Through my work in clay I convey a passion for the parts of the world that are often misrepresented when portrayed through war and media. A few months ago a amazing company saw potential in my work and made an offer to represent my Origins series of tile. In fact, Clé Tile believes strongly in what I am doing and they have worked quickly to feature Origins tile in The New York Times, and other major design publications. As a result, more people have heard about my tile, leaving me unable to produce at a rate that meets demand. Through Kickstarter I hope to raise $20,000 to expand my studio so that it is able to scale to meet any project, while still maintaing the integrity of the hand made.
I began this series of tile to honor the places that have most inspired my artwork. The patterns I employ have a lineage that is as old as time, and many of the places they come from have become a footnote in history; their artworks looted, and cultures filtered through the lens of media. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of the Soviets in Afghanistan, and the U.S. bombings of Libya. Now close to thirty-five years have passed and those memories still haunt me, however now it is through my children's eyes. With the technology for "real-time" updates of the various wars and conflicts throughout the world it is even more apparent that the people most affected are the ones who, through no fault of their own, suffer the horrors of war; the ones whose lives are forever torn by the change it brings.
I want to see and share the beauty of these places, not just the global politics that are played out there. So I hope that what I am doing with my artwork, if even passively, brings a little more awareness to the many beautiful aspects of the places in the world that are now in conflict, places that existed long before the headlines of today's papers.
Through Kickstarter I am hoping to generate $20,000 in pledges from people world wide
These funds will help me in bringing my Origins series of tile to a wider audience. If I reach the $20,000 goal with the assistance of your pledge the funds will go toward the creation of the silk screens I use to add the patterns to these tiles. They will also help me to purchase the refractory brick I need to complete a very specific gas kiln designed for the unique reduction cooling process I use to fire my tile, and the kiln shelves and furniture for that kiln. Also, I will purchase a tile press and a new pug mill for making and reclaiming the unique blend of clays that I use for these tile. The budget is set, and if I reach this goal with your support it will all be implemented by August of this year! Anything beyond the initial $20,000 will go toward the purchase of a larger electric kiln to be dedicated specifically to the first, or "bisque" firing of the tile.
What do you get for your pledge?
Well, without going into too much detail, these tokens of gratitude are stunning, useful and long lasting! Here are just a few from the long list you will find for your pledge of support to this Kickstarter:
$25 or more: Handmade Origins tiles, coasters, and Trivets.
$35 or more: "Behind the scenes" A Kickstarter support party and workshop where Forrest will share his tile and wheel-transfer techniques!
(Video by Adam Field)
For $60: A beautiful Forrest Lesch-Middelton Coffee Cup!
For $85: Two 5" side dishes
For $150: Two "Inside Out Jars"
For $250: A twelve inch diameter bowl
For $55.00 ADD ON REWARD #1, A BLUE AND WHITE YUNOMI!
For $300.00 ADD ON REWARD #3: A 14" Flower Vase with a floral-hexagon star pattern!
These are just a few of the rewards you will receive for pledging your support to this Kickstarter. The bigger reward comes in knowing that your choice to support the Origins series of tile goes beyond the tangible and will provide the building blocks for this working artist to take his work to the next level of success: turning a life-long passion into an sustainable avocation.
Thank you so much, backed by your belief in my work I will do all that it takes to see this through.
Potter and Tile Maker
Risks and challenges
Anyone passionately involved with an artistic endeavor is acutely aware of the challenges they are presented with; foremost the challenge of translating what's in one's heart and mind to convey an aesthetic that taps into the souls of others. My countless hours of experimentation, late nights in the studio and a lifetime of working in clay has culminated in "Origins Tile". My challenge now is to scale my production to fulfill my dreams of an ability for greater production.
As a father of two kids under five, living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area, I am faced with starting a project that could grow quicker than time, space, and resources will allow. My studio space is simply not equipped to handle the relatively large quantity of handmade tile required in this endeavor including the equipment I will need, such as a new kiln, a clay mill, and another tile press. Fortunately Petaluma, California where I am located is amenable to business and is in proximity to the growth and tastes of the San Francisco Bay area. It is an ideal location to launch this line of tile!
I am excited to report that I have an amazing group of representatives and P.R. people that are in sync with my vision and are already getting the word out through the New York Times, and many other amazing venues. Now I need your help in kickstarting my new studio expansion so I can meet the demand that I expect will be a result of their efforts!
I am up for the challenge of making Origins tile a reality, and now I am asking you to help me in getting my dream business launched. Please look over my list of rewards, your contributions will go a long way in making my vision for Origins tile a reality!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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