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Help Niko Far West launch its first line of ceramic ware inspired by the shifting history, landscape, and textures of The Pacific NW.
Help Niko Far West launch its first line of ceramic ware inspired by the shifting history, landscape, and textures of The Pacific NW.
88 backers pledged $8,171 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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NIKO FAR WEST - Ceramic Studio

Handmade functional ceramic ware inspired by the history, landscape, and textures of The Pacific Northwest.

I’m a painter and sculptor with a background working in stop-motion animation. I studied glaze chemistry in college and have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Ceramics. I’m combining my love of color and clay to launch a ceramic studio. I’ve already sketched concepts, made prototypes, tested glazes, completed business courses, and connected with vendors. I need a little more funding to catapult my initial product line. I'm passionate about making art and I'm excited get this company going!

Influence

As a Portland native, I often think about the history and connections I have to this place. My aunt and uncle owned a Greek restaurant downtown called Athens West across the street from where I later owned an art gallery. My great-grandfather worked as a cook at the original Virginia Café. My grandfather ran a small food distribution company called Far West Foods and founded a 75-acre nature retreat along the Sandy River. I've spent many summers there watching him fish, helping him tend the land, and counting eagle's nests.

In recent years I’ve become influenced by the loss of local landmark buildings that are being demolished for urban development like The Veritable Quandary, Slabtown, Dalo’s Kitchen, and The Portland Gas & Coke Company buildings. I’m currently working on a commemorative cup series to pay homage to these disappearing places. I’m interested in translating the colors and textures of aged and weathered architecture into glazed surfaces.

View examples of wall textures for glaze influence here: http://www.nickykriara.com/new-gallery/

Portland’s natural surroundings are also a huge inspiration. When I retreat to the mountains, coast, and wilder areas outside of the city, I bring ideas for new shapes and patterns back to my studio. 

How You Can Help

I need your help getting my first production run in motion! I already have a spacious studio and two small kilns, but I need more supplies to continue developing the cohesive body of work I have already begun. For example, I'd like to purchase a spray booth to apply glazes with uniform consistency. Leveraging your donations will enable me to create a larger production line and allow me to share my pieces with a greater audience.

 The goal of $6000 will fund:

  • Clay
  • Plaster for mold-making 
  • Glaze materials
  • Spray booth 
  • Air compressor 
  • Shelving 
  • Kiln furniture 
  • Shop Vac 
  • Throwing wheel 
  • Safety gear
  • Office supplies 
  • Packaging supplies

Rewards 

Here a few of the rewards I'm offering if you decide to make a donation. Each donor's name will be credited on NIKO's future website.

These Walls Have Eyes Thank You Card & Flower Seeds -$15

Driftwood Hanging Wall Vase - $30

 Salt & Pepper Set with Gold Spoons - $40

Black & White Striped Vase -$50

 Red Stoneware Planter with Popcorn Glaze - $75

 Large Bowl with Orb Glaze - $100

 Stackable Bottle -$125

Bosom Buds Cup Set - $150

Large Botanical Vase - $175

 

Custom Portrait -$350 

Seasonal Vessel Club - $400  

 Ceramic Party for 4 Adults -$450

Custom Mural -$1000

 

 Custom Animation-$2000

These rewards are only available to ship in the U.S.A. and Canada at this time.

Questions? Email: nikofarwest@gmail.com 

Instagram: niko_ware

Credits

Thank YOU so much for viewing my Kickstarter Campaign!

Special thanks to Cory Gray at Old Unconscious Studio for recording audio, composing music, and editing the score for the video. 

Thanks to the enthusiasm and support from my friends and family, especially Kathy & Marv Peterson. Much gratitude to Shannon Guirl for her influence and generous business advice. 

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Risks and challenges

Things always seem to take a little longer to come together than I expect. I'm learning to allow time for product development. I've already overcome a few unexpected challenges including a broken foot I earned while jumping for joy on my first full day as a sole business proprietor. I also discovered one of my kilns wasn't reaching the correct temperature for glazing and had to swap out the electrical wiring of another kiln. After experimenting with glazes, the porcelain clay body I had purchased in bulk from a ceramic store cracked and warped when fired. I resolved this by doing some more research, learning that the clay I was using wasn't intended for larger pieces, and then I switched to a more reliable clay body.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Seed Packet & Thank You

    As a symbol of gratitude for the growth you are helping nourish, receive plantable flower seeds and a thank you card designed by NIKO Studio.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Driftwood Hanging Wall Vase

    This porcelain vase is cast from a piece of Oregon Coast driftwood. It's watertight with a metal hook on the back. Perfect for fresh-cut herbs and small flowers.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Salt & Pepper Set with Spoons

    This pair is slab-built and textured to pick up variations in glazes. Comes with two handmade, golden spoons. 

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Black & White Striped Vase

    This slip-cast cutie has a matte black underglaze. Hand-carved stripes reveal the white clay body underneath. Inside glaze is shiny black.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Red Stoneware Planter with Popcorn Glaze

    I named this glaze "Popcorn" because of it's whimsical raised 3D texture. Rests on rounded tripod feet and has small hole in the bottom for drainage.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Large Bowl with Orb Glaze

    This orb-shape is one of my favorite signature shapes I use when I paint on canvas. Matte black outside, white with black inlay inside. 
    12” diameter.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Stackable Bottle Set

    This bottle separates into 4 sections. Each have a round foot that hold it in place. My suggested uses are as a flask & cup sake set or a kitchen container for oil & spices. Comes with a cork.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Bosom Buds Cup Set

    Friendship and beverages belong together! I've been developing this version of knockers for a while now. Slip-cast, white stoneware with blue decals, clear glaze, and gold trim. 

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    Large Botanical Vase

    This vase was originally cast from a piece I sculpted from wood. It's lightweight and a lovely way to observe long-stem flowers or cuttings of broad-leaved plants. Choose gold, white matte, or turquoise glaze.
    12" tall.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Lost City Mug Set

    The ability to create this reward is one of NIKO's main Kickstarter goals. I need more materials to test and develop glazes that will reflect the architecture of demolished buildings in Portland. You will receive a set of 4 mugs that draw from historic and beloved landmarks such as The Veritable Quandary, Portland Gas & Coke, and The Ocobock Mansion. My hope is to combine my love for dilapidated building textures with a sense of shared awareness for lost spaces. Have any location requests? Let me know.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Mold-making Class

    I’ll teach you how to make your own 2-part slip-cast mold of a glass Ball jar. We will make the mold out of plaster in my studio, and you can take it home to make as many replicas as you like. You can bring one cast piece to my studio over the course of a year to fire and glaze.

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Custom Portrait

    You choose the loved one you want painted and I'll make a portrait in my style. Acrylic on 18" x 24" lightweight birchwood canvas. One portrait image per canvas.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    Seasonal Vessel Club

    Receive four medium-sized vessels total: two planters and two flower vases. To be delivered over the course of one year beginning Fall 2016. Each vessel will have a unique shape reflecting a season in The Pacific Northwest. Images for this listing are sample pieces only as they have not yet been designed. Although, I will consider requests if there is a particular vase you like.

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    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    Ceramic Party for 4 Adults

    Over the course of 3.5 hours I will show you how to construct birdhouses using slab construction techniques at my studio. All materials, food, and adult beverages provided. I will fire and glaze the final shapes for you to pick up.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Custom Tableware Set

    Let's collaborate to design your ideal tableware set! You will receive 6 mugs, 6 bowls, 6 small plates, and 6 large plates. The collection may end up being a line sold by NIKO.

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    Reward no longer available 2 backers
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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Indoor or Outdoor Mural

    I love to paint large! I’ll paint a mural in your home, yard or office. We’ll decide on a theme together. All materials provided. Maximum wall size is 12’ x 12’ feet. Limited to Pacific Northwest residents.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Custom Animation

    I'll hand draw and animate a 20-second stop-motion animation, outlined in black watercolor ink based on a theme you choose. Audio not included.

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Funding period

- (30 days)