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Hook up our kilns! Be part of the creative process!
194 backers pledged $21,664 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$21,664

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Who We Are...

George Rodriguez and Deborah Schwartzkopf are a Seattle based couple working under the same roof. We make work, exhibit, teach and mentor in the ceramic community both locally in Washington and across the states. We bring our ephemeral thoughts into existence through researching, sketching, moving clay, and connecting with communities. Our creations are important for the way they encourage curiosity, discovery, and playfulness. We are allies in encouraging a vital arts community.

George and Deb and their work!  Photo by Robertson Ashman http://www.robertsenashman.com/
George and Deb and their work! Photo by Robertson Ashman http://www.robertsenashman.com/

About George… 
George Rodriguez, native of El Paso Texas, creates narratives often dealing with the figure, identity, and human experience. He finished his education with an MFA from the University of Washington in 2009. Since then he has been making his way as a Seattle based artist showing with Foster White Gallery and teaching ceramics across King County. The large scale of his work and the dramatic surface embellishment draw people into his stories with awe and excitement. His characters make people smile and enter into the story. In this way, questions are asked about who we are and how we relate.

See more of George's work at http://gfrodriguez.com
See more of George's work at http://gfrodriguez.com

About Deb... 
Deborah Schwartzkopf, born and raised in Seattle, promotes attention to daily interaction with her pottery.  In her home growing up, hand made objects held special value. Making food with and for family demonstrated consideration and love. She brings the often invisible, daily moments into clarity with thoughtfully made dishes for use. She received an MFA from Penn State in 2005. Deb sells locally at SAM (Seattle Art Museum Gift Shop) and across the country in a number of galleries. She works primarily as a potter, teaches at Seward Park Clay Studio and leads clay workshops nationally.

See more of deb's work at http://debspottery.com
See more of deb's work at http://debspottery.com

New Incentives!

Click on image to see how they are made!
Click on image to see how they are made!

Full Dinnerware Sets as Incentives!

Work with Deb and decide what colors work best for your dinnerware set!
Work with Deb and decide what colors work best for your dinnerware set!

Our Process...

This kiln yard is an essential asset to our process.  We need these kilns hooked up in order to get our clay fired and finished.  In the cycle of ceramics, each piece is fired twice.  The first firing makes it easier to glaze by changing the clay from being brittle to being more like stone.   The second firing is hotter and melts the glaze, enhancing the surface and making the finished work more durable. Clay which is exposed to heat, losses its chemically bound water molecules and can no longer be broken down by water. Once this change has occurred it cannot be reversed. This is the slow process of making with clay.

Our process are important to our progress. George often builds large scale sculpture by coiling with thick slabs (as seen above).  Deb combines wheel thrown and hand built sections. Check out the DVD trailer produced by Ceramic Arts Daily below to see her process.

Check out how Deb makes a cup with this You-Tube link.
Check out how Deb makes a cup with this You-Tube link.

We need YOUR help!

We have a home in Seattle where we have established our joint studios. We have the kilns, we have the wheels and we have amazing studios set up to work in.  The next crucial step is putting the kiln yard in place!

Here are the essentials for the kiln yard...

  • Bringing in 320amp electrical service to run the electric kilns
  • Connecting the commcerial gas line to the car kiln
  • Pouring a concrete slab to place everything on.
  • Building a protective roof to ensure its safety.


We both work as full time artists. In supporting our project you will benefit our careers and impact our community.  Can you imagine if George could make large-scale figures and not have to drive the fragile, unfired work to another facility to fire them. With the completion of this project Deb will have the space and ability to fire multiple kilns for her tableware settings.  Having the kilns hooked up would enable us to teach classes at our studio, work larger scale, and fire more work with less energy expended. The permits and been researched, we have consulted with contractors and friends. We need your contributions to get our kiln yard firing!

How Kickstarter Works…
George and Deb have defined and researched a worthy plan and determined a monetary value approved by Kickstarter. After generous supporters pledge a dollar amount through Kickstarter, they are sent a gift in return ONLY when the project is funded successfully! This means the project monetary goal must be reached to be fruitful.

When a Kickstarter is does not reach the goal?
Be part of the creative process by hooking up the kiln yard for George and Deb! Should our project not meets its goal, none of the contributors' credit cards will be charged and the Kickstarter will remained unfunded. Your assistance at any level will add to the momentum of our project! Please take a look at the right sidebar and discover all we have to offer.

Newly Added Incentives (7/3/13)
Newly Added Incentives (7/3/13)

Incentives… 

Incentives by GEORGE

We have amazing incentives to encourage your support! Handmade dishes, sculptures, prints, private ceramics lessons, & exciting kiln unloading events! (Not to mention our immense gratitude!) The many images on this page show the breadth of colors, textures and forms of our work.  The incentives you will receive will vary due to the nature of making each piece by hand. Please take a look at the column to your right and browse the options through which you may contribute to our goal. Please visit each of our websites to see more work! AND watch our short clip at the beginning of this page.

Incentives by Deb

Dinnerware Set...  A Kiln Opening Event Incentive!
Dinnerware Set... A Kiln Opening Event Incentive!

FAQ's

What is a Kiln?
We use kilns to make our work permanent in the world.  Kilns enable the firing process to be contained and efficient. Without the firing process dry clay would turn right back into a pile when in contact with water.  The sources we use for our kilns are electricity and natural gas.  An electric kiln is basically a gloried toaster oven reaching temperatures of 2300F.  A gas kiln achieves similar temperatures by combusting gas. Kilns come in all different shapes and sizes.  There are some kilns that are loaded from the top and some loaded from the front. What makes a car kiln different is that it is built to allow the floor of the kiln to roll out of the main kiln body (usually on a track) for easier loading and unloading.  

Tea Serving Set... A similar piece will be available through the kiln unloading event incentive option.
Tea Serving Set... A similar piece will be available through the kiln unloading event incentive option.

Where can ceramic pieces made at home be fired in Seattle?
Places such as Clay Art (of Tacoma) and Seattle Pottery Supply will charge a fee depending on size and temperature you wish to fire your ware to. You basically hand your work over at the door, pay and pick it up when it’s done. 

What is Deb's favorite cookbook?
Smitten Kitchen and check out their blog!

Why does George ALWAYS roll up his pants up?
It's not because he's expecting a flood or because it rains so much in Seattle but he actually believes he looks cool. Its all about the style.

Set of Small Dresses by GEORGE (about 4" tall)
Set of Small Dresses by GEORGE (about 4" tall)

Where are amazing places in Seattle to take ceramics classes?
Take classes with Deb and George at their studio in Seattle AND all around King County... Deb just offered a "Photographing Your Work" seminar that went quite well!   Seward Park Clay Studio , Moshier Community Art Center, Redmond Clay Studio, Pottery Northwest, Kirkland Arts Center are great options!   Try your local community colleges as well!  We have taught at many of them.  Drop us an email should you have any questions!

How did George fire his large work until now?
George would build his large work in studio then load the fragile greenware into the truck bed secured with rachet straps and foam. He would then drive the sculpture (up to an hour away) to a University or College that was gracious enough to allow the orphan sculpture to be fired. The drive is always an bumpy, adrenaline rush even at 15 mph.

What is Clay?
AL203 2Si02 2H20 for the chemically minded folks... Which for the geology followers– the decomposition of Granite through the process of Kaolinization (transformation of various minerals including alumina and especially, mica and feldspars) creates clay. Clay is a mineral with a plate (small disc) like structure; it is these plates, (about 0.5 microns across) when lubricated with water, slide against each other to form the plastic mass we know as clay. 'Primaryclays are those found close to the area of Kaolinization and hence the purest (Kaolin or China Clays). Secondary clays are those moved by water away from the site of Kaolinization and get progressively more plastic and less pure (Ball Clays, Fire clays, Earthenware's and Marls).

Thank you for your support!

Risks and challenges

Our biggest challenge is not having the power needed to run our equipment safely and efficiently. Not having kilns at our studio limits our work flow significantly! Having multiple kilns hooked up gives a sense of ease as both Deb and George work full time to complete, often overlapping and conflicting deadlines. We need the kilns hooked up in order to grow creatively. A functioning kiln yard will facilitate our ability to reach out to the community with hands-on clay seminars in the studio and through an in-studio mentorship program. With an active kiln yard we will fire more work more efficiently! Help secure the future of inspired ceramics by George and Deb by choosing to support this project.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    KINDLE- Personalized electronic thank you note with jpeg photo of George and Deb. Start the fire!

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    SMOKE- We will mail you a portrait card with a hand written thank you note. Your contribution makes a difference!

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    SPARKS- Portrait Card with hand written thank you note… Plus George Flower Magnet (2" diameter). Your fridge will bloom with happiness.

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    Buy a decorative tile. We are embellishing our kiln yard with tiles donated by our supporters (YOU)! Leave a lasting mark of sponsorship in our world. George will inscribe your name and your message to us on this tile. (Message limited to 40 characters).

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    SOFT GLOW- Portrait Card with hand written thank you note… Plus one Sugar Spoon by Deb. Just a spoon full of sugar... sweetens the deal!

    Shipping is included.

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    Thirty different dessert dishes capture Playing With Shape on this small 11” x 17” poster. Receive this and a hand written thank you note with your pledge! Shipping is included.

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    TOASTY- Receive a small shot glass made and decorated by George. Celebrate your support and toast the new kiln! Shipping is included.

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    FLAME- Receive a small stemmed liquor cup by Deb. (4" height). Limoncello never tasted so good! See image to the left. Shipping is included.

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    Soup anyone? This is the perfect everyday use bowl by Deb. Approximate 7" diameter.

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    BLAZE- Correspond with style with a set of Four Printed Greeting Cards made by GEORGE. Silk screened on archival paper. Shipping is included.

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    Serve your meals beautifully on a softly, triangulated plate by Deb. Approximate 8" diameter. Shipping is included. See image in story to the left.

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    FLARE- Contemplate your morning in style. Drink a warm cup of Joe from a mug made by Deb (5" height). See image to the left. Colors vary. Shipping is included.

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    EN FUEGO- Receive a "Famous George" goblet made and painted by GEORGE– From Jetson to Burns to Washington... you will be pleasantly surprised. See image to the left. Shipping is included.

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    Pledge $105 or more About $105

    Private Ceramics Lesson at our studio. One the Wheel or hand building- 90 minutes of fun in the mud! This will include clay and the firing of three pieces made during this hands-on session.

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    Your frosty desserts will be even more decadent nibbled from these dessert dishes by Deb. Visit this site to see the process of their making, published in Pottery Making Illustrated. Article link! Shipping included. Add 10$ for shipping to Alaska and Canada.

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    Carry the TORCH- Receive an Oval Serving Dish (9" length). Perfect for asparagus or buttery smashed potatoes! See image to the left. Colors vary. Shipping is included.

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    Squeeze till your heart's content with this citrus juicer by Deb! Perfect for a little fresh juice on a Caesar salad or mixed in your favorite cocktail. Shipping is included within the US. Colors vary.

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    BURN- Receive a Set of one Liquor Bottle and Two Shot glasses by GEORGE. Fill it up with your favorite vice and feel the burn. See image to the left. Shipping is included.

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    Butter-it-up! Stash your butter in the architectural store-house made by Deb. Shipping included. Add $10 to Alaska and Canada.

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    A set of nesting bowl to serve and eat from. Largest bowl is approximately 7" in diameter, smallest is about 3" in diameter. (by Deb)

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    PRIVATE LESSON, Try out working with clay for the first time or tackle that singular project with experienced assistance. Up to two people for three hours in our new studio space! Bring your ideas raring to go.

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    Pitcher by Deb. Perfect for lemonade or sangria! See image to the left. Shipping included.

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    BIRTHDAY PARTY- Celebrate your special day with a clay experience tailored to a group of up to ten adults or children! Make your party memorable! Your party favors will be fired and ready for pick up three weeks later... Event Three Hours.

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    DEXLUE LESSON and LUNCH PLATE- Come learn about working with clay for three hours and then... Eat a delicious lunch on a plate by Deb that you will take home as a memento of the event! Up to Two participants.

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    Create a cloud of color. This vase by Deb will have seven openings to arrange your flowers in. See image to the left. Shipping included.

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    Hold your world in place with sculpted ceramic bookends by George. Bookends based on imagery from Georges travels across the world. See image to the left.

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    Pledge $1,100 or more About $1,100

    $1100 Third Choice. Select a piece from our freshly unloaded kiln at our celebration party. The kiln load will include dresses and portraits by GEORGE and a tea set and other works by Deb. Party is scheduled for Aug 17, 2013.

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    Pledge $1,200 or more About $1,200

    Second Choice. Select a piece from our freshly unloaded kiln at our celebration party. The kiln load will include dresses and portraits by GEORGE and a tea set and other works by Deb. Party is scheduled for Aug 17, 2013.

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    Pledge $1,300 or more About $1,300

    Firts Coice! Select the pick of the litter during our kiln firing party. The kiln load will include dresses and portraits by GEORGE and a tea set and other works by Deb. Party is scheduled for Aug 17, 2013.

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    Model elegance! Set of seven small dresses by George. (each 4" tall). See image to the left. Sent with display shelf. Shipping included.

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    Dinnerware Set and Large Oval Serving Bowl. This matched set will include a four person place setting. Each setting consisting of a large circular plate (diameter 13"), medium triangulated plate (diameter 9"), and a medium bowl (diameter 6"). See image to the left.

    Shipping included in contiguous US. Add $100 to ship to Alaska or Hawaii.

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    Pledge $3,800 or more About $3,800

    FULL TABLE
    Six Large plates (11” diameter), Four medium Triangular Plates (9” diameter), Medium Bowl (7” diameter), Small Bowl (5” diameter), dessert boat, Mug and Liquor Cup! Each setting comes with seven pieces! A complete dinner setting plus oval serving bowl set and a small vase! Choose from Debs wide spectrum of glazes to design a palette that works especially for you! Add $150 Extra to ship to Alaska or Canada.

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    Sculpted Self-Portrait Head. George will make timeless the portrait of your choosing in a twice life size sculpture.

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    You may recognize him from the photo above. The Seasoned Entertainer (Candy Pants) will bring as much joy to your space as he has brought to ours.

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Funding period

- (30 days)