About this project
Wonder Fair invites you to go on an adventure...
Soon, soon, the shadowy Secret Order of the Black Diamond will emerge from obscurity, joining forces with the Wonder Fair Gallery to help cement their reputation as one of Lawrence, KS' best-kept secrets.
Our goal? Instead of curating a Gallery of artworks to be passively and privately consumed, the Black Diamonds will curate a series of experiences—adventures on which you will embark throughout the Lawrence community (and beyond) during the month of April, 2013. As with any traditional Gallery exhibition, there *is* art to be seen and art to be obtained from our printerly Secret Society—but it will not be found within the walls of Wonder Fair...
An adventure of your own choosing...
If you wish to learn more about the secrets of the Secret Order of the Black Diamond, please continue reading our informative Orientation Manual (below). If you are short on time, long on generosity, or simply tired of reading, just click the green “Back this Project” button in the upper right corner of your screen. Once there, choose amongst our many mysterious rewards to begin your journey. If you have come to this point without viewing our short orientation video (above) please consider doing so now. Again, reading our manual is not required--but it may prove...revelatory?
With sincere thanks and a warm secret handshake,
Your friends, The Secret Order of the Black Diamond
♦♦♦ ORIENTATION MANUAL ♦♦♦
Table of Contents
II. OUR MISSION
III. BECOMING A MEMBER
IV. DEMYSTIFYING OUR MYSTERIOUS KICKSTARTER REWARDS
V. WHAT WILL THE FUTURE HOLD?
VI. WHAT IS WONDER FAIR?
Welcome. You have been identified as a potential member of the Secret Order of the Black Diamond; but who are we? Cloaked in mystery, the Secret Order of the Black Diamond has long worked to introduce adventure-loving, creative-minded citizens to the arcane and community-building art of Printmaking. Our mission is simple:
Try Hard. Fail Harder. Leave a Strong Impression.
If these appeal to you, welcome, to the Secret Order of the Black Diamond. Please continue on to section II to learn more about our newest enterprise.
II. OUR MISSION IS YOUR MISSION
For the last two months, Wonder Fair has conspired with local businesses and townsfolk to curate a month-long adventure open to our close friends and strangers alike. Your journey begins with an online orientation (Welcome!), inviting you to join The Secret Order of the Black Diamond for nominal fees and uncertain rewards. Come March 29th, we open our membership to the general public, and your paths may divide. You could find yourself on a quest to uncover the Five Lost Prints of the Secret Order of the Black Diamond. Or, you may choose to closely monitor our April order activity, searching for clues that may lead to an even greater reward...
Whichever path you choose, a trail of exclusive fine art prints, ephemera, and cultural events will lead you to your ultimate destination. All printed Black Diamond materials will be published by the Wonder Fair Family in collaboration with these fine artists:
For the Five Lost Prints:
- Mr. Gary Baseman of Toby’s Secret Society, Los Angeles, CA
- Ms. Kaye Blegvad of Datter Industries, London, England, UK
- Mr. Luke Ramsey of Islands Fold, Pender Island, B.C., Canada
- Mr. Randy Regier of NuPunny Toy Store, Wichita, KS
- Mr. Brady Vest of Hammerpress, Kansas City, MO
And Many, Many more:
- Mr. Kelly J. Clark of Field Trip Publishing, Kansas City, MO
- Mr. Stephen Goddard of the Paper People, Lawrence, KS
- Mr. Adam J. Kurtz of Just Kidding, Brooklyn, NY
- Mr. Dustin Williams of Sorrytown, Kansas City, KS
- the cast of Wonder Fair
III. BECOMING A SUPPORTING MEMBER
Though we strive to make the Black Diamond experience free to all this April, we have yet to secure the financial backing of any shadowy benefactors of ample means. Instead, we appeal to our potential membership to help us ensure this project meets its highest financial and fun potential.
Rest assured, your monies will only be used to fund Black Diamond printmaking endeavors and public events; none will go to into the mystery-filled pockets of our order members. Instead, our funding needs for this ambitious exhibition include honorariums for our contributing artists, the purchase of specialized printing equipment, and the cost of materials and manufacturing required to produce our many Black-Diamond-related editions. A complete table of our projected expenses is appended to this orientation (see Appendix C, below).
Though membership in the Secret Order of the Black Diamond is free and open to all willing hearts, we are happy to offer several exclusive rewards to our supporting members, from elegant wooden Black Diamond Lapel Pins for those claim any reward worth $10 or more, to variant glow-in-the-dark print editions for those who can afford to pledge a bit more. Whatever your chosen reward level, we will strive to ensure you are repaid with interest for your support. To become a patron-member of the Secret Order of the Black Diamond, simply click the green “Back this Project” button in the upper right corner of this screen and claim your desired reward(s).
Want to become a member of the Secret Order of the Black Diamond, but live too far from the Wonder Fair Lodge, our home base? Consider becoming a Black Diamond Emissary. These external agents of the order will receive (via courier and email communication) all of the materials needed to begin their own treasure hunts, wherever they are...
IV. DEMYSTIFYING OUR MYSTERIOUS REWARDS
the Secret Order of the Black Diamond launches on March 29th, all
prints, materials, events and ephemera will be made available to our
membership for free--but not easily. Once the exhibition begins, there will be no guaranteed path to obtaining these eccentricities. Fortunately for completists and the geographically-challenged, this Kickstarter program does offers such guarantees.
In addition, many of our tangible rewards will only be made available through our Kickstarter campaign. Items such as the WOODEN BLACK DIAMOND LAPEL PIN (made in collaboration with Good Wood NYC), the PRINTMAKER’S APRON and the NIGHT WATCH print series are exclusively available to financial supporters of the secret order.
Conversely, because several of our rewards and their contents are shrouded in secrecy, we encourage our financial backers to embrace the unknown. Joining at various price levels you may receive a whispered password, a "mysterious letter" in the mail, a new hobby, or even an unexpected and surprisingly "informative" conversation in line at your favorite coffee shop.
V. WHAT WILL THE FUTURE HOLD? STRETCH GOAL UNLOCKED!
Monies raised above our goal will be used to outfit our secret headquarters with screen printing and letterpress equipment, an investment in the future that will ensure we can continue making affordable print editions for our members forever and ever. Potential purchases include: an exposure unit, washout booth, printing table, basic studio supplies, and letterpress equipment for our newly acquired Kelsey Excelsior.
Our stretch goals are these...
$3,600 (UNLOCKED!): Each supporting Kickstarter member to pledge over the $10 level will receive a Black Diamond embroidered iron-on patch with their reward shipment.
$4,000 (UNLOCKED!): We furnish the Black Diamond print studio with long-desired, never before attainable screen printing and letterpress studio equipment. All Black Diamonds are welcome to visit under cloak of night (provided you know the password to enter...)
$4,500 (UNLOCKED!): We establish a Secret Order of the Black Diamond Artist Fellowship. One artist-agent will be awarded a $300 fellowship to complete a mysterious project of their choosing with the studio support of Wonder Fair and the Secret Order of the Black Diamond.
$5,000 (UNLOCKED!): Boosted Artist Honoraria! Nine of our inaugural Black Diamond Master artists will each receive a 50% boost to their Honorariums. For keeping our secrets and keeping our deadlines, they've earned it.
$6,000 (UNLOCKED!): BEHOLD: THE MATRIX. At this funding level, the SOBD will have the initial funds required to publish an edition of between 200 and 1,000 Secret Order of the Black Diamond handbooks, a.k.a. "The Matrix". Our SOBD handbook will illuminate the mysteries, symbols, lives, times, clues, and Lost Prints of the Secret Order of the Black Diamond. THE MATRIX will be image rich, hopelessly long, and will probably be the first Secret Society handbook to include an extensive coloring book section. Ideally, it will also feature a carved-out space in which you can hide your spare house key. The names of all of our founding members (that means you, our Kickstarter backers!) will be published in The Matrix in the mysterious manner of your choosing. EVERY BACKER will receive a free .pdf eBook version of THE MATRIX when it is complete (projected early 2014).
Above $7,000 (UNLOCKED!!!!!?!?!!?!*%#*$!): In the case that we achieve this total boondoggle, we will let slip the dogs of Mystery. Excess funds not required to fulfill rewards will be sewn into a lead-bottomed sack and sunk in the deep prehistoric aquifers of Kansas until they are required to fund the return of The Secret Order of the Black Diamond in 2014. When and where will they re-emerge? Only our Kickstarter backers will know...
VI. WHAT IS WONDER FAIR?
Wonder Fair is an art gallery, a shop, and a studio located in a secretive upstairs location in downtown Lawrence, Kansas. Wonder Fair hosts monthly gallery exhibitions, is staffed by volunteers, and specializes in printed works. Wonder Fair believes in the power of the handmade, the connecting and transformative properties of art, the importance of shared experience, and pizza.
Risks and challenges
“A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for.”
― William G.T. Shedd
We are determined that all Black Diamond artwork and events will be free for the finding in the month of April, regardless of whether we reach our Kickstarter goal. As a result, we have fully embraced THE UNKNOWN, investing many of our limited resources, our time, and our passion into this ambitious project. We are certain of only one result: this will be fun.
We will take the risks; if you will take the challenge:
ONWARD FIRE.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Most definitely. You might consider becoming an "Emissary" ($75), perhaps sharing the cost amongst a small group of friends. Emissaries will receive all the tools required to stage an elaborate treasure hunt of their own, along with other special treats-- this is our most action-packed reward, for anyone. Our Mysterious Letter ($10), Mysterious package ($20), Apron ($35), and Black Diamond Jubilee Print ($50) all travel well and require no local participation, and members who join our leagues of Couriers ($30), the Night Watch ($150), Collectors ($250), or Shadowy Benefactors ($1,000) can be based anywhere to enjoy their rewards. As for the Mystery Box, well... We couldn't really say. It's a mystery.
Once the Kickstarter campaign is over, how will new members joing SOBD if new members will be allowed to join at all?
Where there is a will, a way:
Post-kickstarter, new members will still be allowed to freely join the Order at anytime, but without such elaborate printed rewards as our founding members wil receive through this Cornerstone Kickstarter campaign. New members who miss our March/April 2013 events will still have a chance to partake in our mysterious offerings, however, when the SOBD re-emerges (once annually) to produce a new adventure for its members in 2014, 2015, etc.
And how will new members join? By next week, the SOBD online headquarters (http://www.wonderfair.com/blackdiamond) will be live and replete with Black Diamond information. Aspirant members can always join, free of charge, by signing up for the SOBD mailing list through our internet home base. We'll be in touch with all of our members via email periodically, and by courier mail sporadically--but always when they least expect it.
We hope this fully answers your question! Onward Fire,
Yes, with a bit of finaglin'. Just shoot us a quick message to explain what rewards you're keen on and we will try to accommodate you. To send a message, click the "contact me" link below our user name, found in a blue box in the upper right column of this page. Thanks for your persistence, friend!
Why yes. Yes there are.
Sadly, no. Initial publishing costs for THE MATRIX, our hypothetical SOBD handbook, will be seeded by excess funds raised during our Kickstarter campaign, above the cost of reward fulfillment and print studio outfitting. We anticipate the process of creating this tome, our pride and joy, will be a minimum of 6 months and perhaps as long as a year. Extensively illustrated, probably with hand-printed elements, this is not a handbook for casual reference, but for reverence. If adventure could be hard-bound, it would be THE MATRIX.
Therefore, while initial funds needed to publish THE MATRIX have been unlocked (see our stretch goals section above for details), we'd like to make clear that at present we cannot be certain how physical copies of THE MATRIX will eventually be distributed, and most importantly, we must emphasize that THE MATRIX is not a bonus item added to any of our current Kickstarter rewards (unlike the embroidered patch, for example, which is an awesome bonus item that our backers *will* receive, for free!).
Once printed, we hope copies of THE MATRIX will find their way to our founding members (at either a steep discount or for only the cost of shipping, ideally). Other copies we will conserve, to sneak into mysterious locations around the world--libraries, hotel rooms, dentist's offices, the backs of plane seats, etc.
For the time being, we will strive to keep our founders informed and involved as we craft THE MATRIX, both on our website and through Kickstarter updates. Perhaps one day, it *will* be free to all; perhaps it will only cost shipping and handling; perhaps it will be printed on copper plates, and it will cost one million dollars. Only time will tell.
Embracing the Unknown,
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- (21 days)