F***ing Love Science, Doctor Who and the T.A.R.D.I.S., ThatsNerdalicious, GeekAlerts, Reddit, ZDNet, The Huffington Post, United Kingdom and even a little blurb on IMDb. Our fridge has also been spotlighted on InnerSpace TV show in Canada and a newspaper article in Australia.

Who knew? (Get it?)

We've been trying to negotiate with The BBC for a license to use their logo and produce official high end, short run items (we have quite a few designed and they're killer) so that people can have something of value that isn't assembly line stamped out. We have found that there is a large market for this higher level of creations; a very large market that has been left wanting.

Seems the only way we're going to be interesting to them, though, is to produce boring t-shirts and socks, because that is all that the BBC America guy knows. Anything else goes right past him. That's why we're trying to work with BBC Worldwide. There are PLENTY of short run products out there already. What's wrong with these? Don't want free money? We've been trying to do the Right Thing for quite a while. In fact, WE contacted THEM right off, thereby putting ourselves squarely on the radar. It'd be great if that were acknowledged, at least, and appreciated at best.

Of course, some time later a different arm of the organization contacted us. They were being a bit obtuse about it and tried to make the case that we're counterfeiting. Ummm, no, not selling anything with the logo on it. Not producing anything that competes in any way with, or is a rip-off of, any of your products, so it's not counterfeiting. It's parody. Besides, since when can something long in the public domain be Borged by a corporate/government giant and then trademarked after the fact? Police Call boxes have been around since shortly after the telephone was invented in the 1800's and the first ones were in the United States!

Perhaps it's time to get public opinion to weigh in on the matter. Fans can be pretty powerful in their own right. If we just let it drop, big corporate tactics, culture and power win over top of the small guy... again. As long as we don't use the "T" word, which is trademarked, in connection with it, they've left us alone; but it would be better to be able to produce these other products we have waiting in the wings.

Ever hear of a win-win situation? Here's one staring you in the face, BBC. Wake up and smell the tea.

Tags: , , , ,

Short URL for this post: //spherical.org/s/9k
More from “The Art & Engineering of B.E.Johnson”right-filler-bar

25 Responses to Our Police Box Fridge – Refrigerate! Refrigerate!

  • Todd

    Hi I happened to find a picture of your fridge will looking at random pics and when I read your Facebook page, when I was eventually directed there, I found out you may be making them for sale. My wife has been a massive doctor who fan since she first saw Christopher Eccelston when she was younger and I wish to find out a few more details about where you ship to ( western Australia, Australia?), price and what timeframe you might have. I hope to hear from you soon


    November 20, 2012 at 4:31 am

      Hi Todd,

      We ship our art prints to Oz quite often. Time frame is unknown until the license negotiations with BBC are complete. I'll let you know.

      November 21, 2012 at 2:44 am
  • Donna


    January 3, 2013 at 11:34 am

    love one of these massive fan could you advise on cost and timeframe to victoria austrailia ?

    March 24, 2013 at 9:53 pm

      We ship to Oz all the time. Have sent 6 Solar System Ornament Sets there so far this year.

      April 10, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    This is so cool, I might have to get a French Door fridge just to accommodate it! I'm in the U.S. -- Oklahoma, to be precise.

    April 9, 2013 at 8:31 pm
    Lani Stover

    I am interested in ordering one of these kits. I have a side by side fridge. Do you make these kits to fit that? It said on the facebook link that they were available for $185,is that true?

    April 12, 2013 at 7:08 am

      Hi Lani,

      By side-by-side, I assume that you mean freezer door full-height on one side, refrigerator door full-height on the opposite; with the division not necessarily in the center. We've already fitted one of that type, along with a wide range of other designs so far. To-date, I believe that they all have been unique. Just supply your refrigerator make and model number, so we can take a look.

      April 20, 2013 at 1:34 am
    Jamie Bolden

    I want one of these so bad. My entire family loves Dr. Who and we are getting our first home in just 2 months! This would be an amazing surprise for them!

    April 14, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Tried to post this once already lol, but we are getting our first home in 2 months and we need one of these! how can we get one?

    April 14, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      Thanks!. Just follow the link to our GlassSculpture.org Police Box page at the bottom of the post.

      April 18, 2013 at 1:55 am
    Peter hooper

    Hi I love this idea. The tardis for a fridge very cool.. Is it available in Australia yet, And how much is it roughly? Is the police box sign on the top and the beacon light also included in the kit, if not where could I get one? Thank you 🙂

    April 25, 2013 at 1:31 am

      Just follow the link to the Police Box Fridge page at the end of the article. Yes, we ship nearly everywhere.

      April 26, 2013 at 12:49 am

    The kit includes everything that’s needed to create the familiar blue police box in your kitchen, including the ‘Police Box’ sign, the peak roof, and a working beacon.

    April 26, 2013 at 9:58 pm
    Sally Golding

    Do you do these skins for the Samsung 2 drawer fridge /freezer?

    May 2, 2013 at 8:22 pm

      Hi Sally,

      We can make them fit just about anything. Already have done a 2-drawer freezer; unsure which model. If you can supply the specific model number of yours, we can take a look. Is it a Flexzone Drawer model?

      May 4, 2013 at 12:29 am
    Nannie I. Jarvis

    Because the police box shape was relatively easily recognised, the Doctor made several attempts to change the exterior of the TARDIS. None were particularly successful. In the end, he forewent changing how the TARDIS' outer shell looked by his ninth incarnation, deciding that he liked it.

    May 11, 2013 at 5:10 pm
    Marty B. Montgomery

    A certain Time Lord's blue police box aside, Back To The Future's DeLorean is perhaps the most memorable of all time machines, and certainly one of sci-fi cinema's most iconic cars. But initially, the movie's time machine wasn't envisioned as a vehicle at all - when Back To The Future was still in its development stage, director Robert Zemeckis and writer/producer Bob Gale had imagined that Marty McFly would travel back to the 1950s in a refrigerator .

    May 24, 2013 at 7:30 pm
    Al Travis

    Is this available for a single door frig with the freezer on the top?

    June 8, 2013 at 3:55 pm

      Yes, it is.

      June 9, 2013 at 1:49 am

    What does the peak roof look like from other views? You mentioned needing clearance from the cupboards, so is it a short depth of a few inches? I am determined to purchase a TARDIS skin from you two when we purchase our first house here shortly, but every kitchen I look at has short cupboards above the fridge spot (yes, I am planning how a TARDIS can fit in each home I look at as part of my decision...)

    June 12, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      Well, all I can say is that every kitchen is different, as you have seen. We make adjustments, as required, according to the physical environment in which the refrigerator lives. So far, there are at least eight different side versions. It all depends upon the space involved that we have to work with. The available choices are also determined, at least in part, upon the inventiveness of the persons doing the installation. We can provide the basic source materials that can then be adapted to fit a given situation. Sky's the limit, but a coordinated effort always wins out because you can do so much more.

      June 13, 2013 at 1:37 am

    Makes sense 🙂 Thank you!

    June 13, 2013 at 9:16 am
    Sally Golding

    my fridge is a Samsung 4 door stainless steel, model # RF4267HA
    I hope that you can do one for this, could you please let me know the price ect, as really love this 🙂

    June 14, 2013 at 11:05 am

      Hi Sally,

      We've done one like this previously, so should be no problem.

      June 14, 2013 at 10:29 pm
    Post Your Response:

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Copyright © 1976-2024 The Art & Engineering of B.E.Johnson