About this project
Only hours to go, get unique REWARDS
Many of the rewards will NOT be available at all once the project funding ends. Get a poster! Get some greeting cards! The Growing the Garden Fantastic Printed Book! Get them now or forever lament having passed on these unique items designed by 92 artists from all over the world.
GET IN ON THE ACTION!!! Help us reach the Stretch Goal and you too will be rewarded with extra goodies!
STRETCH GOAL SET!
Thank you backers and participant-backers alike! Since we met the initial goal so quickly, let's shoot for the moon! New stretch goal set at $5900. Project is funded regardless of making the stretch goal BUT!
Let's keep sharing the art-venture and every pledge above $40 will get a bonus PRINTED BOOK: Growing the Garden. And everyone, every man, woman and child (who pledges, that is!) will get a commemorative Greeting Card panel. Let all your friends know, keep spreading the word and thank you for supporting and believing in our Fantastic Garden!
You can follow!...
Yes! you can follow the making of the Fantastic Garden start to finish on the PuzzlePrints Blog and here on Kickstarter on the Updates tab. Every doodle, every twist of the saw, the mailing, emails from artists, every block as it arrives with good wishes and notes and doodles from far away lands, the assembling of the final image piece by piece and the fabulous fun and somewhat chaotic printing party.
All of it, step by step in photos and videos and commentary for the world to see. Help us kick-start this project and come along for an art-venture like no other!http://puzzleprints.blogspot.com
What is a Puzzle Print?
Woodcut prints are made by first drawing an image on a block of wood, then carving out the parts that will not be in the image. After carving, what is left is a big "stamp" or relief of the desired image. I roll ink with a roller over the woodblock, place a piece of paper on the inked block, apply pressure and transfer the image on the paper. A beautiful woodcut print is born!
Briefly, a Monumental Puzzle Print is a large design composed of "puzzle pieces", each of which is designed and carved by a unique artist under a common theme. The project director designs and cuts the wood block into puzzle-like pieces, then sends the pieces to participant artists; they carve their own little design and send the tiny piece back. Then the director assembles the carved pieces. The entire design is printed as a woodcut print after the puzzle is reassembled and finally each participant receives a huge print encompassing the entire design.
Why the designs work so well defies artistic comprehension. There is an underlying theme and an encompassing design, yes, but no one participant knows exactly what the adjacent participant will design and carve and, part of the charm, the specific overall design remains somewhat of a mystery until all the pieces come together.
Here are some completed puzzle prints links and the diary of the last awesome adventure where everyone can follow the road to the Fantastic Garden with me:
But a puzzle woodblock print is much more than a design and a resulting awesome work of art! Picture almost one hundred strangers coming together in a collaboration, without knowing what each will bring to the whole, without knowing who will be less than an inch away from them in the final image.
Our artists participate from all over the world, driven by a common goal and a general theme, coming together to offer themselves and the viewer a window into the one moment in time that is the final image. I look at these projects more as a social gathering than a static image; a window of opportunity for a small global cooperative effort that yields something monumental out of a bunch of small humble contributions.
Here are two past projects to scale and a short narrated slide show of how we accomplish such beautiful monumental prints.
This will be my fourth such adventure and I still don't know exactly why I entertain the thought of gathering a rather large group fellow printmakers from all over the world, design a huge design, mail chunks of wood all over the planet, reassemble and print the beast. The whole thing is a bit crazy, a bit impossible, yet with the help of my friends and with your help I feel I can conquer the world. Let's go!
The Theme: Fantastic Garden
Spring has sprung and the tiny buds all over my desert garden motivated me to get this project going. The theme is to be interpreted as tightly or loosely by each participant as they wish; I love getting all the surprises in the mail from my artist friends and you will too!
The overall design will be quite literally, a garden. With artistic license on hand, the design will be more fantasy than real but who cares if trees have eyes, a fish swims in the grass or how big a bee can be!?
The Fantastic Garden will be a four panel woodcut print, each panel 22 x 30 inches, arranged in a rectangular format 2 up and 2 wide. Overall dimensions will be 60 x 44 inches (153 x 112 cm). The blank spaces below, flowers, birds, leafs, tree knots and butterfly wings...get filled with tiny images from each participant contribution!
The mad artist behind the puzzling concept
Maria Arango Diener is a short person full of energy that likes to entertain the impossible and engage friendly accomplices to do just that. She has been a professional artist in the beautiful desert around Las Vegas Nevada USA since 1999. Widely exhibited in the US and worldwide, she has gathered various awards, highlighted by the Nevada Governor's Visual Arts Award in 2005. Her works can be viewed in various permanent collections, among them the Nevada Governor's Mansion and the Clark County/Las Vegas Library District. Art festivals and online shops help her share the prints she makes and she enjoys most when regular people buy them for a few dollars.
A main goal in life is to complete 1000 woodcuts, then start over. You can read more in the See Full Bio page and much more on the Quest for 1000 woodcuts, including all the works and many other exciting art-ventures:
The Very Important Participant Artists
But I am only one artist and the puzzle print projects are much more than the concept and an energetic instigator. My fellow participant artists are the ones that make the simple doodles come alive with their creative contributions and a team of eager volunteers always surprisingly emerges when the ink hits the slab. I could never do this alone.
My 80 contributors come from all over the world, Japan, Brazil, Canada, Bulgaria, US, Turkey, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Australia, Mexico...some I know from online forums and some I have met in person during some printmaking adventure. Some will be completely new to me and the project. Largely, we are all unknown to each other and come together only to make a beautiful and monumental international work of art.
You will get to know them all too, one by one as they send their blocks to me. You can meet them and know them by their works and by the words they write about their little pieces of the puzzle. Each artist will be featured on the blog as their block arrives and later each artist is published in their own page in the book! Yes, there will be a book too telling the whole tale of the Fantastic Garden from beginning to end.
Where the money goes
After a few emails from former allies and calls to renew the puzzle adventures, I carefully reviewed past project finances and decided: I need help!
In the past, these puzzle projects have been more or less self-funded, yet invariably the price of postage sky rockets year by year; with many international participants, mailing can become a huge expense both in actual postage and in mailing cartons and tubes. In printing the woodcut puzzle, we use professional inks and papers and the cost of supplies, especially good quality paper, increases year by year sure as the sun rises! Unexpected expenses creep up here and there, jig-saws break, printing costs for the colophon go up, publishing the book gets more expensive, gasoline prices rise and rise...
And then there is the labor involved! The print team has always been all volunteer and the space for printing has been graciously donated or else paid for by some generous participants. I personally spend around 300 very happy hours during a year conceiving, drawing, chopping, mailing, assembling, carving, printing and mailing again!
Kickstarter was a blissful find! The platform allows for backers to get involved for the love of art and hopefully fully fund the project. Additionally this is really a social adventure and often I have traveled to various volunteer studios to team print the final image. Often I have covered expenses for artists that wanted to participate but just could not afford to do so; they received "scholarships" funded by other members and these too can be offered with full funding.
With funding, I can include adequate payment for rental of the print studio, cover travel expenses for the print team and allow the director's pocket to breathe a little easier. In the past I have had to personally cover many of the extras, somehow, someway, this time I hope to fully fund all expenses prior to starting.
Should we exceed the goal, additional honorariums for printers can be secured, an exhibition print can be properly framed and the exhibit promoted adequately, expenses of all volunteers can be covered, gosh, I can actually buy mailers rather than making them out of discarded cardboard!
In short, the existence and well-being of producing the Fantastic Garden very much depends on the funding received. The planning is done, eighty artists around the world await eagerly, knives on hand, designs fluttering in our heads...Your help is needed now to go forward!
What happens if (gasp!) we don't reach the goal?
How this works!
Kickstarter is about rewarding creative projects with backers who support artists in our creative endeavors. Various pledges from supporters earn the artistic rewards from the project. If the initial goal is not reached, none of our backer friends gets charged anything and life goes on!
If the goal is reached then everyone's payment goes through and me and 80 artists get to work for you! If we surpass our goal, we will reward everyone with extra goodies and dance a happy dance!
Should we not reach our goal, oh no! well, I go back to the drawing board and try to come up with funding some other way. Eventually I can save enough money to almost fund the projects but they are now more and more expensive to produce and it is very unlikely that we can move forward. Participants give time and artistic talent to the project and, although they have been generous in the past, many just cannot come up with a higher participation fee to cover rising costs.
We need your help!
Without funding we will not be able to make beautiful art together. The life of an artist is full of blissful highs and unfortunately crushing lows. Life and art will go on, just not this art and not just now.
The rewards are set, the final image sketched and participants eagerly await. We can't wait to get the monumental print printed, all we need is you to get involved by backing us and we will take you along on the monumental adventure that will be the making of the Fantastic Garden.
Rewards: Something for Everyone!
I believe in spreading the love of art with everyone that loves art. Rewards start at just $5 and there are many cool rewards to be had for under $50. Generous collectors have a chance to acquire the Fantastic Garden Original Woodcut Print! For the first time we make the original puzzle woodcut print available to art lovers other than participant artists.
I racked my brain for additional ways to raise money and as I was doodling away planning the Fantastic Garden image, I thought the happy doodles would make nice woodcuts so the preliminary doodles will also become original woodcut prints! These doodles made me step out of my usual style and they will be some work to do but without a doubt, if we get fully funded, they will be the happiest woodcuts I will ever make!
With the final image yet to emerge from participant contributions, the following are rewards illustrated with past project images and preliminary sketches of the Fantastic Garden.
All reproductions are quality printed by a professional print lab on premium archival matte white paper. All original woodcuts are limited in edition to the number of backers; no additional editions will be printed after the project funding closes.
Pledge just $5 - Greeting Card Panels a reproduction of a panel from the final image printed on a greeting card suitable for framing or gifting, size 5 x 7 inches.
Pledge just $5 - Greeting Card in Color a reproduction of a colored preliminary sketch doodle printed on a greeting card suitable for framing or gifting, size 5 x 7 inches.
Pledge $12 for a coloring book of fantastic garden doodles set of reproduced black and white sketch doodles and color your own; line preliminary drawings made for rendering the final image. Printed on quality bond white paper.
Pledge $18 get the e-book! the tale of the making a monumental collaborative puzzle print Fantastic Garden in PDF Version, suitable for your favorite e-book reader. Contains all the participant images, information on each print, overall panels with maps and process notes and photos.
Pledge $25 for an 8 x 10 inches One-Panel Quality Digital Reproduction of a random panel from the final image, printed on archival matte paper suitable for framing.
Pledge $25 for a Set of Greeting Cards size 5 x 7, each with one reproduction of the panels of the Fantastic Garden. The entire image, pocket size! or Pledge $25 and get a Set of Greeting Cards with the Preliminary Sketch-Doodles in Color.
Pledge $35 get the BOUND BOOK "GROWING THE FANTASTIC GARDEN" The tale of the making a monumental collaborative puzzle print Fantastic Garden. PAPERBACK BOOK 8.5" x 11", perfect binding, white interior paper (60# weight), black and white interior ink, white exterior paper (100# weight), full-color cover. Individually signed by the project director. Contains all the participant images, information on each print, overall panels with maps and process notes and photos.
Pledge $37 get a limited edition ONE ORIGINAL WOODCUT SKETCH DOODLE PRINT, black and white original woodcut from a preliminary doodle sketch, size approximately 8 x 10 inches. Printed on archival paper, suitable for framing. LImited edition of 60, signed and numbered. Four images available.
Pledge $40 and YOU GET TO PLAY! Participant Level
Sign up to carve a block and be a part of the Fantastic Garden. Complete instructions can be downloaded here:
Participants at this level receive: 1. One 5 x 6 inch wood block to design and carve and return to me at participant's expense, by the deadline of August 31, 2013
2. After team prints project, you then receive the entire four-panel original woodcut print, printed in black ink on 4 sheets of 22 x 30 inches archival paper.
3. Complete printed information colophon with participant map of the entire print and individual print information submitted by each participant about their chosen image.
4. Participants agree to allow director to print as many additional original copies of the original as there are backers AND to reproduce images for fulfilling backer's rewards, production of the book and for promotional purposes on the affiliated web sites.
PLEASE READ PROJECT INFORMATION, read instructions on the puzzle print blog http://puzzleprints.blogspot.com or download from the link or email director for complete set of instructions and/or with questions!
Pledge $95 and get a giant quality reproduction 40 x 32 inches printed on quality matte archival paper. All the panels, the whole image above your couch!
Pledge $98 and Get an Original Woodcut Color Print from the Preliminary Sketch Doodles. Four images available, limited edition signed and numbered.
1. Tree and a Bee
2. About the Pond
3. Fluttering Above
4. Under the Canopy
Pledge $180 and get inky fingers! Studio Pass allows you to rub elbows with experienced printers, pick our brains, catch tips and tricks, crank the press, use my tools and carve your own print...8 hours of studio time, lunch and souvenirs included.
Pledge $580 COLLECTOR'S SPECIAL FANTASTIC GARDEN ORIGINAL WOODCUT - Complete Fantastic Garden original woodcut print, with contributions by 80 artists worldwide, a set of four original woodcut panels size 22 x 30 inches each, printed on archival printmaking paper with black ink; also the PAPERBACK BOOK Growing the Fantastic Garden which includes all the information on making the print, participant information, the individual pieces on each page and process photos. Limited edition to number of participants and number of backers during funding period.
Pledge $1080 PATRON SPECIAL Limited Reward ORIGINAL SET OF 80 ORIGINAL WOODCUTS IN FOLIO WITH BOOK - One complete set of all the individual pieces contributed by 80 artists worldwide, each printed on 8 x 10 inch archival paper along with the information sheet on each print. That is a total of 80 original woodcut prints in a limited collector's edition. A bound cloth presentation folio encloses the woodcuts and the book Growing the Fantastic Garden is also included. No additional editions printed after funding period.
There are more and more! See all the Rewards for value combinations and special deals.
Make your own combo deals, email me and I will add the reward and/or note your preferences. Get what you like!
Whew... Thank you Everyone!
I am very excited about launching yet another of these collaborative prints. I cannot thank past and present participants enough, they make the image, they help and encourage and they make all the work very much worthwhile.
Thank you to my reviewers who help me build the blueprint of the Fantastic Garden with guidance and words of encouragement.
Credit for the main video goes to photographer/videographer Michael Kelly of Las Vegas Nevada USA http://www.howtobemichaelkelly.com
I also want to thank YOU all the supporters of this project with all my heart. Without you there is no purpose for our art, no audience for the artist, no eyes for our images. Our hearts thank you. Thanks for helping us grow our Fantastic Garden!
Risks and challenges
I rather enjoy gathering in complicity about 80 printmakers from around the globe without knowing who will receive my precious blocks. It is risky, of course, because I don't really "know" many of the participants, and some blocks have gone missing without a trace. But they can be replaced as I meticulously make a tracing of each before sending it off across the oceans.
Then there are delays, invariably, whether the project is scheduled for a year or four months, there always seem to be procrastinators. I always say I am going to get tough on deadlines and invariably I end up waiting. With a scheduled printing session (printing party, we call it) and volunteers who make plane reservations, delays can cause a bit of havoc but somehow we have managed in the past to set a firm deadline and more or less stick to it. I have set generous dates for delivering the rewards and plan on meeting them.
Will I get 80 artists to participate? Last project gathered 126 and between all my previous puzzle projects I have 384 artist-friends around the globe. Very likely the participant cadre will be filled; in the unlikely event that I'm short a participant or several, I can call on local artists or just go ahead with less artists. Bigger blocks for everyone!
The key to keep everyone motivated is, of course, encouragement and feedback. I prod and beg and report faithfully and for that we have a dedicated blog: http://puzzleprints.blogspot.com in which I will jot down progress notes and images and videos too!
Finally, although I dread the thought, I have done all the printing and mailing on my own before. Limiting the number of participants to 80 will serve to make the project manageable, even if I'm the only one at the press when the inking begins, the project will be completed. Who needs sleep?!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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