[Photos of our rewards--scroll to the bottom for more!]
This First Part is Important
Have you wanted to learn something lately? Have you been meaning to take up a new hobby? Have you wished you were more creative? Have you been wanting a place where you can get away from technology and work with your hands? Have you wished you could go somewhere to make new friends? These are just a few of the reasons why we really, really, REALLY, want to open The Mud Room.
We've written out a lot of our thoughts below to help shed some light on why we think The Mud Room is so important. Skim it, read it with a fine toothed comb, or skip directly to the donate button. But please do consider contributing to the campaign by (a) purchasing a reward or (b) sharing this post with your friends.
Thank you, and read on!
**reminder: scroll to the bottom to see pictures of the rewards**
We believe that everyone is creative.
The Mud Room’s mission is to help people believe in their own creativity. We provide access to the equipment, education, and community support. You show up and try. This Project Is For You!
This Project Is For YOU!
If you are looking for a place to practice ceramics, or you are a person looking for a new creative outlet, or you are a human who is excited to learn, then The Mud Room is for you!
We've done a lot of work figuring out the details of opening a studio. From taking business classes, to learning about OSHA standards and city permits, to visiting ceramics studios from California to Georgia; we are ready to turn our research into reality. NOW IS YOUR CHANCE TO HELP US MAKE IT REAL! You can help make The Mud Room a reality by funding this campaign and spreading the word to any and all of your people who might be interested. If you want a studio, or you want to support the arts, or you want to help dreams come true, or you need to buy your friend a present, then please help us open The Mud Room.
Portland is a city of artists and makers, a creative hub that produces industry leaders and original thinkers. We are a community that appreciates the value of artistic expression.
Yet, we are under-serving the imaginative and inventive core that put our city on the map. Accessible and approachable creative outlets are unfortunately hard to come by. As Portland grows, so too should it's access to art. There is a large necessity for increased arts education in this city, and The Mud Room will serve that need by connecting Portlanders with tools, education, and community.
With that access comes a welcoming studio for anyone to come to. Art can feel intimidating, and we acknowledge that. That's why the Mud Room is not just for artists, and we won't ever stick our nose up at anyone. We want you to join us whether you have had your own ceramics practice for years, or whether you have never touched a piece of clay in your life. We are inclusive, because we deeply believe that YOU are creative and that unleashing that creativity is healthy.
We are Lizzie and Cole, and we are the founders of The Mud Room. After college, we both searched for a local ceramics studio in Portland to practice our craft. We ran into many barriers and had difficulty finding a studio. Thus, Lizzie started practicing at a generous friend’s basement studio on off hours, and Cole scraped together his pennies to create a setup in his shed: drafty, damp, and cold. After four years and countless tales of similar woes from fellow Portlanders, we decided that something’s gotta give, and The Mud Room was born. It’s time for access to ceramics to be shared with the people of Portland.
These representations are designed to show you the scale of The Mud Room, as well as to illustrate that we have planned our layout and that we have thoroughly thought through our studio's work flow. It's important to state that these schematic drawings and renderings are representative models of a possible studio. We do not have a current location, (adding another reward to your cart will help us with that :P).
To give you a few more details about our vision for The Mud Room here are a few vitals we're planning on providing upon opening.
- 20-30 Throwing Wheels
- Slab Roller
- Wedging Tables
- 3-4 Large Electric Kilns
- Clay Recycling
- Many Glaze Options
- Spray Booth
- Banding wheels
- 24/7 Member Access
- Free Coffee for Members!
How It Works
The Mud Room dreams of increasing access to ceramics. With that in mind we want to provide access for as many people as we can, regardless of income, experience, or schedule. Thus, The Mud Room will have four main user groups, Private Studios, Members, Class Students, and Drop In's.
Private Studios - It's expensive, challenging, and often impossible to set up a studio at your home. It can also get a little isolating. That's why we want to provide private studios for 3-5 artists. These artists will have 24/7 access, a community at your fingertips, and a private area to create and store your work.
Members - As a member you will have 24/7 access to The Mud Room facilities, and after training you will have the ability to load and fire your own kilns if you'd like.
Membership is monthly. If you know that you want to be a member you can receive a discounted membership by purchasing one of our Membership Reward Packages on the right hand side of this Kickstarter page. Also, our membership spots are limited and you will be given first priority.
Class Students - As a student you will have access to The Mud Room during your class hours as well as during open studio time.
Classes will run in 8 week sections and will be 3 hours per class. We will have multiple offerings per week, to fit in with your schedule.
Drop In's - As a Drop In user you will have access to the studio during our open studio hours. You will be able to purchase materials and use the studio equipment.
And the special bonus group! Everyone, thats right, everyone can come to our free ceramics nights! One night a month we will open the studio to the community for free. This is an opportunity to for people who want to dip a toe into the world of ceramics to come and get a taste of everything we have going on.
What you can get (on top of an awesome studio) for supporting us.
The beauty of supporting this Kickstarter campaign is that not only will you be receiving the blessings of karma and philanthropic good fortune, but you will also be getting the physical reward of owning one (or all) of these ceramic gifts.
...Or maybe you need a gift for your mom's birthday?
See below for the beautiful objects made by hand, right here in Portland, Oregon.
Thank you for reading, and we love you!
P.S. Head to our FAQ's for questions. We bet your first question is, who made your awesome video and how can I hire them? Great question. Check out potatoportland.com
Risks and challenges
Risk: We are a start-up !
A potential risk to The Mud Room’s success is the fact that we are a new business, which is a statistically risky place to be. However, we have done our research and truly believe that we can succeed as a new business. In order to mitigate the risks of failing, we have taken the Business Foundations course at Mercy Corps, written a complete Business Plan, met with business consultants, lawyers, and accountants, and done extensive on-site research of other ceramics studios’ successes and failures. With your support we will do everything we can to make The Mud Room succeed.
Challenge: Making and shipping all of our ceramic rewards to our backers.
It will take a lot of time and effort to send our ceramic gifts off to our backers. However, we have our master molds and materials at our finger tips and we are already in production mode.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)