A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
My name is Mitchell! Thanks for checking out my Kickstarter. For the past 6 months, I've found a passion for concrete art and I am ready to share my geometric planters with people who hopefully have greener thumbs than I do. Here is some of the process and work that goes into creating one of my planters!
This is the first messy step! The mix I use can be cast very thin because there are no large aggregates inside of it. In addition to adding water to the mix, I also use a water reducer which helps limit the water needed and strengthens the concrete later on. If I want to change the piece’s color, I then add pigment to the mix. When you add water to concrete a process called hydration occurs. The paste in the concrete, composed of cement, covers the small particles of aggregates and when hydrated allows for the mixture to become clay-like and malleable. I can then pour and shape the concrete into any design that I want!
It’s important that the consistency of the concrete is correct for the desired result because it can affect the casting process and weaken the finished piece. I use silicone molds that have been vacuum decompressed and pressure cast which makes the surface of the mold perfectly smooth and improves the shelf life of the mold. This is important because I want to use the molds multiple times over with consistent results. I use mold release which helps me remove the piece later on as it can be tricky sometimes. I pour the mixture into the mold and then vibrate it to allow any air bubbles escape.
Curing is the boring part and requires a lot of patience. This is the time when the piece is set aside for a couple of days in order for the water to evaporate at a steady place so the particles can properly set. It’s important to have an environment that will help the curing process, especially right now with Utah’s cold weather and dry air. So the projects are placed under a moist towel and kept warm for the first little bit of the curing, about a day. When the mixture dehydrates the particles have aligned in a crystalline manner and the clay-like mixture has physically solidified (it’s like science and art together :) ).
De-molding and Finishing
This is the fun part because I get to see how the piece’s color and texture turned out. I carefully remove the piece from its mold and inspect it. I love seeing the whole process come to this point. Each planter turns out different and it allows for a lot of freedom when it comes to texture, shape, and color. Sanding and polishing are great techniques to bring out the beauty of the planter. The surface is sanded with a fine grit abrasive and then wet polished to create a beautiful smooth surface. Concrete is a very porous material so I add a sealant in order to repel water and keep the color of the project true. It also means the planters can be placed outside as well.
This bone white color is the standard for any project that I make. From this start, I am able to dye the concrete and begin to find the right pigment mixture for what I want the finished project to be. The pigment is a little pricey but I think it is worth it as it helps to add character and variety to the pieces.
*Moab Red is not shown and is a concept color that I can show throughout the campaign if there is an interest for it.
I really love this color because it reminds me of the Black Rock Desert in south-central Utah. It looks like a volcanic rock to me.
What You Can Help Me With
I most important things that I need are materials. Buying large, heavy shipments of concrete can become very expensive considering I can’t just go to a hardware store and pick up an industrial mix. Shipping costs are the biggest financial matter on my radar. I need pigment! Imagine painting with one color and expecting people to connect with your work. I want the freedom to branch out with color using more complex techniques like color fading and marbling. And lastly, I need more molds. I am currently working with a small number of molds and need funds to purchase more in order to create a larger inventory faster. I expect online and local demand and I would like to get my customers their purchase without lag on my end.
This is a BIG venture for me that has potential. It's taken a long time for me to actually get the confidence to try. Down the line, I want to expand with different designs and various models to really give people products that they find value in. There are plenty opportunities in Salt Lake for artists to share their passion and creations and I would love to take part in the expositions and markets that allow that. I just want the resources to create more!
I study chemistry and deal with equations and theories every day, but I have always found balance in my life when I am creating art even though it differs from my educational background. So I have taken a semester off from school in order to truly give this project a fair shot at succeeding. In continuing my education, I do not expect to have enough time or vision to start something like this in the future. With your help, I can get this idea off the ground and provide the start I need to sustain it over the years!
Below are listed potential quotes for the custom designed quote card.
“The mountains are calling and I must go.”
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Peace begins with a smile..”
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”
“Without music, life would be a mistake.”
Risks and challenges
One of the biggest challenges with this project will be the curing process. Let's say I have a mold and I need the planter to set for 3 days but I have made a mistake and the finished project isn't to my standard. This means I will have lost a bit of production time. Even though I can sand and polish afterward, once the concrete is poured there is little I can do to fix mistakes within the consistency of the mixture.
3 Dodecahedron Planters for all the brave green thumbs out there. Thirds really bring a nice natural balance to design. This option is a perfect choice for a kitchen or living room space. Available in all colors.
Care for multiple succulents in one vessel or just one large plant with 1 Geodesic Sphere planter. This design has a larger opening making it great for a small garden of species. Available in all colors.
Become passionate about indoor gardening with 1 Large Geodesic Sphere and 3 Dodecahedron planters. Create a fantastic beginning to a succulent family ready for naming and the works. Perfect for couples and families, giving everyone an opportunity to raise their own. Available in all colors.