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Embrace is a 72 ft wooden cathedral-like sculpture of two human figures, in celebration of all our relationships for Burning Man 2014.
Embrace is a 72 ft wooden cathedral-like sculpture of two human figures, in celebration of all our relationships for Burning Man 2014.
730 backers pledged $52,099 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$52,099

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The Pier Group has spent the last several years making a name for itself with big beautiful art. The Pier, the La Llorona shipwreck of Pier 2 and The Ichthyosaur Puppet Project all worked to transport participants of Burning Man to fantastic worlds where a childlike wonder could be inspired and nurtured.

Pier 2
Pier 2

Throughout all these projects an even bigger idea has been brewing in our hearts and minds. Another fully immersive experience, another massive installation, and this time with the intention of using this sense of wonder to create a sacred, contemplative space.

Embrace Visualization
Embrace Visualization

Embrace is our testament to the moment, a cathedral dedicated to the beauty of immediacy. This is a sculpture made to honor all of the relationships in our lives, a pilgrimage route through our bodies and our minds.

We hope to create the first in a series of recurring projects at Burning Man. One that is built by a different group every year, a project that brings our massive community together in new ways and helps to further redefine and push the boundaries of Burning Man. We feel that the Man represents a celebration of the future and the Temple represents a release from the past.  Embrace is for the current moment and the people we share it with.

As you approach, a towering couple rises forth from the desert, as if growing in place for hundreds of years. Over 70 feet tall, two massive tree people twisting into an embrace. A reminder of the people you love, the people you have lost, family and friends and everyone in between.

Inside Embrace awaits another journey, a pilgrimage through two mighty figures, through our very beings and into our minds.

Embrace Interior
Embrace Interior

Two large cathedral spaces make up the base of Embrace, each with a massive heart hanging from the ceilings. One heart is being built in Portland, with the second being built in Vancouver, B.C. Each heart is a unique piece of art that will beat and pulse, casting refracted sun light out into the vast sinuous mangrove cavities of Embrace.

Stairways then guide people up through the structure, past balconies around the hearts and up to the shoulders. The shoulders offer a rest from your journey, a chance to stop, reflect and look out upon the vast expanse of the Black Rock Desert and Black Rock City. The shoulders are a place to watch the sunset and converse with new friends while waiting to move up into the heads.

Embrace Elevation Sketch
Embrace Elevation Sketch

Inside each neck is a long spiral staircase leading to the head. Your journey becomes a little tight and claustrophobic before releasing you into the mind. Groups of people gather in each head, sharing stories, laughing and looking out the eyes upon the other head in a direct analogy to the nature of conscience. Each head contains a mandala, one dedicated to the act of Birth and creation, the other dedicated to logic and reason. The top is open to the sky, a place to gaze upon the stars and dream.

Embrace is an absolutely massive project. We have worked quite hard to build a strong team of volunteers to help build and support this dream. It is by far our biggest project to date. At over 70 feet tall Embrace has over 160,000 lbs of wood in it. We expect to spend $30,000 of our $265,000 budget on Simpson Strong Ties alone. We have had many, many gracious donations so far. All of our Engineering for the project has been donated by K2 Engineering (http://www.k2eng.net/K2/home.html) and we have had a wide range of groups and companies step up to help make this project a reality.

This Kickstarter is meant to fund Phase 1 of our project. If we succeed we will have all the funding we need to build both of the figures to a total height of 57 feet. Our plan is to then move forward on Phase 2 which will bring embrace to a total height of 71 feet.

All rewards include a pair of embrace stickers

Thank you!!!

Embrace Lanterns
Embrace Lanterns
Original 30" Layered Embrace Model
Original 30" Layered Embrace Model
Embrace Hoodie Design
Embrace Hoodie Design
The Embrace Medallion Prototype.
The Embrace Medallion Prototype.

Risks and challenges

So far we have raised over $106,000. Which leaves just under $160,000 left to raise. It is a lot of money, and every dollar helps make this project a reality. Outside of the money this project is a huge physical undertaking. It will test everyone on our crew and push us to our very edge. We expect to spend the next 5 months, nearly non-stop working on this project before we spend nearly a month in one of the harshest deserts in the world to physically build this project.

We have reworked our production system to ensure everyone gets their kickstarter rewards in a timely manner this time around. We have direct access to all the tools and artisans we need to create each and every kickstarter reward to our exacting specifications.

This journey is what we love, it is what we thrive on. It is a chance to do something amazing. We hope that we can inspire everyone who encounters this project to dream big and build big. We hope that we can encourage everyone to build the world they envision, and share it with everyone around.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Embrace stickers!!! Who doesn't love stickers? You know, they stick to stuff... and things. Also our love and gratitude forever.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Can Coozies! Koozies? Cozy? How ever you spell that word, they are even better with an Embrace logo. You know whats great? Cold beer! Not so great- warm beer and cold hands! You need at least one for each hand...

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Get a custom Embrace bandanna! Keep the sweat out of your eyes, protect your face from dust, look pretty cool while doing that stuff. Embrace your face!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Sassy Embrace Booty Shorts! Some people like to keep their booty covered. Bonus- they look great on the floor. Not just for ladies.

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    Pledge $33 or more About $33

    Hand forged Embrace bottle opener. Ok these things are pretty cool. Take a railroad spike, a forge, a ton of handwork and you have a custom one of a kind bottle opener made by the pirates who made The Pier!

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    Reward no longer available 80 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Bootie shorts and Bandana!!! Its a combo, and it saves you 5 dollars. You can be fully dressed on the Playa!

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    15 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Already got your bottom covered? Time to cover your top!! Wearing an Embrace t-shirt is a great way to show your love. They make awesome gifts, too! This 100% cotton T-shirt will be minty fresh with a white logo.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Read carefully, this option is the same but different. For all you ninjas, new yorkers or those who just prefer the dark side, this option is for a black T shirt with white logo.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Medallions. Ohhh this is what you've been looking for. A snazzy way to show you support Embace with a beautiful fashion piece that will layer well with other schwag. Comes on a pretty cord.

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    70 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    COMBO- Shirt and Medallion. Do you want both a shirt and a medallion? Do you want to save $20 and still support us? Embrace shirt and Embrace Medallion.

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    32 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    This one is for our thirsty friends out there. A shiny new flask etched with the Embrace logo.

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    8 backers
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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Haven't you always wanted a monkey? I am kidding, we can't give you a monkey, but you can own your very own laser cut radial Embrace model! Made of baltic birch, will stand about 6" tall and rock any space.

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    15 backers
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    HOODIES!!!! Everyone loves an awesome hoodie. Especially in the desert at night. We have awesome 100% cotton black hoodies with the embrace logo on the front and the back. Just make sure to put your name on it, because people really love them!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    This one is special. We are offering a hand rendered illustration on archival paper of the project by the Lead Artist: Matthew Schultz. Each illustration is unique and will include a short story about the origin of Embrace.

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $160 or more About $160

    Do you like beer? Wine? Alcohol of any type? Did you answer yes to one or more of the previous questions? Then do we have a deal for you! Package deal on a flask, a coozie, and a hand forged bottle opener! This is a rad deal, you will love our package.

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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Combo: Hoodie and Medallion. Stay warm with a coveted Embrace hoodie during the night and show off your bronze Embrace Medallion during the day.

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  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $235 or more About $235

    COMBO- Hoodie, Shirt and Medallion. Here they are, the 3 pieces of schwag everyone wants together! Be that guy. No seriously, we want to build this and you need to clothes.

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  18. Select this reward

    Pledge $268 or more About $268

    SUPER COMBO- Hoodie, Shirt, Medallion, Booty Shorts and the Bandana. You can run around half naked during the day and then dress up at night. Or, you could just share it with friends and save a bunch of money together!

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  19. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Embrace lanterns: the internal cathedral of Embrace will be lit by beautiful laser cut wooden lanterns, and this is your chance to make one yours.

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 13 backers
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  20. Select this reward

    Pledge $550 or more About $550

    Take a small piece of the art home with you. We will take one of the stairs from the structure, with all of the loving wear from the multitude of people walking on it, and laser etch a photo of the project along with a thank you to you for your loving support.

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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    This reward level will allow you (and 3 people you'd like to embrace) to enjoy a 4 hour art tour on playa in the fabulous "Oh Bee-hive" art car!

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

    Playa art seems to come and go in the blink of an eye. Oil Paintings create a lineage, a piece of history forever remembered. Matt Schultz will paint an Oil Painting of Embrace for you to display for years to come

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  23. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    18'' Layered Embrace Model. For this level of donation you deserve a very special thank you. We will be crafting three small wooden models of the sculpture painstakingly pieced together by a very grateful crew member.

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  24. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    6" hand sculpted Bronze Embrace. This desktop size model of the sculpture will be cast as a one of a kind, museum quality miniature for three very lucky donors by Mischell Riley. These are pretty amazing!!!

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  25. Select this reward

    Pledge $7,500 or more About $7,500

    30'' Layered Embrace Model. This is a big one. We will be so overwhelmingly grateful to a donor of this magnitude, we will be presenting you with the original wooden model of Embrace! Laser cut birch wood layers stack to form the gorgeous silouhette of Embrace, this model is a stunningly impressive art piece on its own.

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  26. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    A one of a kind, beautiful hand sculpted bronze Embrace. 18" tall. Only one will be made by Mischell Riley. Own one of the most beautiful pieces of art we have produced outside of the piece it's based on.

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Funding period

- (40 days)