The Project: an Interactive Artwork
1500 is an interactive artwork that will be installed at Glass Fiber Stone, a group show in Loveland, Colorado from June 22-24, 2012. This piece will be comprised of 1,500 individual ceramic pieces, evolving over time, as the viewing public actively alters it by taking the pieces home with them. (You can read a much abbreviated version of this project on my blog: http://amyuthus.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/kickstarter-project-is-live/)
The making of the heartstones
The piece will start with 1,500 handmade porcelain "heartstones." These heartstones fit in the palm of the hand (see image above). Each one will be completely handmade by the artist from beginning to end. Amy has formulated her own special recipe for the porcelain clay that's used to make the heartstones. She mixes that recipe herself, combining dry pulverized clay materials with water to make a malleable clay. She creates each and every object from that stock. After the heartstones are formed, she fires them once to 1789*F, after which she carefully hand sands each of them. After sanding, the heartstones are subjected to intense heat: approximately 2,399*F. This makes them hard and durable. Selected heartstones will undergo another polishing process after this firing, to make them ultra-smooth.
The heartstones will range from pure white to solid black. This gradation is possible because of a particular firing technique Amy will use, called sagger firing. In sagger firing, some of the heartstones will be placed in brick boxes filled with sawdust. During the firing, they'll absorb carbon from the burning sawdust, turning the white clay gray and black.
The completed artwork and the public's role
At Glass Fiber Stone, each of these 1,500 heartstones will be arranged on the floor in a darkened corner. Small LED lights will be placed on the floor in the corner. The purest of the white heartstones will be laid on top of these lights. The stones will gradually shift to gray as they move outward on the floor, away from the lights. The heartstones farthest away from the light will be solid black.
As the public views this piece, small signs will encourage them to choose a heartstone of their very own, to take home with them. As they do so, the installation will shift. How will the artwork evolve through the viewer's participation? Will people be most interested in the rich, black heartstones, and choose those first, working their way toward the lighter and brighter stones in a consistent manner? Or will a path emerge toward the light, leaving the dark heartstones for last? Perhaps something entirely unpredictable will occur! Only time will tell... but regardless of what pattern emerges, 1,500 people will walk away with a heartstone - a tangible reminder of a unique experience.
This artwork will involve the use of time lapse photography, which will be posted nightly for the duration of the project on the artist's blog. At the end of the exhibit, the artist will publish a special post with three selected photos from the show. Backers will be invited to vote for their favorite image. The winning photograph will become the background image for the "I Support the Arts" magnets, sent to backers who have made corresponding contributions.
Backer's contributions will support the following:
- Transportation from Grand Forks, North Dakota (where the artist will be residing after graduating with her MFA from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth this May) to Loveland, Colorado: $567
- Shipping 1,500 porcelain heartstones from New Bedford, Massachusetts (where the artist currently resides, and where the heartstones are in the process of being made): $450
- Rope lights (1 amber-colored strand, 1 white strand): $50
Thank you for your consideration and support! For those of you who are new to KickStarter, it's all or nothing, so if Amy is to get any of the help she needs for this project, she needs you to chip in. If she doesn't meet her pledge goal you won't be charged.
Please consider donating early to increase this public art project's visibility on KickStarter. Thanks again!
*Backers may choose an anonymous listing on the blog shoutouts and website credits, if desired.
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