AUSfonte Kickstarter #4.....more awesome Aussie iron!
Our 4th Kickstarter campaign is funded and closed!
After three very successful Kickstarter campaigns, for our 24cm Sauteuse pan (see http://kck.st/1tnQ6X8), 32cm BIGskillet*/DEEPan* combination (see http://kck.st/1DRWr5w), and 18cm and 30cm Pan Grill-it* (see http://kck.st/1Ma8hGR) followed by their online/retail/export success (see http://www.solidteknics.com/blog/good-news-for-australian-manufacturing-new-australian-made-ausfonte-cookware-outsells-all-the-old-import-brands ) we were very happy to seee strong support for our 4th campaign.
HUGE thanks to everyone who pledged in support of our vision to grow this new Australian cookware industry. Happy cooking and grilling!
Why pledge here on Kickstarter?
1. Heirloom limited edition: This is the last time these innovative new pans will be offered as FIRST EDITION castings (we cast each one with the date and the words 'FIRST EDITION'). After this campaign closes on Sept 6, no more First Edition pans will ever be made. The same pans will go to retail as regular 'CAST' edition pans.
2. High performance Australian-made iron: Both pans are extraordinary in their own right, with innovative features never seen before in cast iron cookware (see features below), and already receiving rave reviews from experts in cast iron cooking.
3. Pride in being a part of making cookware history: In one short year since launch, the SOLIDTEKNICS AUSfonte brand is acclaimed in the USA and Australia as the leading cast iron cookware in the world today. We believe this new Australian brand and company will be with us for many generations. Your pledge of support, enabling the birth of this new Australian cookware industry, will be witnessed for generations to come in your FIRST EDITION dated casting. We want to make history, not just the best pans. We want supporters, not customers: those who invest in centuries of locally-made heirloom cookware love, not regular shoppers of disposable import cookware. Pledge if you share our vision!
16cm SKILLet* key features
The new AUSfonte 16cm SKILLet is similar to our acclaimed 24cm Sauteuse pan, except:
- Smaller and lighter: awesome breakfast skillet, cookie/cake baking pan, or one-pan take-to-table single-serve meals.
- Thinner/lighter walls reinforced by strong ribs (like BIGskillet).
- Straighter walls and less radius to maximise cooking surface for its size.
- Much more handle neck venting to reduce heat travel as much as possible up the shorter handle.
See our blog post for much more detail, and pics of the casting of the real 16cm SKILLet. Sensational result! http://www.solidteknics.com/blog/creating-cookware-history-in-australia-again-first-test-casting-of-our-16cm-skillet
The BIG 36cm Combo RGBBF pan has been added!
The AUSfonte Combo RGBBF (Roast, Grill, BBQ, Bake, Fry) is cast iron versatility at its finest, with two sides and four orientations. You can cook almost anything (except deep/lidded casseroles/liquids) with this pan, and you can cook a lot of it!
The Combo RGBBF was only added on August 19, so now we need to make the moulds as quickly as possible to produce them for backers. This will naturally take longer than the 16cm SKILLet, which has moulds complete and is ready for production as soon as the campaign closes.
- For Australian backers we will rush the 16cm SKILLet to you first (estimating October shipping), then ship separately the Combo RGBBF is ready (estimating November shipping), along with any other AUSfonte pan models in the big full sets. Splitting the shipments is more expensive, but we want our backers cooking on the SKILLet asap!
- For USA backers we'll need to ship all rewards together through our US distributor (to avoid horrendous shipping costs), so we're estimating December shipping for USA pledges.
How 'acclaimed' is our AUSfonte cast iron cookware?
At June 28, our AUSfonte Sauteuse, BIGskillet and DEEPan were selling at #1, #3, #4 most popular on Australia's biggest kitchenware site, KitchenwareDirect.com.au, outselling all the old imports.....so the post-Kickstarter response has been overwhelming! For more details on our Australian retail and USA export success: http://www.solidteknics.com/blog/good-news-for-australian-manufacturing-new-australian-made-ausfonte-cookware-outsells-all-the-old-import-brands
Below is a small sample of the feedback from AUSfonte owners (all unsponsored and independent), and there's much more all over Facebook, Instagram, and product reviews on KitchewareDirect:
♥ www.facebook.com/theculinaryfanatic (USA cast iron expert)
Where to buy AUSfonte pans now at retail:
Here's where to find all current AUSfonte pans (except for the pans in this campaign: they won't be available at retail until November):
Special 'FIRST EDITION' Castings for Kickstarter backers only
Only Kickstarter backers will receive limited edition pans, cast underneath with 'FIRST EDITION' and the exact casting date.
Like all our new model launches on Kickstarter, this rare collectible FIRST EDITION is only offered to backers of this Kickstarter campaign. (Retail versions always say 'Cast' and the casting date.)
Note that only the two new pans here (16cm SKILLet and Combo RGBBF) are both offered as rare 'First Edition' castings. All other existing AUSfonte pans offered in the sets at right are regular 'Cast' edition pans from our retail stock. We promise to only produce First Edition pans once, for backers of each original launch campaign. We keep our promises.
AUSfonte Hemp Kitchen Cloth, made in Australia, naturally.....
We tried to go high-tech with a heat-resistant cloth, but we couldn't produce carbon fibre felt in Australia, so we went low-tech sustainable beautiful hemp/cotton blend (45/55) instead, as we should have from the beginning! Not inexpensive to produce, but high quality, durable, classic.
1. From launch to Sept 6, 2015 campaign deadline: spread the word as quickly and widely as possible across Australia and USA, with the help of our VIP chef and food industry supporters, our BIG happy group of backers from our past Kickstarter projects, and our new backers on this Kickstarter project. Finish machining 16cm SKILLet production moulds in August, cast, and test. Do everything within our power to exceed the pledge target, then add the Combo RGBBF stretch goal, and continue raising enough funding to cover costs for both!
2. August 15, or earlier if possible: Launch optional reward for Combo RGBBF and commence mould making.....if support from backers for SKILLet has been strong enough to take the (significant) risk.
3. October SKILLet shipping: Cast entire limited FIRST EDITION AUSfonte™ SKILLet production run at Australia's best production foundry, pre-seasoning, packaging and commence shipping.
4. November Combo RGBBF shipping, if added as stretch goal: Complete casting and seasoning and commence packing and shipping new AUSfonte™ First Edition Combo RGBBF pans to their new homes.
5. Ongoing: Social media buzzing when new AUSfonte™ owners first cook with them, discover what we know, then post their reviews on this KS site, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, forums. All as positive as feedback from our other AUSfonte campaigns we trust!
We launched a whole new cookware industry for Australia when we successfully funded our AUSfonte Sauteuse here in Sept 2014, followed by BIGskillet and DEEPan and the small and large Pan Grill-it inserts.
Now AUSfonte cookware is acclaimed by chefs and experts, selling strongly in gourmet stores and online in Australia and exported to the USA (see http://www.solidteknics.com/blog/good-news-for-australian-manufacturing-new-australian-made-ausfonte-cookware-outsells-all-the-old-import-brands ).
AUSfonte is the only production cookware made in Australia.
If you LOVE what we’ve done with the AUSfonte™ 'Tough Love' cookware and our new campaign here on Kickstarter, please tell all your friends that you’ve found the finest cast iron cookware available today, they're made in Australia and the heirloom collectible FIRST EDITION pans are only available by pledging for our Kickstarter campaigns.
Thank you and Happy Cooking!!
Mark, Rebecca, Natasha and the Solidteknics Team
.....well, kind of.....
All the detail you probably want (and more) was presented above. However, we've added much more detail below, with more links to resources, for the serious researchers, or for those who don't already know us and our capability and integrity.
EXPANDED CAMPAIGN INFO:
The pictures below are of our earliest samples: half-scale rapid SLA plastic prototypes. This is always our first step after we're happy with the 3D CAD models we've developed. After handling the prototypes we refine the CAD models further before machining of the very expensive Australian moulds. We expect to have the moulds finished and first real cast samples of 16cm SKILLet around early August. Until then, you can imagine how well these pans will perform by knowing how well our existing AUSfonte pans perform, and our expertise in developing innovative new cast iron pans.
Links for more background about cast iron in general, and us in particular:
Independent, unsponsored support for AUSfonte pans:
Key SOLIDTEKNICS news stories and summaries:
♥ Video summary of features of AUSfonte high performance cast iron cookware: https://youtu.be/KR08V2EX76c
♥ For cooks new to cast iron – what to expect: http://www.solidteknics.com/blog/whats-it-all-about-tips-for-anyone-new-to-cast-iron-cooking-or-ausfonte-cast-iron
♥ Madrid Statement about dangers of synthetic nonstick: http://www.solidteknics.com/blog/dont-believe-us-about-dangers-of-nonstick-pans-weve-got-something-to-sell-believe-the-unsponsored-scientists
♥ Australian manufacturing, retail and export success: http://www.solidteknics.com/blog/good-news-for-australian-manufacturing-new-australian-made-ausfonte-cookware-outsells-all-the-old-import-brands
♥ Complete seasoning and care advice doc: http://www.solidteknics.com/australian-fonte-pan-detail
♥ Australian engineers solve ancient problems of cast iron weight and handle heat: http://www.solidteknics.com/blog/australian-engineers-discover-how-to-make-a-big-cast-iron-pan-easy-to-lift
♥ Health benefits of cast iron cooking: http://www.solidteknics.com/blog/these-5-health-benefits-are-cast-in-ironand-4-more-are-literally-cast-in-iron-in-australia
The pledge options at right don't show shipping costs because Kickstarter's system doesn't show shipping costs to backers until they log in to pledge. We don't want any surprises for our supporters, so here are examples of the shipping costs you will see (all costs are quoted in Australian dollars, like our rewards):
- AUSfonte Hemp cloth: $15 flat fee in Australia. $29 flat fee to USA.
- AUSfonte 16cm SKILLet: $19 flat fee in Australia. $39 flat fee to USA.
Kickstarter doesn't allow us to breakdown shipping fees by region, so we need to charge one flat fee per country. We averaged out the costs to different regions, so that means some backers closer to our Adelaide foundry will pay more than average, and those further away will pay much less than the real cost. Sorry, but we can't vary our collective terms for individual cases, so think of it as sharing in the vision!
Note on USA shipping:
Shipping iron to the USA is very expensive (and not inexpensive across Australia), so costs are kept as low as possible by consolidating with the next shipment of inventory to our US distributor. This means shipping USA rewards will take a few weeks, or months, longer than Australian rewards, depending on timing of the next shipment to our distributor after Kickstarter closes.
Note on shipping to other countries:
Shipping to other countries is possible, but costs are significantly higher (because we can't consolidate to one distributor) and therefore would require an additional pledge to cover them. Please contact us in advance of your pledge if you are outside USA or Australia.
Why are we launching more AUSfonte pans on Kickstarter?
Like all our products, we're making the two new AUSfonte pans in Australia, so that means very high mould-making costs (but competitive unit costs once in production).
That's why we've come back to launch again on Kickstarter: if there's enough interest and we make our funding goal we'll be able to fund moulds and production in Australia. If not, we can't, and the product will not be launched.
The Kickstarter system is ideal for our situation: supporters pledge and receive AUSfonte pan rewards as special limited FIRST EDITION dated castings: the most collectible of our pans. If enough funding is achieved to avoid us being 'burned', we launch. If not, the campaign fails and we waste a lot of time, but nobody is billed. 'Safe risk' for everyone!
Kickstarter is crowdfunding, it is NOT online retail......
Not familiar with Kickstarter, or had trouble understanding pledging/rewards in our previous campaigns?
Please remember that SOLIDTEKNICS is a development engineering company, pioneering a new cookware industry for Australia. We are not an importer, and not a retailer, waiting with a warehouse full of generic imports to quickly fill your order. This is much more difficult. There may even be the risk of delayed fulfillment if we encounter unforseen manufacturing challenges. Oh, the horror!
We don't want sales of our products, we want supporters of our vision.
If you want the best retail experience and you're only moderately excited about our products and vision, please DO NOT pledge here on Kickstarter for a product that doesn't yet exist. It is just too hard for the casual shopper. Sure, you won't get a First Edition casting, but if you wait for our retail partners to receive the Cast editions of new products you'll no doubt have a more seamless retail experience: http://www.solidteknics.com/where-to-buy/
Kickstarter quirks and our SOLIDTEKNICS 'house rules'
The Kickstarter system is perfect for proving there's enough support for funding expensive Australian moulds, but it can be 'quirky' for first-timers. So please first familiarise yourself with the overall Kickstarter method here: https://www.kickstarter.com/hello
- Kickstarter collects pledges for our special First Edition rewards on our behalf, but only until the campaign closure deadline. We can't change pledges and we can't take new orders after the campaign closes.
- You really need to read the Kickstarter Updates we send. They contain important information to avoid problems with your pledge.
- You also must respond to the Kickstarter Survey sent after the campaign closes: it's vital. This is the only time we receive shipping details to deliver your rewards (we never see the pledge billing information you give to Kickstarter, and we never re-use shipping databases from previous campaigns: you need to re-enter for each campaign).
- Though we'd love to help, if you have technical issues with the Kickstarter pledging system, please see Kickstarter FAQs and/or ask them directly: it is their system.
Got specific issues during the campaign?
If you have any other issues that are for us to solve, not Kickstarter, please direct message us through Kickstarter, or email us direct: info at solidteknics.com .....please do not run first to post publicly on social media before giving us a chance to resolve your problem. We will occasionally make human errors, but you can be certain of our integrity and you can be certain of our goodwill toward all our backers.
Note: If you do publicly post a troll-like rant designed to damage our reputation, without first giving us the chance to fix your problem in private, your pledge will be immediately cancelled and you will be refunded. We are not interested in taking money from trolls or haters. Again, we have too many great supporters and friends to waste any time otherwise. Thus, we reserve the right to cancel any pledge from anyone who does not share our spirit. Life is too short to not remain true to our vision.....
This is community, not sales. If you know us, you would know we are not here to make fast money with Kickstarter, or SOLIDTEKNICS: we are carefully and patiently building a multi-generation brand based on cooking innovations of multi-century durability. We are building a community of like-minded supporters who trust and believe in our vision for a sustainable Australian cookware industry (clear on our front page: www.solidteknics.com ).
Now that our ground rules and expectations for reciprocal respect are clear, we very much look forward to many years of making many more like-minded friends who are lovers of great food and great Australian-made, sustainable, healthy, competitive, innovative cook's equipment. Thank you for sharing our vision!
World-class Australian Foundry
This video shows the casting of our first major retail production run on 14 October 2014, for our 24cm Sauteuse pan. Bigger castings like BIGskillet and DEEPan are produced on the large fully-automated Disamatic line with automated mould fill.
We reserve worldwide rights to our exclusive use of the following trademarks for kitchenware, in any typographical format, whether or not they are followed by the trademark symbol (TM) throughout this campaign site (and in all our communications). Each of these trademarks are the property of SOLIDTEKNICS Pty Ltd (Australia):
We reserve the same rights for the 'Pan Grill-it' trademark, worldwide, except for within the United States of America (Where Pan Grill-it USA maintains those rights).
Compulsory Kickstarter 'risks' section:
Risks and challenges
We have a very strong grasp of the risks associated with the project, after having (quite successfully) funded and shipped three AUSfonte cast iron pan projects here on Kickstarter.
We are casting SKILLet and Combo RGBF (and all our AUSfonte pans) at the same world-class foundry in South Australia. We believe this campaign will be at least as exciting for old and new supporters, and with new distribution in the USA we're also shipping to US backers at reasonable cost. So we believe we should achieve our funding goal.
Though undeniably very hard work, on the scale of products and businesses I’ve launched, this is certainly at the low risk end. After decades in the chef equipment industry and a long R&D process, I’m very confident the product is the best it can be, for all the reasons listed in the project detail.
If our backers allow us reach our target in time, the funds will be quickly applied to the mould cost and production and we will ship on time (barring 'acts of God'!), as promised by our factory and by us. We have a long and proven track record of keeping our promises and fixing any unexpected issues quickly and thoroughly.
Mark J. HenryLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (55 days)