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Fine handmade tile that shares the world's history through pattern, surface, and a passion for today's forgotten people and places.
236 backers pledged $25,415 to help bring this project to life.

About

Origins Tile: Making a difference one tile at a time. project video thumbnail
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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.

Finding Inspiration

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.

Sultan Hassan Mosque, Cairo
Sultan Hassan Mosque, Cairo
Minaret Bottles by: Forrest Lesch-Middelton (Photo by: Elizabeth Hecker)
Minaret Bottles by: Forrest Lesch-Middelton (Photo by: Elizabeth Hecker)

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.

Forrest Lesch-Middelton

Potter and Tile Maker

www.flmceramics.com

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!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    THANK YOU!::
    Even $5 makes a big difference! Your name will be fired permanently onto a 12" x 24" wall tile to be hung in a place of honor in my Petaluma, California studio. This plaque will commemorate all of the backers the of "Origins Tile" Kickstarter!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    TERRA FIRMA::
    You will receive a big note of appreciation on a newsprint remnant of a silkscreen transfer used to create the patterns on the origins tiles. You Will also receive the reward from the "Thank You" pledge!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    SETTING THE FOUNDATION:
    A 3"x3" limited edition "Kickstarter" patterned tile of your own! This is an actual tile produced in my studio and stamped with a which would have otherwise found its way into a home or public art project. You will also receive the rewards from the "Thank You", and "Terra Firma" pledges!

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    A PATTERN FOR YOU:: A limited edition "Kickstarter" 4"x4" patterned coaster with felt glides (my best selling tile pictured left!) You will also receive the rewards from the "Thank You", and "Terra Firma" pledge!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    BEHIND THE SCENES:: A Kickstarter reward Party and workshop!
    There will be a seat held just for you at my first ever public workshop and studio visit at my new Petaluma, California studio! Great Food, great company and more in this five hour day of demonstrations that cover my studio techniques, from tile to pottery! And as a special thank you, each participant will receive the 3"x3" tile mentioned in the "Setting the Foundation" reward plus the rewards from the "Thank You", and "Terra Firma" pledge!
    (Transportation not included)

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    TABLE SAVER::
    A limited edition "Kickstarter" 6"x6" patterned trivet with felt glides to protect surfaces from scratching. You will also receive the rewards from the "Thank You", and "Terra Firma" pledge!

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    A touch of Color::
    Here it is, A Blue and White Yunomi (every day teabowl, or cup)! This is "Add-On" reward #1 Designed to help Origins Tile meet its first "Stretch Goal" now that we have met our initial funding goal of $20,000.

    Check out the Yunomi at my Facebook fan page:
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Forrest-Lesch-Middelton-Ceramics/124973367526087

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    BOTTOMS UP::
    A beautiful, award winning, limited edition "Kickstarter" coffee cup from my renowned line of studio pottery (Pictured Left). These durable stoneware cups are beyond useful, they are comfortable, captivating, and intriguing! (pictured left). You will also receive the rewards from the "Thank You", and "Terra Firma" pledge!

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    PATTERN FOR ALL::
    A set of four 4"x4" limited edition "Kickstarter" patterned coasters. Each coaster was a different pattern and felt glides to protect your surfaces. You will also receive the rewards from the "Thank You", and "Terra Firma" pledge!

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    SNACK TIME::
    Two 5" hand made limited edition "Kickstarter" dessert plates (Pictured left). These sweet little plates have a pattern on the top surface that adds a timeless feel to any snack or meal! You will also receive the rewards from the "Thank You", and "Terra Firma" pledge!

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    TABLE SAVER PLUS::
    A set of four 6"x6" limited edition "Kickstarter" patterned trivets. You will also receive the rewards from the "Thank You", and "Terra Firma" pledge!

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    INSIDE OUT JARS (4.5" dia)::
    Two, yes count them two, "Inside out jars"! Pictured left, these are the perfect little jars for salt and pepper, herbs and spices, candy, jewelry and more! And like so many people, the beauty is on the inside! Since I started making them two years ago I truly can not keep them on the shelves!

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $225 or more About $225

    "Add-On" #4::
    By Pledging $225.00 you can have this 11" Reduction cooled Water Pitcher with volumetric image transfer. This pitcher works beautifully as a pitcher or a vase, and can be used with any beverage of your choice, hot or cold!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    ABUNDANCE::
    A 12" Diameter patterned limited edition "Kickstarter" serving Bowl (Pictured left). By generously pledging $250 you will receive a stunning serving bowl with a pattern added by means of Forrest's innovative volumetric image transfer process. You will also receive the rewards from the "Thank You", and "Terra Firma" pledge!

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Feast!:: I have been making large scale platters for years. And now as "ADD-ON" Reward #2, I will be offering a limited number of these 14" platters in BLUE & WHITE to help Origins Tile meet its first "Stretch Goal" of $25,000 (we are only $1,500 away)! I have made only a handful of these large scale platters in Blue & White, so few that I have never photographed one! Check out one of these platters in the more common color scheme of black & white at my Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.552434968113256.1073741826.124973367526087&type=3

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    SPRING IS HERE:: And for "ADD-ON" Reward #3 you can celebrate with a beautiful 14" articulated flower vase laden with a stunning floral hexagon and star pattern (pictured left)! These vases make great center pieces, and with their proud, stable stance and ample height they are perfect for a large spring bouquet! Your generosity will Help Origins Tile meet its stretch goal of $25,000, and will allow us to create silkscreens, in house, for more of these beautiful patterns!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    INSPIRED BY FAR OFF PLACES::
    A patterned 16" limited edition "Kickstarter" Minaret Bottle" (detail left) These bottles most define what my work is all about. Inspired by the Minaret architecture of the middle east, these bottles speak of the beauty of far off places. You will also receive the rewards from the "Thank You", and "Terra Firma" pledge!

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  18. Select this reward

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    ADORNMENT::
    18"x18" PATTERNED MONOLITHIC WALL TILE.
    This single monolithic limited edition "Kickstarter" wall-tile is laden with historic patterning that will brighten any room! Fitted with a special cleat system for hanging. You will also receive the rewards from the "Thank You", and "Terra Firma" pledge!

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  19. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    FOREVER GRATEFUL::
    For this very generous pledge, you will receive a stunning 3 piece triptych of limited edition "Kickstarter" wall tile. Each individual tile measures 12" across and 24" in height for a total combined size of 24" height x 36" across. This dynamic set of wall-tiles laden with historic patterning will brighten any room! Fitted with a special cleat system for hanging. You will also receive the rewards from the "Thank You", "Terra Firma", and "Setting the Foundation" pledge!

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  20. Select this reward

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

    YOU BECOME THE ARTIST::
    As a major backer, you and one guest will be invited for a day in the studio with me, the tile maker! I will pick you up at the San Francisco or Oakland airport and bring you to my Petaluma, California studio to see the operation first hand! Once at my studio I will guide you though the making of your own set of four patterned coasters and four patterned trivets which I will fire and mail to you at a later date. Following the creation of your tiles, and a one-on-one demonstration of my studio technique, we will attend a dinner at Café La Haye, one of the wine country's finest restaurants, located just of the beautiful historic central plaza in downtown Sonoma [Airfare and overnight accommodations not included].
    You will also receive the rewards from the "Thank You", and Terra Firma" pledge!

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Funding period

- (30 days)