The title reminds me of an old Jim Croce song, “Photographs and Memories.” But that’s where the similarities end, although it’s well known that Jim was a cigar guy, and I imagine he’d be fine with a beer or two within arm’s reach, and maybe even a splash of whiskey, just to sooth the throat.

When we set out to create our one-of-a-kind beer tray, “Matches and Memories,” we wanted to make something that soothes the eyes in the same way as a cold beer or a great shot of whiskey soothes the throat. Some might even suggest that it’s about easing the soul. It’s about relaxing, creating, and doing your own thing – whatever that may be.

Our Matches and Memories project by artists A.D. Cook and Beti Kristof combines years of collected bar coasters, cigar bands, new and spent matches, a couple of yards of steel braided wire for an added fun twist. We like how the wire reflects light like small diamonds – Beti loves that.

I love that our beer tray big, measuring about two feet by three feet, and we built it heavy-duty, you know, to carry more beer. This is one heavy-duty tray.


Great Handles.

This project was especially fun in that we, Beti and I, co-created it together. We enjoy sharing in creative energy exchanges in projects we both enjoy, and we compliment each other through our combined creatively. Together, we’ve created sculptures and paintings, penned a screenplay, wrote a great book ( DREAM TO LAUNCH ), and created TheBrewCard (, which we’ve been told, has our fingerprints all over it, metaphorically speaking.

Our new project is fingerprint-free. That’s because we buried it in a mile of clear. We know that if we were going to create something unique, we’d want to protect it as much as possible since we plan on it getting a lot of use.

Like I mentioned in the video above, we were actually celebrating Beti’s birthday. She mentioned that she wanted a one-of-kind drink tray, so I credit the idea as entirely hers. When we saw my old Blue Moon beer coasters from their “Let’s Make Art” promotion, the spark was ignited.

The project took us about a week to complete, mostly because of the several coats of clear. We started by glueing down some stuff, painting the panel, glueing down more stuff, adding a steel cable, mixing and pouring the clear, painting the edges, mixing and pouring more clear, adding more stuff (mostly matches), more clear, more stuff, handles, and so on.

With custom cork added to the bottom. Signed by the artists.

We love the handles, which we discovered in our pursuit of something fun to compliment our theme. It was the only thing that we “sought out”. Most everything else was stuff we had and repurposed as art.  That was our only criteria; FUN. We wanted to keep the project fun all the way through.

We finished it off by creating a custom-shaped cork panel that is bonded to the bottom side. The artwork was titled and signed by both artists, and we cleared over that to keep everything safe.

Tons of memories in the form of bar coasters, cigar bands, and matches.

We’re thoroughly enjoying our new beer tray, and we know we’ll get a lot of use out of it for years to come.

Our first beer tray includes bar coasters and cigar bands from Ashton Cigars, ACID, Big Dogs Brewing Company, Blue Moon, Bulleit Bourbon, Devil’s Cut Whiskey, En Fuego Cigars, Firehouse Brewery, Gordon Biersch, Grand Marinier, Jim Beam, Miller Beer, Rebel IPA, Romeo & Juliet, and Tenaya Creek Brewery.

Towards the end of our video is a call to action. Do you have a few coasters that you want to see become art? Send them to us, and if theyre cool, we’ll work them into our future tray creations.

We’re already looking forward to making our next one. We’ve been collecting coasters and bottle labels, so we’re already link-of-sorta started. But I think we’ll save details for a future post. Hint: #OKTOBERFEST

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