Dragons can't be born without fire! Pre-order fine handmade dragon sculpture and functional wares, and provide a kiln to fire them.
Hello! I am a ceramic artist setting up my first studio space – my very own studio space, attached to my house, so that I can throw pots and work on sculptures any time of day or night. I have almost everything I need to make my refined mud into beautiful dragons and dragon pots. The only thing I am missing is a kiln.
I just graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Bard College at Simon’s Rock in December of 2011. This means that while I have skills, energy, and ideas (lots and lots of ideas!), I do not have much inventory yet. This is where the kiln comes in; if I have a kiln, I can produce work to exhibit and sell, but without a kiln… well, I can make whatever I want, but it doesn’t do anybody any good if I can’t fire it.
As for my ideas, I mentioned dragons above. Dragons (and other mythical beasts as well) are fascinating to me. They are entirely imaginary creatures, and yet humans have been writing about them and drawing pictures of them for much of history. Sometimes they are nasty and sometimes they are wise, but they are always powerful and magical.
I like to think that I am re-imagining dragons, and questioning the way people think about them. What do I mean when I say re-imagining dragons, you might ask? What was wrong with them in the first place? It’s not so much that I think previous stories about dragons were “wrong,” but rather that I am embracing the idea that dragons are defined differently in different places and by different people. I can place my own definitions on them, and that creates the potential for all sorts of exciting stories and art. I can make dragons that are the size of a cat who catch mice for dinner, or I can create a seascape on a vase that includes an enormous sea dragon carrying a ship on its back. I enjoy challenging and playing off of elements of pre-existing dragon stories to re-make them into new ideas.
I’m very interested in communicating with customers to make something special for them. This project isn’t just about getting me a kiln so that I can make what I want to make. I want to find out how it works to have people tell me what they are interested in me making. I have offered a wide range of items over in the rewards section. You’ll notice that as the price of the reward goes up, so does the flexibility of what you can choose. The things at the upper levels are going to be entirely custom designed. I am also offering a reward at the $50 level that is custom made – a one-of-a-kind item that I will make just for you. What special item do you wish you could have?
I have selected items to offer that I plan to continue to develop into product lines in the future. But I am (very!) open to suggestions and design ideas. By taking part in this project, you will have the opportunity to ask for specific things if you desire to. On the other hand, if you just want one of the items in the rewards column and don’t have any special requests, I will still be eternally grateful and happy to make your piece.
Depending on your feedback, I will decide how to offer commissioned and custom work in the future. This project has multiple angles; it is a way for me to get the kiln that I want and get it installed safely, a way for me to get my work out to a wider audience (you! and all your friends!), and an experiment in communication and collaboration with those who are interested in purchasing and supporting my work.
How it works:
I plan to fund the purchase and installation of the kiln completely with money from pre-orders of my work. The idea here is that you pledge to purchase an item (Kickstarter calls them “rewards”), and that pledge goes toward my goal, which is the price of purchasing and setting up the kiln. If enough people pledge, and I reach my funding goal, then at the end of the specified period of time the amount of your pledge will be charged to your credit or debit card.
If I do not reach my funding goal by the end of the time period, then I will not receive any funds at all. This is an all or nothing fundraiser. So if you don’t have a lot to spend, but love dragon art, have a look at the smaller pledge levels – I put some cool things in there so that anybody can chip in a little and still get something special.
Kiln, including kiln furniture: $2,882.00
Installation by an electrician: $400.00
Kickstarter and Amazon Payments fees (this value is approximate): 388.78
What will I do if I exceed my funding goal?
Any funds in excess of those required to purchase and install the kiln will be applied to improving my studio space and purchasing the raw materials I use to make my work.
If you are excited about mythical creatures in clay, then I would be excited to hear from you! This Kickstarter is an opportunity for you to purchase ceramic art with fantastical themes (or not; I also make more traditional pots!) while directly supporting my fledgling business. Result: I will be able to continue offering dragon sculptures and pottery to imaginative people everywhere! Come read more about my work at my blog: http://riverdragonceramics.blogspot.com/. There are more pictures!
I would love to ship my ceramics across the sea to you (or across the border, for those on this side of the water)! For Canada or Mexico: Add $13 to your pledge if you are getting the $6 dragon pendant or the $10 small bowl, or $33 for other rewards (including other rewards in which you chose to include the dragon pendant). For everywhere else: add $17 to your pledge if you are getting the $6 dragon pendant or $10 small bowl, or $48 for other rewards (including other rewards in which you chose to include the dragon pendant). I wish it could be less, but ceramics are dense and need to be packed very thoroughly to arrive safely. I am glad to hear that there is international interest in my work!
pledged of $3,888 goal
seconds to go
Aug 17, 2012 - Sep 4, 2012 (18 days)
Pledge $6 or more
Ceramic dragon pendant, approximately 2 inches by 1.5 inches, inscribed on the back with "Riverdragon Ceramics 2012. Thank you for helping unleash the dragons!" Your choice of porcelain or red stoneware. Will fit most necklace chains or key rings. If you choose a different reward, but would also like one of these limited edition pendants, please add $6.00 to your pledge.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $10 or more
Small bowl, 4 inches in diameter at rim, with my self-designed dragon egg stamp in center. These are a good size for dipping sauces to go with your sushi, or butter to go with your crab legs!Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $15 or more
Small dragon sculpture, 3 to 4 inches long. These will be simple gestural dragons, each one unique. Your choice of porcelain or red stoneware.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $25 or more
You can choose to receive either a mug or a cup, and one of two decoration options: dragon eggs in their nest or a unicorn with its mane and tail swirling in the wind.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $30 or more
Bare porcelain dragon shaped soap dish. The soap is cupped in the dragon's outstretched wings.Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $35 or more
Bowl with swirl design inside. These bowls will be an appropriate size for cereal or soup. Each will be unique because of the way I do the swirl all in one motion while glazing.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $45 or more
Bowl of similar size to the one above, with choice of sgraffito fairy circle (mushrooms) or sgraffito dragons inside. Wondering what sgraffito means? Check out my blog, I'm putting a post about it there with pictures!Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $50 or more
Custom anything you want! Ok, not quite; there are some parameters. You can request one $50 item, or two $25 items, etc. Some examples of things I will make for $50 for the duration of this project are serving bowls, cheese dishes, cookie jars, sculptures that are less than 12 inches tall and moderately detailed, vases, etc. You can think in pairs: paired mugs or cups, paired bowls for olives and pits, paired dragons for your windowsill. But be creative! The point of this reward is that you get to tell me what you want, and get something custom made just for you. If you still aren't sure whether what you'd like me to make fits in this price range, ask a question and I'll let you know.Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $65 or more
Serving plate or medium vase (9 - 12 inches tall), with detailed dragon carvings. At this reward level and above, you may request another design if you prefer. Things I enjoy carving are: unicorns, phoenixes, plants, other mystical beasts, cuttlefish, etc. But I'm happy to carve dragons if you don't have something else in mind!Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $80 or more
Teapot, with your choice of design: dragons, mushrooms, or deer in a forest. As above, you can request a different design if you have your own ideas.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $100 or more
Small fountain sized for a tabletop indoors.Estimated delivery: Feb 2013
Pledge $200 or more
Tea set, including teapot and 4 cups. Carved with dragons, deer in a forest, or mushrooms, or you can suggest another design if you wish.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $500 or more
1.5 foot long dragon sculpture. Choose either a Chinese-style dragon or a Western-style dragon.Estimated delivery: Feb 2013
Pledge $1,000 or more
Custom set of dinnerware to meet your needs, or custom fountain at any size within my kiln dimensions, or custom mythical creature sculpture at any size within my kiln dimensions. (Hint: I would love to make a dragon that takes up the whole kiln!)Estimated delivery: Feb 2013