About this project
As a ceramic designer, my goal is to take modern decal technology and combine it with incredible heritage craftsmanship to create unique personalised pieces to be cherished for a lifetime. The ceramic items will be cast and fired in one of England’s historic factories. Our partners still work in their original building dating back to 1870. It’s located right in the heart of "The Potteries", forming part of a long tradition of British fine china making. Over 45 people with unique skills work there. The knowledge has been passed down for generations. Partnering with this beautiful old factory, means I can do a larger production volume and collaborate with other artists for the first time.
WHAT YOU GET
The Rewards are adorable characters that just happen to be fine china storage jars ;) You get to choose your favourite characters AND personalise the bottom of your jar.
ADOPT AND NAME THESE CREATURES!
What makes this production even more special is that each backer (that’s you) is a collaborator too. You will get to "adopt and name" each of the jars you select.
When you’re really into ceramics like me, you always find yourself turning things over to see where they’re made. The backstamp, as we call it in the industry, is also the first place where an appraiser will look to determine the brand, age, and value of a ceramic item.
For this project, the backstamps will feature a name of your choosing. Along with design credits of the artists, there will be a word or name YOU came up with, making each piece personalised. Welcome to your own piece of heritage British manufacturing!
HOW TO PLEDGE AND GET SOME OF THESE CUTE THINGS
To make the pledge process easier:
- Choose a pledge amount from the Rewards chart below. Are you looking to pledge £35 or £57?
- Look at the jar sizes offered in the Reward level you want to pledge.
- Now pick your favourite designs in those sizes, from the images above.
For example, if you want pledge £35, this will get you 1 small storage jar. Pick your favourite design from the image above titled "Small Storage Jars".
When the campaign is over I will ask you to specify your choice of small jar. You only need to pledge now. You tell me the specific design you want later.
If you are looking for a different combination of sizes, we can fine tune your pledge after the campaign ends. I will send out a special Kickstarter survey at the end of the campaign - where you will be able to expand on your pledge.
For the purpose of simplicity there are only 6 Reward levels here. Any more would be too confusing. See them in the chart below.
You can always drop me a line if anything doesn't make sense.
All shipping costs are additional. Amount will be charged at checkout. There are 2 shipping tiers: domestic UK shipping, and rest of world.
SMALL 9cm high x 6cm wide.
MED 12cm high x 7.5cm wide
LARGE 16.5cm high x 10cm wide.
Talented designers, Tado, Loulou and Tummie, and Marnie Makes have each contributed gorgeous designs in their signature styles. I am so proud to create some ceramic characters with them.
These are not only objects that make you smile everyday but they’re useful too. And they make the best gifts ever when you name them after people you love. You can even get a bunch of characters and name them after your own brood to create personalised family heirlooms.
When the campaign is funded you will be sent a survey asking you to specify which designs you want + the personalised name to go on the backstamp (bottom of jar). Only 1 word please. Shorter words look the nicest.
WHAT THE FUNDS ARE FOR
With this Kickstarter I am raising funds for:
- Master Models. These are solid plaster models in the shape of my new designs. They need to be carved with great precision by a master modeller to avoid production problems. They also need to be hand finished leaving a super smooth surface insuring the Working Moulds have very tight seams.
- Master Moulds. In ceramics these are called “Cases”. They are master models made from a special industrial plaster that does not degrade over time. Production Moulds are made from these Master Moulds.
- Working or Production Moulds. These are moulds made from normal white plaster. The factory will use these moulds to cast my designs in bone china. The professionals who make Master Models and Moulds for industry, apprentice for years in order to learn their craft.
- A production run of bone china storage jars in all 3 sizes. The exact quantity will depend on the amount of pledges, and whether I add any "stretch goals" during the campaign. Bone china is one of the most expensive ceramic materials to produce. The purity, extreme whiteness, and translucency of the clay body, means that even the tiniest of faults (specks in the clay body, seam lines from the mould) are visible. A great deal of expertise and care is required.
- Customisation Assistant. I will need to hire 1 person to help me personalise the "backstamps". Each "backstamp" will be different. We will be typing all the individual names in Illustrator, then printing all "backstamps" as custom decals.
- A production run of Decals. This is how the cute, colourful surface pattern elements are made. My collaborators and I created 2D illustrations that need to be printed as decal sheets for ceramic application. Some of the decals will be screen printed, while some will be printed by a specialist digital decal printer. This will depend on the volumes required. ALL the "backstamps" however (featuring your personalised names) will be printed digitally. This way each "backstamp" can be different. This would be impossible to do with screen printed decals.
- Decorators. In the industry "decorators" are the people who expertly hand apply the decal designs on to the ceramic. Speed and accuracy is essential. I will be hiring a small team of expert decorators, to apply the printed decals to the ceramic storage jars.
- Fulfillment and packing materials. A smooth and efficient delivery process will require a Fulfillment Agency. There is not enough space in my small studio for packing orders of this quantity. In this way, your storage jar creatures will arrive safe and sound, and on time.
Each of the manufacturing costs listed above will be carried out by companies and contractors in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, UK.
My name is Camila Prada. I’m a designer who works in the realm of character design, but I was always kind of fascinated by pottery as a child.
My mum had some lovely things in her kitchen that I would just stare at for ages. Some pieces were given to me when I was really small - and I still get that nostalgic childhood feeling when I look at them today.
Underneath a lot of my mum’s ceramics the words “Made In Staffordshire” would appear. I didn’t know it at the time, but Staffordshire is a historic area in England, famous for hundreds of years for producing the finest tableware.
As an adult, I ended up being really interested in design and traveled to the UK to study ceramics. Ceramic design is like a combination of sculpture, skilled and precise craftsmanship, and product design. I learned how to design for industrial ceramics: carving plaster models and creating the moulds needed to reproduce a product or a shape.
But after graduating I really started to question my role as a designer, I didn’t want to work at a huge company making cheap products that go to landfill after a few months. Also, not knowing where my designs were being made, and under what factory conditions didn’t sit so well with me.
So after a few years as a freelance designer I decided to take matters into my own hands, and start making my own tableware collection.
I use the same mould making processes the old factories here use. It takes 3 - 4 weeks to get from liquid clay to finished item. I can only make my pieces in batches of 50 in my current studio space.
A limited collection of tableware, is like art or antiques, it’s gains value over time. My hope is that you’ll want to keep the pieces you pledge forever & pass them down to people you care about.
By supporting this campaign you’re also helping revive a historical industry that has fallen into decay in recent times due to cheaper imports.
Adopt and name your own ceramic creature and be a part of the Made In Britain ceramics revival!
Thank you so much for your support :)
Sharing is caring, folks! If you like what you see here, please share, each new backer helps me keep making these cute designs.
Thank you! :)
Risks and challenges
As with any manufactured products there are risks. With ceramics there are a few manufacturing mistakes all too easy to do:
+ Making a loose agreement in terms of production time lines. Then attempting to solidify terms months later, only to realise your production time slot has been cancelled to accommodate another client.
By creating an agreement well before production starts, I know exactly what to expect from the manufacturer in terms of time lines. This also helps the manufacturer to slot me into their busy schedule.
+ Not sampling a product idea enough. This is a problem in ceramics. Designers often create products hard to produce in mass, as they are too complicated. For manufacturing to work, it has to be easy.
My storage jars were intentionally designed as simple rounded shapes. They have been designed to fall out of the plaster production moulds easily. The factory has already cast my storage jars in bone china and understand exactly what my particular design entails.
+ Not allowing extra time for when the expected happens. Industrial ceramics are made in different steps. They are still made predominately by people, not machines. Each step of the process involves a new person with specialist skills. If an individual cannot work for whatever reason, often there is not an immediate replacement.
I have spoken at length to factory manager about capacity, production run timelines, and a contingency plan if anything goes wrong. I have padded my production time to allow for unforeseen events.
I am confident in my experience and the efficiency of my suppliers to ensure pledges are made and shipped on time. Thank you so much for your support!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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