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If you only join one whimsical Secret Society this year, make it the Secret Order of the Black Diamond. Read more

Lawrence, KS Art
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on April 3, 2013.

If you only join one whimsical Secret Society this year, make it the Secret Order of the Black Diamond.

Lawrence, KS Art
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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

           I.     WELCOME!
           II.    OUR MISSION
           III.   BECOMING A MEMBER          
           IV.   DEMYSTIFYING OUR MYSTERIOUS KICKSTARTER REWARDS
           V.    WHAT WILL THE FUTURE HOLD?
           VI.   WHAT IS WONDER FAIR?

I. WELCOME!

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:

This is what our artists do when they're not making work for a mysterious Secret Society!
This is what our artists do when they're not making work for a mysterious Secret Society!

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

When 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. 

The Black Diamond Lapel Pin, a Kickstarter Exclusive Reward
The Black Diamond Lapel Pin, a Kickstarter Exclusive Reward
Prototypes for the mysterious letter and mysterious package.
Prototypes for the mysterious letter and mysterious package.
Black Diamond Jubilee Print. TOP SECRET: See description at right.
Black Diamond Jubilee Print. TOP SECRET: See description at right.

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.

What secrets will emerge at the Wonder Fair?
What secrets will emerge at the Wonder Fair?
Appendix C
Appendix C

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

FAQ

  • 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.

    Last updated:
  • 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,

    SOBD

    Last updated:
  • 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!

    Last updated:
  • Why yes. Yes there are.

    Last updated:
  • 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,

    SOBD

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    9 backers

    THE SECRET PASSWORD, whispered to you telephonically. Used correctly within Lawrence city limits, this pass-phrase will prompt our strategically-placed Black Diamond sleeper cells to engage you in Secret Order skullduggery throughout the month of April, 2013.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    67 backers

    THE MYSTERIOUS LETTER, mailed or hand-delivered to you with utmost secrecy in a mystery-scented envelope. The Mysterious Letter will contain both THE SECRET PASSWORD and A WOODEN BLACK DIAMOND LAPEL PIN. When worn in Lawrence city limits, this pin will identify you to fellow Society members and Black Diamond sleeper cells trained to covertly engage you in Secret Order skullduggery throughout the month of April, 2013.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    35 backers All gone!

    THE MYSTERIOUS PACKAGE, containing even more mysterious, more desirable, and more three-dimensional clues and printed ephemera than those found in the Mysterious Letter. Each Mysterious Package contains THE SECRET PASSWORD, a fist-sized, three-dimensional MYSTERIOUS PAPER OBJECT, and THE BLACK DIAMOND LAPEL PIN. A fun reward for everyone, even those stationed far from Lawrence.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    28 backers Limited (2 left of 30)

    THE MYSTERIOUS PACKAGE, part II. Featuring the cast of the sold-out MYSTERIOUS PACKAGE above, but delivered later, and perhaps with an alternate mysterious object inside. Will it be paper? Will it be fist-sized? Will it be mystery scented? Only time will tell...

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    43 backers Limited (7 left of 50)

    THE COURIER will receive both the MYSTERIOUS LETTER, and a Secret Order of the Black Diamond TOTE BAG in which to carry it with you, always. Your screenprinted cream or black canvas tote bag will be emblazoned with the symbol of our order, and will include a small secret interior pocket (for stowing your most precious treasures). Upon arrival, this is where you will find your BLACK DIAMOND LAPEL PIN.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    20 backers

    The PRINTMAKER'S APRON is ideal for those who love prints but prefer practicality to mystery. The venerable symbol of our sacred Order will be carefully hand-screened in glossy black Jacquard ink on a durable matte black, medium-weight, stain-resistant poly/cotton blend. Ships with official Secret Order of the Black Diamond membership card hidden in the pocket. This reward also includes THE MYSTERY LETTER and BLACK DIAMOND PIN. (Please also note that the Apron is NOT bundled into any of our other reward packages. You are, however, welcome to claim more than one reward from a campaign using a handy workaround. See our FAQ in the lower left to learn more).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    0 backers

    THE LOUSY T-SHIRT. All you get is a lousy t-shirt... or is it? Dun dun duuuuuuuuun

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $40 or more

    13 backers

    THE TREASURE HUNTER will join Wonder Fair in a month-long search for the Five Lost Prints of the Secret Order of the Black Diamond. Wonder Fair will provide you with training and field supplies at a special 2-hour workshop, instructing you in how to cast your own rubber STAMP and record clues in your free SOBD POCKET NOTEBOOK. The successful hunter will be prepared to seek our Five Lost Print caches, and their trove of original artwork designed by our Master Artists (identified at left). At this reward level, you will also receive THE MYSTERIOUS LETTER, BLACK DIAMOND PIN, and priority enrollment for up to two people in our stamp-making and treasure hunting workshop. A great prize for local adventurers, crafters, kids, and families!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    10 backers Limited (5 left of 15)

    ERIC DOBBINS' BLACK DIAMOND JUBILEE PRINT, a limited edition of 25 screenprints by Wonder Fair founder Eric Dobbins. The exact content of this print is and will ever remain TOP SECRET, unknown to all except their eventual owners. Those who purchase the print are strictly prohibited from displaying or otherwise broadcasting its image in a public internet forum. Each Black Diamond Jubilee Print will be embossed with the Secret Order of the Black Diamond chop, signed in invisible ink, and will ship with an ornate certificate of authenticity marked by the artists' fingerprint. Examples of Dobbins' not-so-secret work may be seen at his internet headquarters, http://www.allarecoolhere.com/. This reward also includes THE MYSTERIOUS LETTER and BLACK DIAMOND PIN.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    8 backers

    THE EMISSARY will be outfitted to become a Black Diamond agent outside of the Lawrence area. Emissaries will receive all of the rewards assigned to THE TREASURE HUNTER above, but in addition you will receive the tools to create and hide your own Black Diamond cache for others to seek. This reward level includes <1> a weather-proof TREASURE REPOSITORY, <2> two LOG BOOKS, <3> a DOSSIER explaining your mission, <4> two custom STAMPS featuring your own design, and <5> the BLACK DIAMOND LAPEL PIN. This reward is ideal for adventurous Black Diamonds living inconveniently far from our base of operations in Lawrence, Kansas.

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    3 backers

    THE NOT-SO-SECRET IDENTITY reward will garner you seventy-five (75) custom letterpressed calling cards with your name and covert markings indicating your membership in the Secret Order of the Black Diamond. Your personalized calling cards will be printed by hand at Wonder Fair on vintage card stock, using our newly acquired mid-century Kelsey tabletop letterpress. THE NOT-SO-SECRET IDENTITY kit also includes THE MYSTERIOUS LETTER and BLACK DIAMOND PIN.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    4 backers Limited (6 left of 10)

    Members who join THE NIGHT WATCH will receive a complete variant set of the Five Lost Prints, printed with glow-in-the-dark ink: a Kickstarter Exclusive reward. These 4x6 inch prints were designed exclusively for the Secret Order of the Black Diamond by our Master Artists: Gary Baseman, Kaye Blegvad, Luke Ramsey, Randy Regier, and Brady Vest. This reward level also includes THE MYSTERIOUS LETTER, the BLACK DIAMOND PIN, and a secret BONUS ITEM.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    5 backers Limited (5 left of 10)

    THE COLLECTOR receives a complete set of every print and all ephemera created for the Secret Order of the Black Diamond, including
    <1> A complete set of the standard-edition Five Lost Prints, only available for purchase at this reward level <2> Eric Dobbins' Black Diamond Jubilee print <3> The Treasure Hunter Pocket Notebook and priority workshop registration
    <4> The mysterious package <5> The mysterious letter <6> A vial of our "mystery-scent" designed to mysteriously scent said letter <7> All letterpressed clue cards created for distribution to Black Diamonds by our sleeper agents throughout the month of April <8> All promotional materials printed for the "Secret Society" exhibition, and of course, <9> a Black Diamond Lapel Pin.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    THE COMPLETE MYSTERY BOX. It might not even come in a box. It's a mystery. And it's worth it.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    One "SHADOWY BENEFACTOR OF AMPLE MEANS" will receive every reward below the $500 level, in addition to your flattering portrait likeness painted in oil on canvas. You will be shown surrounded by the mysterious accoutrements of the Secret Order of the Black Diamond. A copy of your portrait will hang in perpetuity in a place of honor at our secret headquarters. The original painting will either be shipped to you, or destroyed to preserve your anonymity.

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Funding period

- (21 days)