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An artistic tarot based on the periodic table that joins science and mysticism where the rubber meets the road on things that "matter."
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1,568 backers pledged $120,767 to help bring this project to life.

About

$120,767

1,568

Hello! We are Peter Dunham and Linnea Gits, partners in the design & art studio, Uusi and we are thrilled you've stopped by to check out our Kickstarter project!

Materia Prima: An Expression of Matter is a deck based on the Periodic Table with artwork that has been hand-inked, then burned to plate to be letterpress printed and finally, finished with hand screened color. The final pieces of artwork will be scanned and then sent off to our card printer to become a beautiful deck of cards.  

This is a very ambitious production process but we love the unique quality each one of these traditional techniques lends to the final artwork. It is the human hand in each of these art forms that responds to the human journey we are on. A journey filled with imperfections and emotional lines that arise organically to form something unique, creative and spiritual in the world.  We hope you agree and join us on this endeavor to bring Materia Prima to life!

"Materia Prima: An Expression of Matter" by Uusi

Materia Prima: An Expression of Matter  And so it is, all things in life are collective. Nature is inescapably cooperative. We share with the stars, the clouds, the bees and each other the same elements that created the complex world we live in. This cooperative endeavor is what forms life and is the bewitching mystery of the periodic table – the Materia Prima of our unified existence.

This powerful message of unification that circles throughout the Table of Elements is what inspired us to create 'Materia Prima: An Expression of Matter.'  This deck is an expression of the periodic table concentrated in 84 cards.  Each chosen element is given its part in the cosmic drama of Life, conjuring matter in the soulful, playful language of the imagination.  

When creating this deck we thought of the periodic table as a fantastic play with all the elements cast as characters who would bring their particular wisdom and connectivity to life.  We wanted to be playful with the content, yet still try to capture the scientific truths about each one in hope that this deck could be used as a meditation tool that helps us to integrate matter in all its diversity with our day to day lives – to look at matter as a force of love that unites us all.

Since we are breaking new ground here by introducing the periodic table as a meditation tool there really are no past rules or guidebooks to pull from. Essentially, we see this deck as a type of oracle/tarot deck that rounds out your spiritual practice by asking you to concentrate on the nuances of physical matter that surround and move us through the world and create a true picture of ourselves in our wholeness.  

For example: Say you drew the element card, radon as part of your daily mediation. What kind of meaning could come from this card to illuminate a question or thought for the day?  Don't worry – you can actually learn to love radon!  Below is the radon card and an excerpt on it from our book.

For radon we chose to create a still, mountainous character who was formed by a fiery, volcanic process which has, over time, cooled and solidified into a noble and self sufficient presence. A bit removed and almost unreachable in its serene composure, radon has tempered the magma of its birth with an iron will allowing it to thrive in what most would consider lonely, inhospitable realms.  True leaders are formed from this process, but so are assassins.  In its heart, radon knows it carries a heavy poison. Fully understood it can be called in for good when you need the strength of poison to kill a poison. Misunderstood it is simply lethal.  

Materia Prima: The deck where All is One.  Science, that famous institution, pitched its tent long ago on sacred, dreaming ground and stole the show with its arrival. What an attack on the senses and nerves the business of science caused us at first – and then, what amazing delight as its fantastic discoveries unrolled one after the other before our astonished, newly awakened  eyes.  

We gaped at the wondrous experimentation, creative exploration and determined calculations of the scientific players who brought the periodic table into being. Elements were pulled from matter one by one. It was a revelation. An authenticated encounter with life's mysteries. Secrets of our universe were blown like kisses to us from the smiling lips of knowledgeable and highly exacting performers – first the alchemists and then scientists – whose discoveries tested the extreme limits of our human understanding. 

But this was not a light drama that science was dabbling in, it was a dangerous and daring jump with many possible lethal outcomes and along the way we all became involved in the fatal risks of this play. We have gone from onlookers to accomplices, each taking our own part in this dizzying, planetary, alchemical performance that has been raised to extreme heights.  

And here we are at the breath-taking-build-up to the next act.  A unique but mostly confused band of players in this universe, trying desperately to save our own necks from the monsters of insanity we've unleashed. How do we avoid the unthinkable – the extravagantly stupid ending?  How do all the splendid forms of life that began this ancient play as glittering, silvery butterflies in a universal dream reinvent themselves yet again after being exposed and often dangerously rearranged in our everyday life? How do we learn to love all of this world again – every piece of it including ourselves  – so we can save not only our own necks, but the entire perfection of life that surrounds us?

What if we thought of the elements – all the matter of this world – as one of us? Cavorting hybrids – part human and part granular, atomic expression – that captures our mind and body as well as our heart. What if we looked at all matter using our souls. Could we still speak with straight forward authority about it? Would science listen? We think it would not only listen, but tell us frankly,  it is time. 

**Excerpt from the introduction of "Materia Prima: A Reflection On Matter", a book for this deck by Uusi.

 First Edition Book with notes on each element written by Linnea Gits. Black and white images of illustrations by Peter Dunham.  The book cover will be printed on a subtle, metallic paper (shown above).  All pages in the book (including the cover) will be printed on premium, recycled paper.  Printed in the USA. 

**Only First Edition books backed on Kickstarter will come with a specially designed, letterpress book mark. 

24KT Gilded Deck  Each of our gilded decks is hand gilded with 24KT gold leaf using a 400+ year-old traditional gilding technique. All the Materia Prima gilded decks will come with a specially designed, signed and numbered letterpress sleeve that fits over the tuck box. 

 CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW KICKSTARTER RECOMMENDS ADDING AN ITEM TO YOUR EXISTING PLEDGE.

**IF YOU ARE AN INTERNATIONAL BACKER PLEASE MESSAGE US BEFORE ADDING AN ITEM ON TO GET A SHIPPING QUOTE. THANK YOU!  

  • card dimension / 75mm x 130mm
  • 84 original cards
  • 28 of the cards in this deck will have holographic gold foil in the design if the stretch goal is reached.
  • printed on heavy playing card stock with a linen finish
  • tuck box designs printed on premium paper stock that will have an embossed design and gold foil
  • custom seal
  • printed by the esteemed Expert Playing Card Company

A look at the letterpress process for this deck below: 

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A look at the screen print process for this deck below:

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 Many thanks to the newest member of our team at Uusi, Nick Erickson, whose dedication to making sure each of the letterpress prints made for this deck at his print studio, Repeater Press, looks as good as it possibly can and who manages our studio office with enormous efficiency and good spirit – and an invincible music play list! 

As always a huge call out to our printer, Expert Playing Cards. Bill, you have been a wonderful friend and consultant whose meticulous eye for detail and quality gives us total confidence in knowing you will try to find a way to make sure that some of the most seemingly impossible design requests we have can happen and that every deck you print for us is made at the highest quality available. 

And on the topic of awesome printers - Timprint!! We could not self publish these special books at the  level of quality we do if Tim did not give our publications the kind of attention to detail and care that he does.  You are awesome Timmy and we are thrilled to be printing another Uusi publication with you!

And of course, a continuing special thanks to everyone who has supported our projects in the past and continues to believe in our work!

With every deck we produce we try to push our artistic and production  boundaries just a little further. We are constantly striving to  innovate and update the work we make to surprise and delight you with a  product you will want to hold on to and enjoy for years to come. 

We  carefully search out the best manufacturers for our products and work  with them to push their own capabilities to make the best work they can.  We want a partner who shares the same standards and passion for what they create as we do. 

Materia Prima: An Expression of Matter  will be  comprised of 84 unique, hand-inked, then letterpress and screen-printed images that can only happen with  your help and participation. We hope you find value and delight in this  deck and that you choose to back our project and help us make something truly special for you!

*All images of the deck and tuck boxes you see in these photos are  prototypes made at Uusi's studio. The finished product may vary  slightly from what you see here – backers will be kept up-to-date of any  minor changes that may occur. The overall design and theme will remain  UNCHANGED throughout the funding and printing process.

Risks and challenges

Peter Dunham and Linnea Gits have been designing products for the market for over 15 years. As designers and as consumers, we understand the need for delivering a high-quality product, represented as accurately as possible and shipped on time. We have had eleven successful and completed projects on Kickstarter with over 12,000 backers total. We have completed 9 of those projects on time or close to our delivery dates, (one had a delay for health issues), and shipped to all our backers in the US and around the world with 99.8% customer satisfaction rate. We are committed to delivering a great product on time that you enjoy. Your happiness is our business!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 45 or more About US$ 45

    (1) Materia Prima DECK

    You will receive: (1) FIRST EDITION "Materia Prima" deck. 84 hand-inked illustrations printed on premium card stock in a sturdy, elegantly embossed tuck box with a custom seal.

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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Materia Prima DECK AND BOOK

    You will receive: (1) FIRST EDITION "Materia Prima" deck. 84 hand-inked illustrations on premium card stock in a sturdy, elegant, embossed tuck box with a custom seal. (1) "Materia Prima: An Expression of Matter" First Edition book. Every First Edition book comes with a specially designed and letterpress printed bookmark.

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    Pledge US$ 85 or more About US$ 85

    (2) MATERIA PRIMA DECKS

    You will receive: (2) FIRST EDITION "Materia Prima" decks. 84 hand-inked illustrations printed on premium card stock in a sturdy, elegantly embossed tuck box with a custom seal.

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    Pledge US$ 38 or more About US$ 38

    EARLY BIRD SINGLE DECK

    You will receive: (1) FIRST EDITION "Materia Prima" deck. 84 hand-inked illustrations printed on premium card stock in a sturdy, elegantly embossed tuck box with a custom seal.

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    Pledge US$ 225 or more About US$ 225

    Materia Prima 24KT GILDED DECK

    You will receive: (1) FIRST EDITION "Materia Prima" deck traditionally hand-gilded with 24KT gold leaft. 84 hand-inked illustrations printed on premium card stock in a sturdy, elegantly embossed tuck box with a custom seal.**This gilded deck will come with a custom, letterpress sleeve that is signed and numbered.

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Funding period

- (18 days)