Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 21, 2013.

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Roast your foods with some adorable aquatic assistance. Help me make these hand crafted stainless steel narwhals a reality!

We're Funded - Woohoo!

Thank you all *SO* much for getting this funded! There's less than ten days to go and I'm having narwhal-inspired artists contribute to the campaign! I'm focused on upgrading the rewards to make the narwhal skewer packages shinier and better!

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A big, big thanks to the many kind folks talking about narwhal bbq skewers!

And especially the efforts of everyone on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Reddit!

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Hello! I’m Melissa Dowell, an illustrator, screenprinter and general art mercenary. And these are my narwhal barbecue skewers.

What now?

Narwhal BBQ skewers. The handle is a cast stainless steel narwhal body and there's a twisted steel horn for the skewer. It's designed to be thrown on the barbecue for deep searing or held over the fire for small item roasting. It'll be hot to touch at first, but the high quality steel will cool down faster than your meat, so you can eat right off the horn.

The idea came about years ago, and no one else was willing to step up to the design challenge, so myself and industrial designer Matthew Borgatti (Anywhere Organ, Sleek & Destroy) sat down in the studio and set about creating the whimsical food lancers you see before you! Hammering out a design out of clay, pixels and eventually even 3D printing the models until we developed the most adorable narwhal skewer we could come up with.

The skewer shaft was machined locally in NYC, the handle 3D printed and joined together to become a perfect prototype. The hardest part is done already, but now, we need your help to be able to release these Narwhal Skewers into the wild for their very first production run!

Where are you getting these made?

Photo by Steve Prue of teamrockstarimages.com
Photo by Steve Prue of teamrockstarimages.com

I’m in talks with several factories at the moment and am narrowing down my selection based on the preference of finding one factory that can make all the pieces in one facility and then ship them to me already set up. This is my first venture into the world of manufacturing and I have to admit, it’s an interesting journey! From locating factories that do the sorts of casting and machining that I need done, to hammering out details such as the metals and finishings, and the quantities allowable within any given factory; this is a story I want to tell! Like with most things, the final decisions are really going to be based on how many pre-orders I receive. I plan on documenting and publishing every step of this journey in order to share the entire process with fellow novice manufacturers and anyone who is just plain interested in knowing how it's done.

What are my choices?

Narwhals don't come easy, so I based my prices on a short run basis, with some fun bonuses for those who just want to contribute and help me on my path, as well as for people who want more than a shiny skewer. Be sure, if you're outside the US, to include extra shipping.

$1 Voyeur Special

Access to backer updates about my process building the narwhals and follow along as I document their production from factory to delivery. Bonus: a million thank yous from now 'til then.

$10 Hello Special

I'll send you a hand-signed postcard with a die-cut sticker front in either the vegetarian or carnivorous *or sweet tooth* narwhal design. I'll send you my gratitude, you can slap the narwhal on anything you'd like! (Gratitude may be harder to stick onto things)

Included in all reward categories $25 and over!

$25 Special Special

available in men's & women's sizes, XS-XXL, children's S-XL
available in men's & women's sizes, XS-XXL, children's S-XL

You asked for it, you get it! Now offering just the vegetarian or carnivore narwhal BBQ t-shirt. Vegetarian option is a narwhal happily roasting a (rather displeased) mushroom, pepper & slice of eggplant. Carnivore narwhal is holding (also rather unhappy) meat cube, sausage and bacon slice over the fire.

newly unlocked Sweet Tooth narwhal tee design
newly unlocked Sweet Tooth narwhal tee design

Newly unlocked Sweet Tooth narwhal is roasting a marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker s'more trio. Yum!

$30 Ride the Fish Special

11x17" full colour poster by artist Yao Xiao
11x17" full colour poster by artist Yao Xiao

Well, actually, it's a mammal. NYC-based artist Yao Xiao created this poster inspired by the narwhal skewer project. You can own it in full colour and 11x17 inches large. Yao's work covers a wide variety of subjects--ranging from posters for underground parties, editorial illustrations for world travel magazines, and even to covers for adult novels. She has earned honored recognition from American Illustration, the Society of Illustrators and the National Society of Arts and Letters. Please check out her works at http://yaoxiaoart.com & on Facebook at http://facebook.com/yaoxiaoart.

Available in reward categories $125 and over!

$45-49 Narwhal Special

Prepare yourself for barbecue bad-assery because with this level you get your very own set of two stainless steel narwhal BBQ skewers! They'll be packaged in a specially designed and screenprinted box for the Kickstarter run. Be careful, they're sharp!

If you wish to order more than one set, please include the additional amount to your pledge & select this reward.

$75 Dapper Special 

available in men's & women's sizes, XS-XXL, children's S-XL
available in men's & women's sizes, XS-XXL, children's S-XL
Medium-length apron in sweet-tooth, carnivorous or vegetarian narwhal screenprints
Medium-length apron in sweet-tooth, carnivorous or vegetarian narwhal screenprints

So now that you've got your narwhal skewers, it's time to update your roasting attire! This level comes with not only the two stainless steel skewers, but also your choice of a t-shirt or apron, hand screenprinted with either the vegetarian or carnivorous narwhal. Dapper indeed!

$115 Campfire Special

Photo by Kate Black, an example of her epic marshmallow-making skills
Photo by Kate Black, an example of her epic marshmallow-making skills

The ultimate roasting package. You'll receive a set of two narwhal BBQ skewers, an apron with either vegetarian or carnivorous narwhal printed on it and a 16oz. mason jar of artisanal marshmallows, created by Kate Black. Please note that the marshmallows will not be vegan-friendly as they are made with gelatin. Limited to 10 sets.

$200 All or Nothing Special

Someone knows their way around a skewer... you've speared it all! You will receive the set of two narwhal skewers, the t-shirt, the apron, the silkscreen poster AND the sticker postcard in one massive bundle. You are welcome to mix and match your choices for each item or have them all be Team Vegetable or Team Meat.

$450 Treasure Chest Special

An example of one of Katelan Foisy's spirit boxes, not the exact item you will receive
An example of one of Katelan Foisy's spirit boxes, not the exact item you will receive

Collaborate with artist Katelan Foisy to have your very own hand-painted custom wooden box for storing your narwhal skewers (or anything that is long and skinny and will fit inside). Katelan Foisy is a multi-disciplinary artist and tarotolgist known as La Gitana and the Mistress of Magic. Her work has appeared at the Grammy Awards, CitySlang Records, Out Magazine, the Society of Illustrators, Last Rites Gallery and in numerous other places. You can check out her work at http://katelanfoisy.com or visit her online store.

$500 Mer-whal Special

An example of Fred Harper's mermaids, not the exact image you will receive
An example of Fred Harper's mermaids, not the exact image you will receive

Illustrator and comic book artist Fred Harper will render your likeness into a 10x14" watercolour portrait as a spiral-horned mer-whal - this is open to men and women! He is best known for his signature caricature work and you can definitely request that he take liberties with your physique (or lack thereof). Fred Harper's illustrations has appeared in prestigious publications “Time”, “The Wall Street Journal”,”The New York Times”, “Playboy”, “The Village Voice”, “Sports Illustrated”, and just about every issue of “The Week” magazine. He has also drawn the interiors of comics such as "Conan the Barbarian", "Spiderman" and "Doctor Strange". You can see more of his work available at http://www.fredharper.com/ 

$1,000 Sea Captain Special

an example of Molly Crabapple's nautical work
an example of Molly Crabapple's nautical work

The amazing and wonderful artist Molly Crabapple will draw a pen and ink portrait of you riding a narwhal! The original will be signed and sent to you.

Thank Yous

This project has been over a year and a half in the making. I would not have been able to do it without the help of my friends who helped literally make this happen: Madeleine Scott-Spencer and Numidas Prasarn, who provided much of my 3D design support from opposite ends of the earth, Keith Jenson (Brainwomb), my videographer and Eden Nova, photographer; and Foley, my incredibly [redacted] copy writer. An extra special thanks all of those who came out to join me on camera in the video!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

This may be the first BBQ skewer that I've ever fabricated, but this is not mine or my partner Matt's first Kickstarter.

Matt ran the successfully funded Anywhere Organ campaign. I've worked alongside Molly Crabapple for her two recent campaigns, leading 600+backers fulfillment, and have assisted with many others. The journals I post will keep everyone abreast of all the happenings during manufacture and I have a team at hand to help make sure I get everyone's items out as quickly as possible.

Having built a successful prototype and alongside the CAD designs for production of the handle, we are already in talks with multiple factories for production. The only risk would be a delay in shipment date, depending on the quantity of the first run and how long it would take for fulfillment. We have tested the skewers personally and are set on the design, size and shape. There should be almost no difference in what you see on the screen and what you will receive.

FAQ

  • Depending on if you were an early contributor or are in the general narwhal special category, just double the amount to the set. Please increase shipping by $10 if you're international, to compensate for the shipping costs - these little narwhals start to gain some heft when they're all in one box!

    Last updated:
  • No! I am happy to do a run of kid's size t-shirts. I'll ask you specify when the surveys go out. However, I am not doing baby or toddler sized shirts.

    Last updated:
304
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  • Pledge $1 or more
    You selected

    20 backers

    Voyeur Special: Access to backer updates about my process building the narwhals and follow along as I document the process of production.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $10 or more
    You selected

    5 backers

    Hello Special: A hand-signed postcard with a die-cut sticker front in either the vegetarian or carnivorous narwhal design.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    19 backers

    Special Special: You asked, I give. This here will get you the vegetarian or carnivorous narwhal t-shirt. If you want both, just double your pledge amount!

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $6 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $30 or more
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    3 backers

    Ride the Fish Special: One 11x17" digitally printed poster by Yao Xiao of a girl riding a narwhal into an avalanche of foods.

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  • Pledge $45 or more
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    100 backers All gone!

    Early Narwhal Special: Set of two narwhal BBQ skewers.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $49 or more
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    94 backers

    Narwhal Special: Regular pricing for a set of two stainless steel narwhal BBQ skewers.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $75 or more
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    45 backers

    Dapper Special: Set of two narwhal BBQ skewers and option of t-shirt or apron, screenprinted with either vegetarian or carnivorous narwhal.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $80 or more
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    0 backers

    Nar-stronaut Special: One full colour 12x18" digital printed poster by Yao Xiao of a girl riding a narwhal into a deluge of foods along with a set of narwhal skewers.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $100 or more
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    5 backers

    Domestic Special: Set of two narwhal BBQ skewers, plus a 12.5x19" 5-colour screenprinted poster of either a vegetarian or carnivorous narwhal. Please note: it is a different design than the t-shirts.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $125 or more
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    4 backers Limited (6 left of 10)

    Campfire Special: Set of two narwhal BBQ skewers, an apron with either vegetable or carnivorous narwhal printed on it and a mason jar of homemade marshmallows.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $200 or more
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    1 backer

    All or Nothing Special: You'll receive one t-shirt, one apron, a set of two skewers, the silkscreen poster and the sticker postcard. You can mix and match your choices for each item.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $400 or more
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    1 backer

    Omnivorous Special: You'll receive two t-shirts, two aprons, two sets of skewers, two silkscreen posters and two sticker postcards. One set will be all meat eater gear, the other vegetarian gear - you can choose to show off whichever side you want wherever you are!

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $450 or more
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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Treasure Chest Special: Artist Katelan Foisy will hand-paint a felt-lined wooden box to store and display your narwhals skewers. Includes a set of two narwhal skewers, all 3 narwhal postcards and one narwhal silkscreen poster.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $25 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $500 or more
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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Mer-whal Special: Artist Fred Harper will render you as a 10x14" narwhal-horned mermaid (or merman) in beautiful ink and watercolours! I will also include a set of two narwhal skewers, all 3 narwhal postcards and one narwhal silkscreen poster along with your portrait.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    1 backer All gone!

    Sea Captain Special: Artist Molly Crabapple will draw an ink portrait of you riding a narwhal. Also: skewers (2)

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (30 days)