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Making sculpture and leading workshops in Bali: Cultural exchange through art process.
Making sculpture and leading workshops in Bali: Cultural exchange through art process.
77 backers pledged $7,782 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

HABITAT~place time situation~BALI project video thumbnail
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The exchange that occurs between myself and a new (to me) environment, people, culture, and technical challenges ALWAYS deepens my conviction that beneath all the beautiful and perplexing variety we see in life is a radical unity binding everything together.

Details of "Spontaneous Garden" and "Orbit," both 2012.
Details of "Spontaneous Garden" and "Orbit," both 2012.

WHO IS EVA CHAMPAGNE?

I am an artist living in on the banks of the Bitterroot river, just outside the city limits of Missoula, Montana. I create enigmatic sculptures that exist in the fluid margins between the categories of animal, vegetable, or mineral. My work is important because it encourages reflection upon the natural world and what it has to teach us about balance, unity, reciprocity, delight and awe. In addition to being a maker, I teach whenever I get the chance: all kinds of ceramics topics, painting, drawing and art appreciation. The more I explore the world and interpret it through my work, the more enthusiastic, understanding and effective a teacher and mentor I am to my students.

More about me.

My CV

"All Things Glitter and Swim," "Endless Circulation," and "Trust the Instinct to the End," all 2010.
"All Things Glitter and Swim," "Endless Circulation," and "Trust the Instinct to the End," all 2010.

WHAT WILL I ACCOMPLISH AT GAYA CERAMIC ART CENTER?

I have THREE main objectives for this project:

  • Successfully connect with the creative energy of the arts community in Ubud and facilitate two Thematic Immersion Workshops.

  • Absorb all I can of the environment and cultural milieu and conscientiously record my work's progress, sharing it with you, my backers, through regular communication, images and incentives.

  • Complete this dream residency with a strong, ambitious closing exhibition for the public.

HOW CAN YOU HELP, AND WHY KICKSTARTER?

Going to Bali to pursue learning, teaching and sculpture, while priceless for my work, is expensive, and this project is beyond my means. But I'm determined to make it happen, and with YOUR generous contribution we can do it together! The minimum total cost of this project is $6,000. With incentives from $10 to $4,000 there is a wonderful prize for every level of investment!

Kickstarter is a secure site for artists and investors--not donors--to find each other and make creative projects happen. It's not charity; I offer valuable, one-of-a-kind incentives made by myself in exchange for your support. This project has been reviewed and approved by Kickstarter, and no funds or incentives will change hands unless the project is FULLY FUNDED. With Kickstarter, if I do not meet my funding goal of $6,000, the project receives nothing! Yikes!

A few incentives! Mugs, pitchers, jars and soap dishes.
A few incentives! Mugs, pitchers, jars and soap dishes.

WHY BALI?

I am enthralled by the complexity, vibrancy and fantastical color and symbolic imagery of the art traditions of Bali in particular. As an artistically-inclined girl growing up in Hong Kong, the arts traditions of Asia, especially China, Korea, India and Southeast Asia were a huge influence on my development. Now, at last, I have the chance to spend two months working at the studios of Gaya Ceramic Art Center in Ubud, Bali. With your help, a lifelong dream can come true for me!

Balinese art and culture are well known for variety, lushness and liveliness of expression. There are many layers of motif and meaning, and these can be different from one village to the next. Social structures are exquisitely complex. The dominant religion is Hinduism, but of course, it is a very idiosyncratic form, at times difficult to recognize as a relation to traditional Hinduism. Bali has experienced a volatile history as well as a romantic reputation worldwide as a Shangri-La, with people visiting from around the globe to experience what early anthropologist Margaret Mead referred to as "intricate and formal delights." Its tropical island setting includes tangled jungles and arid zones, terraced rice paddies and extensive irrigation canals, coral reefs, volcanoes, monsoons. There will be no shortage of natural or cultural influences.

WHY TRAVEL SO FAR TO MAKE ART?

It's about so much more than just making objects! Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote:

Every chemical substance, every plant, every animal in its growth teaches the Unity of Cause, the variety of appearance.

By taking my studio practice to far-flung places, I am able to directly encounter evidence of the veracity of the above statement, discover new ways to embed this conviction into my work and share it with new audiences. Understanding and adaptation are the name of the game. This is my lifelong inspiration for making work. I seek out experiences that will take me out of what I perceive to be my comfort zone on several levels: technical, cultural and artistic.


I do this because with each new situation, I grow and find more proof that commonality outweighs differences on every level, and this is what makes me tick! I delight in discovering the uniqueness of a place, and then get really excited when I'm able to connect the idiosyncrasies to a deeper shared reality. Novelty becomes tempered by familiarity. Contradictions produce harmony. Barriers dissolve.

More incentives: Clockwise from top left: examples of some wall boxes with tinies, a "Tiny Habitat," small bowls/teacups, two portrait studies (actual portrait incentive is a finished piece; these are quick sketches), and finally some trivets in progress
More incentives: Clockwise from top left: examples of some wall boxes with tinies, a "Tiny Habitat," small bowls/teacups, two portrait studies (actual portrait incentive is a finished piece; these are quick sketches), and finally some trivets in progress
And more incentives: Wall boxes, flowerbud vases and wall hanging vases.
And more incentives: Wall boxes, flowerbud vases and wall hanging vases.


MAKE THE MAGIC HAPPEN:

Bali, which provided so much inspiration during my childhood and beyond, has offered me this opportunity of a lifetime:

Two months (October-November 2013) to make work in the studio and fire the wood kiln at Gaya Ceramic Art Center, two workshops to teach, and an exhibit at the end to share with the Gaya and Ubud communities what has been made. It's ideal!

The only problem is, it is not a paid residency. I am responsible for getting myself there, housing and feeding myself, and the shipment of any work I hope to share with future audiences. The expense is beyond my resources.

I need YOUR help to make this dream a reality. After thorough research, I estimate the minimum cost of this venture to be $6,000. This amount will cover just the very basics.

I have developed an exciting, varied list of incentives to encourage you to participate in this project. Everything is made by my hands, for you. In addition, I would like to invite you to come along, virtually. Have you ever wondered what goes on in an artist's studio? How about one in Bali? How do I build my sculptures, what is the creative process like? What's it like to fire a kiln? You are invited to share my experiences through images, video, and candid, thoughtful writing from me to you, my backers. I hope this comes close to expressing how grateful I am for your support!


Installation view of "Holding-Releasing Organomorph Series," 2009 at Le Cabanon, Vallauris, France.
Installation view of "Holding-Releasing Organomorph Series," 2009 at Le Cabanon, Vallauris, France.


"A Collection of Sources," 2011.
"A Collection of Sources," 2011.



Installation view and details: "Eden Adrift," 2012. Amelia Tapper Center Gallery, Gulf Coast State College, Panama City, FL.
Installation view and details: "Eden Adrift," 2012. Amelia Tapper Center Gallery, Gulf Coast State College, Panama City, FL.

THE WORKSHOPS:

Art making and story telling are amazing vehicles for meaningful exchange between an instructor and the participants of a workshop. I don't see these workshops as merely showing people some techniques, or talking just about ceramics but as a chance to get to know people and learn their unique stories as well. How do they relate to art making, what are the themes that inspire them?

The Balinese have a phrase, desa, kala, patra, or "place, time, situation." It is a saying that "suggests the need for contextualization, the necessity of trying to understand how the meaning of events or objects are unique to specific circumstances and can differ by location and over time." (Bali: Art, Ritual, Performance, edited by Natasha Reichle) There are many unique meanings behind each person's journey, and once the context is understood, so is the shared aspect of the story. We learn from each other and walk away with greater understanding and uplifted spirits.

"Sustaining Elation" and "Vigor and Restraint," both 2012.
"Sustaining Elation" and "Vigor and Restraint," both 2012.

The first workshop is called "Animal Vegetable Mineral." This workshop is about creating organic sculptures through the synthesis and abstraction of forms and patterns found in nature. Hand building techniques of coil, slab and pinching keep the process direct and tactile, resulting in vivid, evocative sculptures that will encourage an open-ended interpretation of form. This is my approach to working in a nutshell.

"Quiver," 2012.
"Quiver," 2012.

The second is called "Beyond the Picture Plane." Clay and glaze are wonderful materials for exploring painterly surface color and texture as well as sculptural form. In this workshop we'll combine relief techniques and sculptural building with a variety of surface treatments and glazes, resulting in a dynamic yet integrated work of art.

THE EXHIBITION:
I will build at least five free standing sculptures as well as a large, multi-part installation that fit together geometrically and are further linked organically. I'll be using stoneware clay and porcelain. That is the basic layout for the body of work. The specific formal outcome will be a result of the interplay between this pre-planned structure and my direct contact with the environment, both natural and cultural, interpretation through the materials, control of the firing process (see below), and response to the exhibition space.

I plan to fire the work in Gaya's anagama kiln. An anagama kiln is a "cave" style kiln which uses wood as fuel. It is long and narrow, sloping uphill from the firebox to the chimney. The firebox, at the bottom of the kiln, is the tallest part of the chamber, and this is where most of the wood is introduced. Along the side walls of the kiln are also openings for stoking. (Here is a fine explanation of anagama kilns from Wikipedia) Wood firing takes patience, skill, and stamina. A firing usually takes several days to complete, with round- the-clock stoking, making it a cooperative, bonding group activity. I hope that firing the anagama at Gaya will foster a sense of community and teamwork between myself and the other participants, a time to share stories around the kiln and rally behind the common goal of a successful firing.

Sculptures showing the effects of wood firing, and also an image of me checking the wood-soda kiln at Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center, Skaelskor, Denmark, 2011.
Sculptures showing the effects of wood firing, and also an image of me checking the wood-soda kiln at Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center, Skaelskor, Denmark, 2011.

A wood burning kiln will reach temperatures upward of 2500 degrees Farenheit (1400 Celsius). At such high, sustained heat, the ceramics inside the kiln become molten, and the wood ash flows around the kiln, riding on drafts, to rest on the objects, thereby glazing them. Every firing is different, and variables include how the kiln was stacked to allow (or not allow) free flow of the flames and ash, what kind of wood is used, how quickly or slowly the temperature rises at the start and cools at the end, how long the goal temperature is held, even the weather, and the will of the Kiln Gods. With all of these things influencing a firing's outcome, it becomes clear that the results are an explicit record of a unique process and cannot be precisely predicted. One has to have faith in the process and be flexible in one's expectations for their work. People spend their whole lives studying this art form, yet can find something wonderfully surprising (or disappointing!) about every firing.

Given what we know about wood firing, one can say there is a parallel between the process and the Balinese saying, desa, kala, patra. However, the very things that make every firing so idiosyncratic are also those that create a thread of consistency throughout: atmosphere, fire, wood, and clay.

"Sustaining Elation" and "Vigor and Restraint," both 2012.
"Sustaining Elation" and "Vigor and Restraint," both 2012.

THE EXPERIENCE:

I look forward to the challenging, exhilarating process of translating my research and experiences into sculpture, and for the first time sharing this process with you, my backers. It will require of me honesty and a willingness to be vulnerable, since it is usually such a private, intuitive experience. I welcome the challenge! I'll communicate at least once a week with images and videos. I invite you to correspond with me, ask me questions, share your thoughts! Let's have a conversation...

Another challenge I welcome is that of making all of your incentives. I love to be busy, and I love to share my work with others. It gives me a lot of pleasure to think of sending work of mine around the world to friends, new and familiar, and to know that each of you who helps me fulfill this dream receives a share of the dream as well.

Discover Bali through an artist's eyes....become inspired...THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!

"A Short and Turbulent Pleasure," 2010.
"A Short and Turbulent Pleasure," 2010.

Risks and challenges

The biggest risk of all is mine if the project isn't funded!

These are some technical risks: sometimes pieces crack, even explode in the kiln, or they just break from being dropped or knocked over. A wood-firing can be tough on sculptures. I address these risks by ALWAYS making more work than I need! I also take great care in choosing a very strong clay body that can handle a lot of thermal shock. And, I cooperate with people who know the particular kiln and its "personality" and load effectively, ensuring the best results possible.

Shipping will be exciting! I intend to ship all incentives to United States-based backers from the U.S. I'll ship international backers their incentives from Bali. I have listed most incentives' arrival time as January, 2014. I believe many will arrive much sooner, but, as always with private carriers and the US Mail alike, there could be delays. Tracking will help with this potentiality.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Postcard of my sculpture with a hand written Thank You message, mailed from Bali. That means cool stamps too! And my undying gratitude!

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    A one-of-a-kind, made-by-Eva postcard, with hand written Thank You note, mailed from Bali. Undying gratitude!

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    One-of-a-kind, made-by-Eva card in envelope with hand written Thank You note, mailed from Bali. Everlasting thankfulness!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A year-long reminder of your support! You'll receive a desk top calender with a different image for each month of my studio and works in progress, the exhibit and things that inspired the work around Bali. And a Thank You note.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    A hand-made porcelain magnet in my quasi-botanical style, AND the desk top calender with an image for each month of my studio and works in progress, the exhibit and inspiring things from my surroundings in Bali. Feel good all year long about your support for the arts as well as your support for the grocery list on your fridge! And, of course, a Thank You note.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Oh, the things you'll post on your refrigerator with this set of three original, hand-made porcelain magnets in my quasi-botanical style! Maybe you'll post my Thank You note?

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    An original, hand-made trivet or tile. The design is made with relief carving and glaze application. It's a very classy way to keep your hot dishes from burning the table, or a sweet decorative element anywhere in your home. These are about 6 inches square. There's an image at left of some red earthenware examples in progress. More will be made to fire in the wood kiln at Gaya. Also, a Thank You note!

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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    A one-of-a-kind soap dish in red earthenware. I made these on the wheel and decorated them with glaze and resist, some carving, and what we call "sprigging" which is when you add small clay attachments to a ceramic object. The "sprigs" hold your soap up from the surface so it doesn't sit in water and get gooey. Use this for your guest bath or by the kitchen sink. Image is at left; please allow me to choose your soap dish for you, I'll pick you a good one! And, a Thank You note!

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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    Sip or scoop: a wheel-thrown tea bowl/small bowl. At 2.5 inches tall and 4 inches wide, it's the perfect size for tea (my favorite is chrysanthemum) or a healthy dollop of frozen yoghurt. There is an image at left; please allow me to choose yours for you. And you know what else? A Thank You note!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    5" x 7" Mixed media drawing on quality paper. Drawing is a big part of my process, so I'll be taking original drawings done in the studio and around Ubud and developing them into complete works. You'll receive a one-of-a-kind piece of art, and part of my thought process for the exhibit all in one, and I Thank You for it!

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    Drink a toast to philanthropy and artistic inquiry! Receive a wheel thrown tumbler/rocks cup I'll make in Bali and fire in Gaya's wood kiln. That's right: an actual piece of Balinese earth shaped by my hot little hands, for your hot little hands, filled with your favorite cold beverage. And don't forget: the Thank You note!

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    Maybe you rather fancy a hot beverage with which to toast your philanthropy. I've got you covered. How about a wheel-thrown, original mug about 5 inches tall? Each is one-of-a-kind, hand decorated red earthenware; examples are pictured at left. And for your generous support: a Thank You note from me!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Brighten your world, as you have brightened mine with your support! Receive a hand-built flowerbud vase, of diminutive proportions but generous appeal. No two are ever alike, and each projects a jaunty kind of grace with or without flowers. Pictured at left are some examples of my red earthenware bud vases (not the actual ones I'll make for you but along those lines) and I'll be making some more at Gaya to fire in their wood kiln. Everlasting gratitude expressed in a note from me.

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    Pledge $110 or more About $110

    More floral: A hanging flower vase. Lightweight enough, even filled with water and flowers, to hang from a small nail, each one-of-a-kind hanging vase is hand-built and decorated. See the image at left for some examples of these vases (I'll be making new ones for you). I'll also make more of these in Bali to be fired in the wood kiln at Gaya. And guess what--a Thank You note too!

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    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    Pure pleasure in the form of a decorative wall box. The examples shown at left are all lozenge shaped, but I make different shaped wall boxes. Each is hand built and one of a kind. They have four holes in the back in the cardinal directions, so they can be hung any way you prefer. Some will be red earthenware and some will be stoneware and fired in the wood kiln at Gaya. Heatfelt thanks in a note from me to you.

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    Pledge $130 or more About $130

    A large, one-of-kind red earthenware pitcher, made on the wheel by me! This incentive does triple duty: it can be a pitcher for serving cool drinks, a flower vase, or even a crock to gracefully hold kitchen utensils. They are pictured at left, and are between 6.5 and 8 inches tall. The glaze designs continue onto the bottom of the pitcher, too! Please allow me to choose your pitcher for you, I promise I'll pick a good one (they're all good!). Inside you'll find a Thank You note from me.

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    Pledge $140 or more About $140

    A hand-made lidded jar, thrown on the potter's wheel, and decorated using glaze and resist. Each one is the only of its kind. Made of red earthenware. Keep treasures or treats inside! Check them out in the image to the left, taken in my studio (as a lot of the images are). Please allow me to pick the one you receive; they are all delightful (if I may say so myself)! Inside you'll find a Thank You note from me!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    A Tiny Habitat! This is a red earthenware (or stoneware if made at Gaya) box that houses a delicate and lively porcelain sculpture. The size is usually about 4 inches cubed. These Habitats embody the idea of dichotomy, both in the branches and divisions of the botanically-inspired porcelain piece, and in the contradiction between the fragility and vulnerability of the porcelain and the stability and protection of the earthenware or stoneware box. See the two examples to the left; each is one of a kind. You'll be glad you picked this one, and I Thank You in my note included with the work.

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    Wall hanging Habitat. A niche for your Tiny. I hand build these from red earthenware (or stoneware if made at Gaya) and they each house a botanically inspired, delicate porcelain sculpture. The image to the left shows a circular Habitat with a square opening, but I make different shapes. No two are ever the same. They're usually about 6 inches around, and about 3 inches deep. Hangs easily from a nail, and includes a Thank You note.

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    Pledge $225 or more About $225

    A Tiny Habitat AND a 5" x 7" original drawing completed while in Bali at the residency. See for yourself the connections and (sometimes circuitous) journey from drawing to building. And, a Thank You note.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    A Tiny Habitat AND the desk calender AND a hand made trivet/tile. The Habitat of course includes the one-of-a-kind botanically-inspired porcelain sculpture housed in a red earthenware or stoneware open-sided box. The calender will have a different picture each month of my works in progress, the final exhibit at Gaya and inspiring surroundings in Ubud. The trivet (with an original design carved and glazed) will very happily and attractively save your tabletop from being burned by hot pots, or just be lovely somewhere. Examples of habitats and trivets are pictured at left. And I did not forget: a Thank You note.

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    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    A wall box made of red earthenware or stoneware with a porcelain Tiny centered on it AND the desk calender with images from Bali that I have taken, AND a tumbler/rocks cup.The wall boxes for this option are usually squarish, and about 4 inches wide and 3 inches deep. They are lightweight and hang easily from a small nail. There is an example shown to the left. Of course, I Thank You in an enclosed note as well!

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Another winning trifecta: Receive a Tiny Habitat, AND a set of two tumblers/rocks cups made at Gaya, AND the desk calender with images of my work, the exhibit and inspiring surroundings of Ubud, Bali. Share your good deed toward a grateful artist with a friend over a favorite beverage! And, a Thank You note.

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Own a piece of the exhibit! Have delivered to your door one of the pieces of the large installation. Made in a series to fit together, each will yet be a unique, hand-made sculpture in its own right. It will be made of stoneware fired in the anagama kiln and porcelain. Your piece will easily hang on the wall by a nail, enlivening your art collection. Includes a Thank You note from me!

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    One of the pieces of the large installation AND a tumbler/rocks cup with which to drink to your genius in backing such a worthy project! The sculpture will be made of stoneware (and porcelain) and fired in the anagama kiln, as will the cup. Cheers to that Thank You note from me, too!

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    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    A bit of a departure: A portrait of yourself or a loved one drawn by me! You may have been wondering why I included portrait studies to the left. This is why. You send me a couple photos of the (human, please!) subject, and I will draw their portrait using pastels and/or mixed media on quality paper, suitable for framing. A drawn portrait is not only a good likeness, but can capture the spark of personality in a way that a photograph often doesn't. A February delivery means a great Valentine's Day gift! And, a Thank You note!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    A piece from the large installation from the exhibit in Bali in stoneware and porcelain AND a 5" x 7" mixed media drawing. Drawing is a big part of my process, so I'll be taking original drawings done in the studio and around Ubud and developing them into complete works. With this combination, you'll be able to see some of the links between drawing and working in 3D. The piece from the exhibit will hang easily from a nail, it will be quite lightweight. You get a Thank You note from me too!

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    Pledge $700 or more About $700

    Get a set of TWO of the 100 piece installation from my exhibit in Bali. They will be two different, but related works of art. Having been made to fit together, they will look well paired hanging from your wall, but could just as appropriately hung separately, as individual works. Since they'll be made while at the residency, I cannot show you images, but you can glean from those to the left some idea of my directions....With these you also get a Thank You note from me!

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    Pledge $800 or more About $800

    TWO pieces from the large installation AND a 5" x 7" original mixed media drawing made by myself while in Bali. The sculptures hang well from a small nail and could be hung together or separately. They'll be made of stoneware and porcelain, and will enigmatically enliven any environment in which they are displayed. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

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    Pledge $1,100 or more About $1,100

    Receive a set of four of the large multi-piece installation. These will be made of wood-fired stoneware and porcelain. They will be able to hang from the wall individually just by a small nail. You can hang them in a line horizontally, vertically, or in a grid. They can be separated into pairs, or even as individual pieces. This will be a unique and eye-catching work of art. Show off to your friends about being a supporter of the arts, and let them covet your unusual and beautiful wall sculpture! Included: a Thank You note from me.

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    Pledge $4,000 or more About $4,000

    Pick out one of the free-standing sculptures from my exhibit at Gaya! By skype I'll give you a tour of the Center's facilities, including the kilns, my studio and finally my exhibit, answering any questions you may have. Also I'll send you numerous images of the works from start to finish: the building process to the firing to the gallery and you can choose what sculpture you would like shipped to you. It will be professionally packed and shipped with a reputable carrier. Actual delivery date will be finalized with the carrier. With this option you will also receive the desk calender of images I've taken while in Bali, an original, hand-made card from me and the title of Marvelous Benefactor of Art for my residency and exhibit.
    Shipping is included!

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    Pledge $6,000 or more About $6,000

    Pick out TWO of the free-standing sculptures from my exhibit at Gaya! By skype I'll give you a tour of the Center's facilities, including the kilns, my studio and finally my exhibit, answering any questions you may have. In addition, I'll send you numerous images of the works from start to finish: the building process to the firing to the gallery and you can choose what sculptures you would like shipped to you. They will be professionally packed and shipped with a reputable carrier. Actual delivery date will be finalized with the carrier. With this option you will also receive the desk calender of images I've taken while in Bali, an original, hand-made card from me and the title of Grand Advocate and Champion of Art for my residency and exhibit.
    Shipping is included!

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Funding period

- (30 days)