There is nothing I appreciate more than something made by hand. The craft. The heart. The slight reluctance to put something up for sale that the artisan broke a sweat and bled over. The practiced wisdom and knowledge that you don't get from a book or a classroom. There is an immeasurable beauty to that which led to my two years of learning the craft of sculpting and reproducing hand-crafted toys. I still have a lot to learn but am ready to produce my first limited run resin art toy at a production level. I have spent many nights and weekends working on side jobs to support this hobby with tools and materials.
I've come to realize that if this is going to happen, it will need help. Your help. I am not asking for hand-outs. By supporting this production ($50 or more) you are essentially pre-purchasing one of the limited first-run toys, Float, and will be added to a mailing list that offers first crack at purchasing any future designs - of which there are many lined up.
What do I need money for?
- Branded materials - stickers, promotional poster printing
- Packaging - boxes and labels, and to finish a custom-made vacuum-former for packaging.
- Rotocasting machine - I have designed what is called a rotocaster, which allows a mold to turn 360 degrees resulting in a hollow, less expensive clone of the original sculpture. A craftsman has volunteered his time to fabricate and weld it; I just need the materials and a motor.
- Silicone rubber for molds, resin for duplicating, and paints and finishes.
You have a full time job - can't you swing funding this yourself?
Working side jobs has funded this to date, but they take up the time I need to complete this design and fabricate the tools for production.
Why not just ship this off to China to reproduce?I could easily ask for $8k to have this done in vinyl overseas, but what would I learn? This has been an enjoyable and rewarding process for me. I even learned from the frustrating, huge, embarrassing failures along the way. No way is the production of this going to leave my hands, and no way would I degrade all the input the DIY community has contributed to getting me this far. I don't look down on mass-produced vinyl, but I find a greater value in a limited run knowing an artist's own hands have sanded, painted, and packaged every piece.
What is Float?
In short, Float is based on a logo I did for myself years ago. He is always a figure I had in mind as a first reproducible sculpture. Float has the hardened exterior of an animal you wouldn't want to mess with, but is carried through life on emotion and loyalty. The longer story continues - he is an orphaned rhino calf with a heart bigger than the jungle and is befriended by a group of marauding butterfly warriors. He crafts wings of all sorts for himself to "fit in" but can’t seem to embody the bloodthirsty nature of his fellow tribe. Until... (more to come).
How much do you expect to make from this toy?
Not a dime. In fact I will not come close to breaking even. But that isn't what this is about. Read on.
How will this project help other artists?
I've met a lot of talented people through social media and learned more from many of them than I could ever repay - except by passing it along. I’d like to not only create these tools and process for myself, but I've also been asked several times by folks along the way to share all the information I've learned. With the tools I am making, I can help them see their visions through to finished products as well. A friend of mine is a filmmaker and will be volunteering his time to shoot a short documentary of the entire process on a RED camera. Here is a quick sample of some of that video we shot in Minneapolis, MN at RobotLove with owner Kristoffer Knutson:
for your interest and support, we are very excited to share this project.
// Brian Maddox
- (30 days)