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Coal Comforts is a mobile art "bakery" where the sweet treats are not what they seem. These (inedible) desserts are made from coal ash.
Coal Comforts is a mobile art "bakery" where the sweet treats are not what they seem. These (inedible) desserts are made from coal ash.
63 backers pledged $6,335 to help bring this project to life.

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Coal Comforts: A Climate Change Art "Bakery" project video thumbnail
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$6,335

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Coal Comforts will be the first of its kind, a pop-up art "bakery" in which the familiar treats on offer will not be what they appear-- they'll be made of ash from burned coal.

(almost) good enough to eat!
(almost) good enough to eat!

 This is about climate change. Coal power has never been "clean" and continuing to mine and burn it causes irreparable harm to frontline communities and accelerates climate change. The current administration wants to prop up this outmoded industry without regard to the known consequences. As we have seen, nostalgia is a powerful tool––it can make what is familiar seem wholesome and innocuous, as "American as apple pie." But like the sweet treats we might find in an old-fashioned bakery, a little dirty energy might look like a harmless enough indulgence, but our global consumption patterns will be our undoing. Put simply, we can't have our cake and eat it too.

I need your help to build a mobile bakery counter that I can take out onto the streets. If funded, it will make its debut appearance during the annual Gowanus Open Studios weekend. Gowanus, home of a federal Superfund site, is itself a cautionary tale about environmental degradation and about the last place you'd expect to find a pop-up bakery. But that weekend people from all over the city descend on the neighborhood to see what's happening there and visit artists' studios.

Cart drawing
Cart drawing

It is my goal to use the bakery as a conversation starter, and help each person I meet identify an action that they can take to help transition away from dirty energy. The bakery will be fully stocked with faux "desserts" for sale, and I'll be splitting the proceeds from sales that weekend with the Citizens' Climate Lobby.

I believe art can change people's perceptions and encourage them to think differently about the future and their role in creating it. With your help I can bring Coal Comforts into being, in Gowanus and beyond.

 The rewards:

 

Coal Cookie
Coal Cookie

  

Mini Cheesecake
Mini Cheesecake

 

Coal Cupcake
Coal Cupcake

 

Art Tart
Art Tart

 

Bundt Cake (plus bonus dessert!)
Bundt Cake (plus bonus dessert!)

 

Birthday Cake (plus 3 bonus desserts and tour!)
Birthday Cake (plus 3 bonus desserts and tour!)

 

Risks and challenges

Making molds from real desserts is tricky but I have spent the last year improving my skills and learning from many failed attempts, so I am confident I can get the results I want. It will be a challenge to build a cart that can navigate the terrain of the neighborhood, but I will be working with an excellent local cabinetmaker to create something that can handle the uneven pavement without toppling over.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Postcard Pack

    Five different hot-off-the-press postcards in a Coal Comforts kraft paper bag

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Coal Cookie

    Cast from a real-life ginger cookie, this sweet treat could be mistaken for the real thing, only it lasts forever and is definitely not fit for human consumption! Signed by the artist.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Mini Cheesecake

    Cast from a mini cheesecake topped with a dollop of whipped cream, this refined dessert looks good enough to eat... almost. Signed by the artist.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Coal Cupcake

    The classic cupcake, a treat for one or a fun birthday gift. Enjoy this one guilt-free! Signed by the artist.

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Art Tart

    Cast from a gorgeous apricot tart, this "art tart" picks up the finest details of the glaze and sugar crystals on the woven crust. It's almost maddening that you can't eat it. Signed by the artist.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Bundt Cake + 1 bonus dessert

    "It's a bundt!" goes the line from My Big Fat Greek Wedding (am I aging myself?). This is the traditional glazed cake with a hole in the center. The delicate cracking in the glaze comes through in the final product, leaving no doubt that it was cast from the real deal. Includes a bonus cookie, mini cheesecake or cupcake, your choice! Signed by the artist.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Birthday Cake + 3 bonus desserts + Tour

    This 8" traditional cake with piped shell decoration is the classic birthday cake that, except for its coal ash grey color, looks straight out of a supermarket display case--or a Wayne Thibaud painting. It comes with the cookie, mini cheesecake and cupcake, so no matter how hungry you are for conceptual art, you'll always have something on hand. Includes a personal tour of my Red Hook, Brooklyn studio (either in person or via FaceTime if you are not local) so you can see how the magic is made.

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Funding period

- (28 days)