Thank you for your interest in my studio funding! Here's an overview of what's below:
- About me
- My Studio
- Project Goal
- My Art Work - Your Rewards
- Community Classes
- Why Kickstarter?
My name is Brett Roberts and I am a high school art teacher, part time potter, and an active community educator. As a student I was always casually interested in art until my first Ceramics class. I excelled and quickly grew to love the medium, specifically the potter’s wheel. This prompted me to pursue ceramics and education at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. I found a great position in Waterford, WI teaching 3-D art, primarily Ceramics and Stained Glass. I also teach community pottery classes on a regular basis. This year I had just shy of 100 ceramic students enrolled in 5 classes, and have had roughly 50 community members take classes with me.
My studio is located in our basement, directly under our one-car garage. It is a very typical potter’s studio. It is small, efficient, and must double as a storage room at times (hence, the need for Caribbean backdrop to to hide all the storage shelves and bins!) This is a fairly common formula for many potters but, like many of them, I make do with the space and resources available in order to have the luxury of working from home.
My goal for this project
I am making a more concerted effort toward making and selling more pots. I have focused on building my community classes for the last few years but would like to get back to exploring forms and surfaces. With your support in this project I will be able to purchase and install a kiln capable of firing to the temperatures I need for my pottery. This would replace the small, old low-fire kiln I bought from a garage sale seven years ago and allow me to make, fire, and glaze all my work in home! I currently transport all of my work to fire at the school where I teach. Creating an obvious logistical nightmare for very fragile dry pots.
The kiln I wish to purchase would suit my needs perfectly. Not overly big, but capable of firing my largest work with plenty of extra space. It has a automated control system that is programable to suit my needs. It would also fire to the temperature needed for my glazes to mature and melt thoroughly, at roughly 2,200 degrees.
My Art Work - Your Rewards
My primary artistic focus is functional pottery. There is something special about connecting with other people through handmade objects designed to be used on a daily basis. Pottery, in general, requires a large amount of consideration into design, balance, practicality, and even science. My first priority is to create pots that are straightforward and practical for the user. Design and appearance are important as well, but I want users to be satisfied by the feel of my work as much as the aesthetics. I want them to be the optimal form for their specific function, and look great at the same time.
To show my appreciation to my supporters, I have selected some of my favorite work to share with you.
All pieces will very slightly in size, shape, and color. This uniqueness is, in my opinion, is positive quality of hand-made work.
For the last 5 years I have been teaching community pottery classes at the high school in which I teach. This allows me to connect with people in my community personally while promoting and creating a local interest in pottery. This has been a very rewarding venture and I have developed great relationships with many people in the community. I truly look forward to each new class and the new people I will meet, as well as the returners I have gotten to know personally. I am very grateful to have a great following of community members interested in learning the craft of pottery. To this day I have held roughly 30 classes in the last 5 years ranging from hand building, potters wheel, even glaze testing classes. I can't thank all the people interested enough, especially the regulars!
Kickstarter allows me to know exactly what work to make, and the exact quantity. I could make an inventory of pots then try to sell them, but would likely end up with lots of leftover pieces, or not enough. With this campaign I will be able to plan, create, and send out only the work I need.
If funded, I will spend a good deal of time during the end of July and into August throwing pots and firing and glazing to get all the orders out in a timely manner.
In the event my campaign generates additional profit, I will invest in other equipment to better outfit my studio. These will give me more opportunities to create and experiment.
They love getting their hands dirty just like dad! I cannot get enough of their love!
My wife, Kelsey, has always supported me in my clay interests, from teaching evening classes on a regular bases, to collecting more pottery than I know what to do with! She is a great mom, wife and nurse, and I appreciate her every day. She is also way out of my league and I am lucky to have her.
Thank you in advance to all my supporters of this project. And thank you to those who have purchased work from me in the past, taken classes with me, and Waterford Union High School for allowing me to utilize my classroom for community classes.
Also thank you to https://www.bensound.comfor providing free music for projects such as this.
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk I foresee is time. If my campaign is an overwhelming success it could be difficult to create the amount of work purchased and ship it all out by my projected September fulfillment. Additionally, scheduling a large amount of classes could be logistically difficult as well. Especially once my school year begins again.
To avoid this, I have set some limits for some of the more time consuming pieces I am offering, and extending the timeframe for supporters to schedule their classes. All class supporters will have until the end of the year to schedule their class which will provide a good deal of flexibility for everyone's schedules.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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