About this project
The Jewelry of the Playa is a collaborate project that would impossible without the support of many special and important people.
George Post is the primary photographer and co-author for the Jewelry of the Playa.
LadyBee is a co-author on this project and owner of the largest collection of Burning Man jewelry.
Celebrating Lives and Stories
The Jewelry of the Playa is more than a book, it is a memorial for those who passed on and it is the birthplace of a living archive celebrating the lives and stories of each annual Burning Man event through the ancient medium of jewelry.
This is a book about an obssession with jewelry, a love of teaching people to make jewelry, and the community that gathers to burn a giant wooden man out on the harsh desert floor, lovingly called the playa, once a year in Black Rock City Nevada. Jewelry of the Playa is also a celebration of the stunning collection of jewelry from Burning Man from 1995 to 2013. From a spray painted day glow wood stick figure to high end bling of gold and diamonds, this books explores the unique and creative fabrication from people who make, collect and gift jewelry. Inside are professional photographs and stories upon stories of unique wearable art by and about the people who made it.
This glossy hard cover volume, 9 x 12 inches, about 220 pages, will feature 300-500 full color photographs exploring a collection of over a 1000 works of Burning Man jewelry. Compelling interviews trace the stories of various pieces and their makers and acts of unbounded generosity.
Dr. Hanuman Aspler - Founder of Ganoksin, The World Leading Jewelry Website
Artisan’s Asylum - Premier Maker Space in the US
Jeremy Alliger - Executive Producer Alliger Arts
Peter Durand - Burning Man Regional Rep for Massachusetts
Charon Kransen - Leading Resource for Books and Exhibition Catalogues on Jewelry, Metal, and Design
Garth Clark - Gallery Owner, Curator, Writer for the World of Craft
Working Table of Contents
Foreword by Garth Clark
The Jewelry Collection of LadyBee
The Spirit of Burning Man
The Gifting Economy
Making Wearing Collecting
Jewelry and the People Who Wear It
Afterward by Karen Christians
Karen Christians is a jewelry teacher, photographer and author. She is the founder of Metalwerx, The School for Jewelry and the Metal Arts in Waltham, MA in 1998. Karen developed the Hot Craft Studio for Jewelry at Artisan’s Asylum, a 40K sq ft maker space in Somerville, MA. A late bloomer, she graduated with a BFA with Honors from the Massachusetts College of Art in 1997. Karen lives in Waltham, MA with her husband and two cats. Her love of jewelry, embellishment and storytelling led to this book.
Christine Kristen aka LadyBee
Lady Bee is a former sculptor and jeweler turned art curator and facilitator. She worked as Art Curator for Burning Man from 1999 through 2008, and currently manages their art collection and helps with the Archives. She first went to Burning Man in 1995, and was attracted to the art, created in a community-based, collaborative and interactive environment existing outside the mainstream art world. She began collecting playa jewelry in 1996 and now has its largest existing archive.
A freelance photographer, writer, and teacher, George Post has made photography his lifelong passion. George is one of the premier photographers of fine arts, crafts and jewelry in the US. After a life-changing expedition to Burning Man in 1979, he published a book on it in 2012 called “Dancing with the Playa Messiah,” containing photos spanning the period from 1991 to 2011. George has returned to Black Rock City every year since then to photograph the people, art, fire, and the magical desert light that make Burning Man a unique world-class event.
Jewelry, jewelry making instruction, and diamonds made of Playa dust are among the great rewards we're offering, each with its own Burning Man story. Choose among pendants made by Sumner Silverman, a self-taught master sculptor and carver of lost wax techniques in bronze and sterling jewelry. Sumner, Karen and friends have cast, polished, and strung thousands of Burning Man pendants from his designs--and given them all away. Karen will reprise a jewelry making class, just for you, from the hugely popular series she started at Oasis 47, where she camped at Burning Man. And...you can get a red diamond.
Pendants by Sumner Silverman - Horseshoe Crab, Erotix, Phoenix Rising
Horseshoe Crab (Limulus polyphemus) Burning Man 2009 | Evolution
Commonly called the Horseshoe Crab it is closely related to spiders ticks and scorpions. It does not bite humans. It is very old, their relatives have change little in their 450 million years on earth. Evolution goes so slowly and we deplete our earth so very quickly, I present this creature as a reminder of the passage of time.
Erotix Burning Man 2010 | Metropolis
Our world moves inexorably toward one big city. By the year 2050 we may have 75% of our world population in cities. The 2009 theme, Metropolis, inspired this pendant drawn from Fritz Lang's movie of the same name. Erotix is an ode to Maria, the kick-ass robot that ran the Metropolis. On the obverse is yet another iteration of the Burning Man.
Phoenix Rising Burning Man 2011 | Rites of Passage
Associated with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. Found in the mythology of both the east and west, it is the perfect symbol of transformation. Burning Man is the quest for transformation of self and society. This is a bird with attitude! The obverse is flames.
Custom Rewards by Karen Christians
Custom Resin Inlay Pendants
Karen Christians will work with you to develop and create three custom resin inlay bronze pendants that reflect your own personal Burning Man journey or other important life events. What is resin inlay you ask? Well, take a look at the images below!
Private Instruction with Karen Christians
Learn to make your own memorable meaningful gifts with this private class with Karen Christians. She will teach you the tricks and secrets of making your own beautiful resin inlay pendants in her jewelry studio at Artisan's Asylum in Somerville, Massachusetts.
Red Playa Diamond
This quarter karat red playa diamond is a truly unique way to commemorate your Burning Man experience. Formed over 6-9 months in a lab from carbon from the Man or Temple burn, these diamonds are guaranteed conflict free and are available in a range of styles. The red color was chosen to reflect the intense red colors of the burns. You can get the diamond either loose or set in a ring, necklace, or other piece of jewelry of your choosing.
Where the Money Goes
The money raised by this Kickstarter will go towards the design, printing and shipping of the Jewelry of the Playa book, as well as paying for all of the rewards. If an excess of $15,000 is raised, that money will go to printing more books!
Changing the World
Gifting is one of the Ten Principles of Burning Man and potentially one of the most misunderstood. Gifting is not synonymous with barter. Meaningful gifts come from the heart and are given freely without any expectancy of a return. The authors hope this book will encourage people to embrace this concept in their everyday lives, thus creating stronger, happier, and healthier communities.
Learn More About Jewelry of the Playa
Risks and challenges
There are three major challenges to completing this project. The first is making sure the book is completed on time, the second is producing a book of a high quality, and the third is ensuring the book and all rewards are delivered on time.
Completing the Book:
There are a lot of pieces to a collaborative book project that covers a lot of territory. Here's what's being brought to bear: The principal author Karen Christians is highly passionate about this project, has been working on it for almost two years, and it's now the main project in her life. She's dedicating these upcoming months to finish compiling photos and collecting stories. She's brought together a strong team to produce it, from PR to fulfillment, from compiling photos to collecting stories. Her co-authors, LadyBee and George Post, have qualifications making them the perfect people for the job. She's deeply engaged with the Burning Man community, including many of the people that make it happen, from which she has wide support. She's already published a book, as has George, so there's direct experience to draw on; LadyBee is an event producer. She's had experience with project management and development from starting a school, a craft/jewelry program, and the Pendant Project itself at Burning Man.
Creating a High Quality Book:
To ensure this book is of the highest quality several steps have been taken. George Post, already a photographer of Burning Man culture and a professional renowned for his photography of jewelry has been engaged to take all of the photos. We're in preliminary warm talks with a publisher who has worked with one of the co-authors on another book as well as an excellent printer. Both have known expertise with this kind of project. For a few months now, we've been happily working with a professional layout and design team we hired to make sure the material looks and flows properly.
On Time Delivery:
A fulfillment center has been chosen that has worked with book distribution and Kickstarter before.
A customer service team will be available to assist with questions and issues related to gift quality and delivery, e.g. anything damaged or lost in shipping.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to ask!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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