About this project
It's the final day. Wow. It's been a fun ride. Thanks to each and every one of you who helped make this project a success!
I can't edit this page after the campaign closes, so here's an invitation to my web site: Come to the Renaissance Playing Cards web site!
You can also follow updates by clicking on the “Updates” link at the top of this page.
If there are any “dead links” below, click here to come to my main Renaissance Playing Cards page and click around from there.
The return of a classic deck of cards!
Over 30 years ago I drew a deck of illustrated cards and sold them at Renaissance Festivals. They were popular, quickly sold out and have been unavailable for many years. Please help me publish a new edition, featuring NEW color illustrated backs for a TWO deck set of Renaissance Playing Cards with 54 different drawings. Yes, the face cards have 54 different illustrations drawn from the years 1066 to 1400…from the end of the Dark Ages on through the Renaissance. Plus two illustrated jester cards. And of course each deck is in its own colorful box.
Every drawing is the result of researching illuminated manuscripts, tapestries and paintings. What I usually found was a lot of dreary looking people, but upon further reflection I realized behind every scene was something peculiar or humorous. That’s what I have tried to capture in every illustration.
Once the order is placed it takes about eight weeks for the cards to be printed and delivered. And I'll place the order as soon as the goal is met to get as early a jump as possible! That means I will be able to mail these out in mid-November…plenty of breathing time before Christmas! These will make nice gifts for those impossible to shop for people that you need to please or impress (although you may not care deep down).
Free Worthless Thing
After I drew these cards, I got to thinking. Remember the Greek philosopher Euripides who said "Cleverness is not wisdom"? Well, wisdom is what you have when the money is all gone. So I thought "Why can't I write a fortune telling guide?" So I meditated on each card and when a thought made me laugh, I knew instinctively that was the right fortune. In order not to disappoint, I present it a "Free worthless thing". My lifelong philosophy, which I recommend to you, is, "If you aren't happy, lower your standards." The booklet is 24 pages long, hand-lettered from cover to cover and is included free with every deck of cards.
Add-ons…neat extra stuff!
These add-ons were created expressly for this Kickstarter campaign. I don't know if any of them will ever surface again. As the old philosopher once said, "Mebe…mebe not…"
Illustrated T-Shirts add $12 each
Silkscreened artwork from the deck on high-quality Gildan brand t-shirts. Some t-shirts are from 4 oz cotton, some 5 oz cotton…these are 6 ounce cotton! That's how much a square yard of the cotton material weighs, so higher is better.
Your choice of 2 designs and 10 colors. Specify the color shirt and which print you want when you pledge! The "Reluctant Knight" on the left or "Duel" on the right. Click to see big images and big color swatches.
Uncut sheets Add $30
A full, uncut sheets of cards. I don't know exactly how they'll distribute the cards on the final sheets, but they'll all be there! They will be numbered, signed and limited to what the printer sends me…I am expecting 100 but it might be less. When they're gone, they're gone!
Full color prints of card backs! Add $25 for both! (above, right)
Signed prints of both card backs (that's 2 prints) in full-color on 11" x 14" 2-ply acid-free Bristol board. This is the same paper I like to use for my pen & ink drawings. Limited edition only with this Kickstarter campaign.
A print of any card Add $15 each
Select any card (including jesters) and you will get a signed 11" x 14" print on 2-ply acid-free Bristol board. Printed in black and red like the originals. Limited edition only available with this Kickstarter campaign. Remember to tell me which card you chose!
Cribbage board Add $35
Laser-engraved illustration. 14" long x 4" x wide x 3/4" thick hard maple, with pegs and instructions included. I suspect you'll be the only person on your block with one of these. Limited edition for this campaign only (and only shipped to the USA, because they are big!).
See the bargain bundles in the rewards list for great deals!
Jigsaw puzzle Add $24
This puzzle contains every face card in the deck! About 11" x 14" — 252 pieces. See the package deals in the rewards list to save money!
Here is a time-lapse video of fast Fran and pokey me putting the puzzle together.
Add $5 for all 5 embossed poker chips
or only $15 for 20 chips!
You get 5 poker chips with custom art embossed in gold. High quality clay composite 11.5 gram poker chips with dice around the edge. They will be white, red, blue, green and black (the examples below were just for practice…yes, I will be embossing them myself because I'm picky). If this project succeeds, I'll be making a surprise 5th chip with a new illustration!
Come to my Renaissance Playing Cards web site to see all the poker chips.
Steps to completion
Kickstarter campaign starts
As soon as the goal is met I order the playing cards
Kickstarter campaign ends
Sort out the orders
Gather materials for shipping
Make address labels
Order extra rewards (t-shirts, puzzles, cribbage boards, poker chips)
Make and sign prints
Emboss poker chips
Card order comes in
Sign and number uncut sheets
Pack orders up and label the boxes and…
Below are 15 examples of the cards' illustrations.
Card quality and specifications
First off, these are "bridge size" playing cards, which are a bit narrower than poker size. This is the size mostly used in casinos. You can play any card game with bridge size, but poker size is too large for games where you might need to hold a bunch of cards. In a few words, you can use these cards for any card game!
Playing card paper stock weight generally varies from 250 to 315 gsm (grams per square meter). Weight literally means how much a square meter of the paper weighs, so one can use it to estimate thickness, too. A heavier paper has better "snap" so I chose the premium/highest weight/greatest thickness of 315 gsm for these cards.
The paper stock is "black-centered art board" which means it is a sandwich of two outer layers of paper with a layer of black graphite in between. Multiple layers makes them stronger (like plywood) and the black center means you can't see through them (to protect even the weakest-willed from the temptation of trying to see through the cards).
They will be coated on both sides with a UV-cured (ultra-violet) coating. This clear coating provides heightened gloss along with higher levels of durability. The solid nature of the coating also provides an excellent slip property to the deck of cards for easier shuffling.
After years of investigation and research (am I thorough or slow?), I have selected TMcards as my printer. They have a long, proud history of printing playing cards. I have already inspected sample decks from them and feel assured they will do a good job with my cards.
Shipping will be by USPS First Class or Priority Mail.
Overseas customers will have to be responsible for any special surprise import fees or tariffs (there might not be any, I just don't know everything!). I have made special bundles available for international orders that makes sure the box is full. Why? Because I want our friends across the seas to get a good deal! The shipping rates are high, but these are flat rate boxes, so it makes no sense to ship half empty boxes! I hope that makes sense.
The music in the videos is performed by Jon Sales. He generously allows it to be used royalty-free. Click here to hear more of his music and read more about each piece. The music is actually from the 1500's. The pieces are "My Lady Carey's Dompe" (dompe mean lively dance), Der Hund (The Hound), Nightingale, and The Witches' Dance.
Risks and challenges
Golly, I’ll have to get creative to think up some risks. All the cards are already drawn, so if fortune smiles and this campaign is funded, all I have to do is place the printing order. And while the cards are being printed I can prepare all the shipping boxes and mailing labels.
I suppose highwaymen or pirates might waylay the shipment, but I think insurance would cover that. I might die, but I can leave a note for my heirs. If I happen to see the futility in existence and become a monk I shall endeavor to complete this campaign as my farewell to everyday life.
Everything in life requires at least a smidgeon of faith. I remember a lecture once where the speaker proclaimed, “You say you have no faith? If you didn’t have faith you will wake up in the morning, you wouldn’t go to sleep tonight!” I hope you will be able to sleep while awaiting your cards.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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- (28 days)