As promised, a special listing for anyone looking to fill out their collection, or start it with a bang! Also a great way to get some early Holiday gifting done! These Grab Bags will ship in late November. Shipping is included, so this is a US-only reward. Most items in this collection include gold luster, so no microwaving. A Kickstarter exclusive (and great deal), with a $340 value (14 pieces total). Grab one quick! There's only FIVE!
- slab-built dishes with gold luster (x4)
- Knotty Nut Bowl gold luster tripod (x3)
- EYE jewelry dishes with gold luster (x4)
- gold luster spiky soap dish with drainage holes and legs
- curious clay's famously-loved cookie plate with gold luster
Hello from Philadelphia!
My name is Jannalyn, and I am the artist and owner behind Curious Clay. I make one-of-a-kind clay art objects for the body and home. Thank you for taking the time to review my project proposal.
I am seeking support to increase the functionality and output of my studio. In order to work efficiently and keep up with the growing interest in Curious Clay, my studio space needs a few upgrades. With your generous donations, I can continue to do what I love, and share beautiful art objects with the world.
The first thing I want to share is that I used to work in my cramped little basement. I made everything at home, and then loaded it in my car (twice, one trip for each firing - see more in process), and drove it across town to my "rental" kiln. Last year, I financed a small kiln for myself. This spring I started working on-location where my kiln is. My Emerick Street studio is a decent-sized garage in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia. I am able to use this space through the kind generosity of my good friends, keeping my overhead low. This is the space for which I am seeking funding.
I didn't obtain any formal training in ceramics, but I do have a very important clay mentor. I was born with a fiery passion for art and design. Ranging from "art lessons" with my grandmother, to mural-painting my bedroom as a teenager, I eventually went on to art school. I received a Bachelor's and Master's in Fine Art from two Philadelphia art schools (Arcadia University and PAFA) - concentrating in painting and drawing.
As far as Curious Clay goes, there has been lots of experimenting and product development over the years; thus my affair with one-of-a-kind works. I've finally reach the point of being ready to sell on a larger scale. I currently sell my work within a number of beautiful stores in Philly and on the east coast, including Anthropologie and Brooklyn's Mociun. See a full list of my stockists here. With the birth of my daughter this past February, I've shifted my focus from doing pop-up events/art markets/street fairs, to cultivating more wholesale accounts.
foundation, process & inspiration
From a very young age, I was painting, drawing, and building whatever I dreamt up in my tiny head. I distinctly remember inventing little furniture sculptures out of Sculpty. I tried to hold on this child-like play and sense of discovery throughout my years in art school. Funny how life works; I didn't truly feel at home with a medium until I found clay.
One of my challenges that persists to this day, is my excitement to make whatever I want in clay. The medium is limited to my imagination. One of my biggest weaknesses is that I haven't been able to focus just on tableware, for example. I want to make all types of vessels - cups, mugs, vases, bowls, planters, candle holders, as well as wearables of all sorts; all within the realm of Objet d'art. Art objects. Items that add beauty to your everyday rituals.
My hope is that when interacting with my work, it can be a quiet, present moment. Whether it's watering a plant in one of my planters, having your morning coffee in a Curious Clay mug, or completing a perfect outfit with one of my necklaces.
Clay has taught me the important of process and patience. You must work within the limitations of what the clay needs in that moment. (I see now, it's similar to parenting.)
I build everything I make by hand - either by rolling slabs (sheets), or forming/sculpting by hand. Once a piece is done, it is allowed to slowly air dry. Once all the moisture is complete gone from the clay, it is bisqued (cooked in a kiln) at 1945 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is then much harder to the touch, and glaze (essentially liquid glass) is applied. I always joke about how tough glazing is for a painter, because every beautiful color that results after a glaze firing, is some dull shade of gray in the jar. And as a former painter, I love to experiment.
Once glazing is done, the work is fired again at 2232 degrees Fahrenheit. The whole process (for the size kiln I have) takes about a week.
an efficient studio
To operate a practical studio and more efficiently run Curious Clay, my studio needs:
- The studio space is an empty industrial space intended to be a garage, which needs a number of shelving units for drying work, storing work in between firings, as well as holding materials and supplies.
- I would also like to designate a little area for a small glass-enclosed display case, so local stockists and buyers can visit me in-studio, for purchasing.
- Since it's somewhat of a bare-bones space, we also need to install screen doors for air circulation, as well as seal the floors. In line with air circulation, industrial fans for ventilation would be helpful as well.
- While my current kiln is small, I can get the most out of it with additional kiln furniture (shelves) and stilts, to make every square inch work harder for me when making small work. Buying more shelves will allow me to increase my kiln output with each firing, and promote economical firing practices.
- Since I build everything by hand, I could increase productivity by purchasing a slab roller and an extruder. This covers the way I make all my vessels and wearable work. A slab roller produces even sheets of clay, at whatever thickness you set it at. I would be able to present more consistent work, which would also help with my costs. An extruder produces tubes that I can use to sculpt my unique handles, as well as certain necklace models. No more hand-rolling coils!
- I need to upgrade my tool collection, to better quality hand-building tools. I also need to set myself up for large-scale glazing, requiring bigger quantities of glaze and storage for it.
- I would love to fund my kiln. While I have a good-sized working iFire, I made the decision to finance it in the fall of 2017. It's invaluable to me, and I love it, but it's an expense that is a drain on my income. Since I've been making payments since last year, $1,600 is needed to pay the kiln off.
- Further branding development. I need to troubleshoot my current branding technique. As of right now, I hand carve "curious clay" into the bottom of most of my pieces. Not only is this very time consuming, but also inconsistent. I am most likely looking to get a stamp like this, in more than one size. This will allow the name of my company to be pressed into the clay, and not inked-on with underglaze.
- Electricity. You may have notice that in the picture of my kiln, it's plugged in. Let me clarify that the studio has electric, which was installed by the home-owners. I would like to be able to reimburse them for this, as it's intrinsic to my livelihood.
cultivating a creative community
As I've mentioned, the Emerick Street studio is the property of family-like-friends, and their generosity supports me with very low overhead to use the space. In addition to further developing the studio space to be functionally organized, we've also discussed the aspect of including an community-art-space/educational element. We both have art backgrounds, and the home owner has extensive experience of working with children in an educational setting. My interest lies in working with an adult population which would be more open-studio-focused, than education-focused (since I don't really feel qualified to teach, per say). Bringing this idea to life would be a group effort; but it would help enrich the community, and welcome art students / enthusiasts of all ages. While it is in the distant future, the intent is real.
rewards for my generous supporters:
$15 gets you one cute sugar spoon. You should expect to receive a little guy similar to the one in the sugar bowl, pictured above. Bowls like this one are available in my etsy shop.
tripods can be used for anything from airplants/cacti or incense to sea salt or rings! Each one is a completely unique art object in form and finish. The one you'll receive will be unique. ( Please note, they aren't made with holes for drainage, so keep this in mind if you decide to put a plant in one! )
My $65 reward requires a little trust. I am offering a one-of-a-kind double-arm planter with drainage holes. They will be made and shipped randomly - no picture to represent exactly what you'll receive. They will be uniform in size: 15" circumference (5" diameter) and 3.5" tall. The few photos below represent a small number of the countless planters I've designed:
SET OF 4 LIQUOR SIPPERS ($130 Reward) - please expect some deviation from these pictures, as everything is hand-made to order:
ways to contact me or view more work:
Instagram: @curious.clay // website: www.shopcuriousclay.com
Please feel free to request a detailed breakdown of how the funds will be used.
video by Beato Bailey
select photos by Kristie Krause
Risks and challenges
Art-making has been a way of life for me for a long time now. I grew up watching parents who were both makers in their own ways. Ceramics is incredibly time-consuming, but it has been a labor of love. The success of my business is not an option; our family has to continue to be a two-income household. I feel really lucky to be able to bring my daughter to work with me, but it's definitely changed my work flow.
My studio practice (both painting and clay) has been a daily meditation for me for years, and only changed with the addition of my daughter. She's the most amazing baby, allowing me to continue my practice. She looks on, learning at her very young age about dedication and passion for making art. As much as I love what I do, she is my priority. I won't fail in delivering my rewards to my supporters, but I am accounting for making all the work with my tiny studio assistant everyday, thus many delivery dates in 2019. I also need to consider time for keeping up with my existing accounts.
Curious Clay has been a functioning business for nearly three years. This request for help isn't easy for me, as I prefer to be self sufficient, however the time has come to make some major investments in the future of my little business. For a more specific dollar-break-down of how I'm planning on allocating the funds, please email me at : firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you kindly!
- (30 days)