About this project
Hey Kickstarters! Thanks for stopping by.
We’ve been testing a number of different glazes and would like to announce a stretch goal to make these available to you. If we can make it to $72k before the Kickstarter is up, we will unlock three colors for you to choose from for your State Plate!! In vintage map colors, we have canary yellow, mint green, and robin’s egg blue! Add $8 to your existing pledge to have a plate in one of these colors. Classic white will remain the default option included in each reward.
***As of now, the color options will be for State Plates, USA Tray, and Country Plates only. No Denizen Mugs yet.***
What are we doing?
We are raising funds to take all 50 of these United States of America and re-create them in fine porcelain. They are made to scale with one another and fit seamlessly with their neighbor to form the entire nation. Their uses are plentiful; baking dish, serving tray, conversation piece, collecting tray, tapas plate, etc. They can act as stand alone state plates, pieced together as regions on your dinner table, or hand picked to be the places that mean the most to you.
The entire spread will measure 8 feet by 4 feet with Texas sized at 24" by 25" and Rhode Island as the smallest state at 1.5" by 1.5". When we have them all finished we will throw the ultimate dinner party where a great dish from each state will join the spread to create The Fifty United Plates. We've saved you a seat.
The Fifty United Plates will go from table to gallery as our final goal will be an exhibition highlighting community, craft, and small-scale American manufacturing.
Why are we doing this?
Because we are all locals somewhere... We hail from the Midwest and live and love in the Pacific Northwest. We’ve felt ties and responsibility to a community, shared work and it’s rewards with friends, toiled in kitchens for family holidays, and built our lives knowing the places we’ve been and the people we’ve known there will resonate through all we do. These plates are for those people – their neighborhoods, villages, towns, cities, regions, states, countries – their homes.
They’re for beer cheese dip in Wisconsin on a fall Sunday afternoon at kickoff, a 3-tiered southern hummingbird birthday cake in the shape of North Carolina, a home for candles on a reclaimed barnwood coffee table, a tapas tray to replace the old pizza night, a spread of brisket for a Fourth of July Texas BBQ, a treasure on the shelf in the family cabin in Vermont that was built by your great-grandfather and loved by your future grandchildren.
They’re a tribute to where you are, what you’re making, doing, eating, loving and living. It’s a local project – built for our neighbors, born of your bounty, and made only greater in it’s relation to another person, another place – a spread known as The Fifty United Plates.
How do we do it?
We are using a combination of new technologies with traditional processes to create the plates. We started by creating digital files of the states that contain the information needed to effectively cut a prototype on a CNC router.
CNC routing allows us to get the precision that we need in order for each state to nestle into its neighbors. This precision is then translated into the mold, which creates an impeccable casting. A plaster mold is created around the prototype and this mold is what we pour the liquid ceramic slip into in order to make the porcelain plates. From there, each casting is finished by hand, fired in an electric kiln, glazed and high-fired a final time to a maturation temperature. Finally, the bare porcelain underside is sanded to be buttery smooth.
How can you help?
Your assistance will help in many ways! We are looking to raise $17,000 to expand the production of the states. Your donation will go to a number of things:
- Kiln - we really need a larger capacity kiln that can handle larger sized pieces and a greater capacity per firing.
- Slip mixer - we're making our clay and glaze by hand in small batches and a slip mixer will let us make larger batches and make the filling of the molds more efficient.
- CNC routing - CNC routing isn't cheap but it provides us with an outstanding prototype, which means a better product for you. The states are cut in a high-density foam that can bring out the amazing contours of each states.
- Dry materials - there are a lot of clays & minerals that go into a clay body as well as a glaze and we are using quality ingredients in order to produce a top-notch and durable plate for you.
- Time - we both work other jobs on top of our dedication to Corbé Company and your support will make it possible to focus on this wonderful project.
What do you get?
Camp-Style Denizen Mugs
12 oz. porcelain mugs handmade in our studio. When the project has concluded, we will send out a mass email prompting you to specify your choice of state or states.
An organic cotton Fifty United Plates Market Bag!
Carry your farmers market goodies around in this organic cotton market bag printed with eco-friendly water based ink.
An amazing t-shirt from Offbeat Press!
Classic fit and Women's style T-shirts offered in sizes XS - XXL. When the project has concluded, we will send out a mass email prompting you to specify your style and size.
Your very own State Plate!
Show your pride! State Plates are offered at special Kickstarter prices. Washington D.C., Hawaii and Alaska are available along with the lower 48 states. When the project has concluded, we will send out a survey prompting you to specify your choice of state or states.
Rewards Delivery Note:
We've created generous delivery dates to accommodate for unseen events. Our hope is to deliver your rewards to you earlier than the deadline so that the holiday season is full of state pride and cheer. We will try our very best to make this happen!
Where are we now?
We are currently making the individual state plates at a standard size as shown above. The designs for the interlocking set are done and they are ready to be cut. Over the past year we have been testing a variety of prototype designs and adjusting the recipe for a clay body and glaze that will be durable and attractive. Our studio has been producing a variety of items and we are prepared to take our project to the next level with your support!
Who are we?
Corbé Company is a ceramics and design studio with a cottage industry approach based in Orcas, Washington among the San Juan Islands. Balancing the precision of technology with the warmth of hand, we value design and craft as well as art and small-scale, homespun manufacture. We have found our purpose in producing thoughtful objects and useful ceramics.
Just as we resurrected a lost family name to become our company’s namesake, we’re using what’s old and good as a foundation for what we’ve learned along the way. And we’re excited about that. Very excited. We’re combining new technologies with age-old processes for a body of work that is indicative of the times and yet without expiration. We farm while listening to podcasts, bake with digital scales, draw with on-screen pens, learn fermenting from YouTube, and send our glaze recipes to a cloud. We’re a new cottage industry; one that’s learned from the past and is looking to the future.
We are Kaitlyn and Ryan Lawless collaborating together as partners in life and work. Ceramic sculpture, design, and graphic design backgrounds led us to create Corbé Company. Years in different design fields have allowed us to compliment and challenge one another; our partnership allows the broad visions of one to be nuanced by the detailed thinking of the other. Our time is spent solving, musing, and evolving the things we’ve created, and we can’t imagine doing anything else.
We want to thank you for reading and especially thank all of our friends and family that have spent countless hours helping us get to this point. You all inspire us to create great things - thank you, thank you, thank you!
A very special thanks to our videographer, Sam Giffin! An amazing talent! Check out his websites at:
Risks and challenges
Clay: we've spent a long time testing various porcelains to get the right one. It's gotta be white, durable and vitrified (fancy ceramics word that means strong and impenetrable by water).
Glaze: the glaze has to fit the clay and we have tested many to make sure it has a good fit and no flaws. Better for you cause it will last you a lot longer!
Molds: they can be tricky and erode over time but Ryan is a strong mold maker and is using a method that will greatly reduce the amount of wear on the mold and will allow for faster castings.
Production: we've got the space that can handle making this project- a large studio space under our apartment. It is set up with kilns, a mold-making station, casting area, and glazing workspaces already! Ryan has worked in a number of production facilities over the past ten years and knows what it takes to make a large quantity of ceramic items.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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