Check out Update #10 for more details...
- Do you love pie?
- Do you barely know how to turn your oven on let alone bake a pie?
- Do you have a plethora of geeky friends you'd like to completely blow away at your next game night, movie marathon, or other special occasion?
Good! Because I'm here to show you how your first pie, can be the most epic pie your friends have ever seen... with Pie Guides!
In my non-pie life I'm a filmmaker, designer and a big geek who loves to learn new things. Last year when I decided to finally learn how my oven works and bake my very first pie, I turned to the web for inspiration. I found thousands of gloriously geeky cakes, waffles, cookies, cupcakes, breads, muffins, rice crispy treats, pancakes... but almost no geeky pies. Seriously! I mean, geeks like pies, right? So what gives?
Well, I did a bit of digging and it turns out, people think making pies is hard. I was told by veteran baker friends that even working with pre-fab rollout crusts is too much of a challenge to "fancy up" because of the speed with which you have to work before the dough starts to dry out and crack.
BUT! If I could think of a way to speed up the process of creating awesome designs in pie dough, suddenly there would be nothing standing in the way of an army of geeky Pie-oneers filling the web with weird and wonderful pie-y goodness...
Enter my "Pie Guides”!
To correct the horrible imbalance of "regular" vs. "geeky" pies out there in the universe, I invented a simple modular system of Pie Guides that allow anyone - from baking novice to pie god - to create sophisticated and fun pie crust designs in under 10 minutes (because really, why should cakes have all the fun?)
Now I need your help to raise $2000 to place a minimum first order based on my prototypes.
If you, like me, believe it is time for pies to take their rightful place as the kings and queens of geeky desserts we all know they can be, click on that big 'ol green "Back This Project" button and ‘dough your part’ in becoming a true Pie-oneer!
Sections in the project page:
- How to Use Pie Guides
- Powder Guide Kits
- The Ultimate Pie Guide
- Research & Development
- Backer Rewards
- Stretch Goals
- Pies Are Awesome in the Media
- Thank you!
With just a $10 (Canadian!) pledge, you can get your oven mitts on one of these bad boys...
Each individual Pie Guide can create many unique pie designs quickly and easily. It was a tough process to decide which designs would make the cut for the first batch of Pie Guide prototypes, but after a few months of consultation with expert geek focus groups, I narrowed it down to these six and I hope you dig them!
Pie Guide 1: Rampant Unicorn
You can't spell "geek" without "unicorn", right? With modular legs and hair, the Rampant Unicorn Pie Guide gives you the freedom to control your level of pie epicness. Plus you can add a bit of food colouring and sprinkles to your dough to really kick things up a notch with some full-on rainbow unicorn pie power!
Pie Guide 2: Graphic C'thulhu
What is it about C'thulhu and pies that go so well together? The Graphic C'thulhu Pie Guide offers my own Celtic Knot-esque twist on the Lovecraftian creature of legend, complete with Elder God symbol. Give your Necronomicon book club something to consume while you wait for the denizens of R'yleh to consume you!
Pie Guide 3: The Murder Kitties
Yin and Yang, Love and Hate, warm fuzzy hearts and cold steel glocks... The Murder Kitties Pie Guide has it all! You can produce positive or negative designs on one pre-fab pie crust as the guide cutouts are designed to fit within one another to maximize your design options.
Pie Guide 4: Fire Breathing Dragon
A classic geeky offering - the Fire Breathing Dragon Pie Guide is perfect for those marathon viewing parties. Game of Thrones night? Hobbit-a-thon? Kicking it old school with a little Dragon Slayer? (I love that movie) Whatever your friends are into, you'll be the hero of the evening when you throw down this fiery offering.
Pie Guide 5: Moustache Man
Would you like a little weird with your wonderful? The Moustache Man Pie Guide has got you covered. Emulate your mustachioed friend for his birthday, give a handlebar 'stach a ride on a regular ol' cherry pie, or create an epic abstract masterpiece out of dozen of different lip warmers. The pie-sibilities are endless!
Pie Guide 6: Pi Mandala
One of the most versatile of the bunch, the Pi Mandala Pie Guide allows you to create gorgeously geeky works of art with hundreds of different possible combinations. You can combine these shapes with your own cookie cutters at home for even more options, or keep things classic with a simple Pi symbol cutout to celebrate next Pi Day on March 14th.
A $10 pledge gets you the Pie Guide of your choice from the six options above. While each of these first six Pie Guides can create multiple compositions on their own, when you combine them together you can really unleash your inner geek with dragon-winged kitties, heavily armed unicorns, and moustache mandalas. So have a look at the higher pledge levels that allow you to get all six at a discount!
To use any of these Pie Guides - alone or together - simply place the Guides on your chilled dough, use a sharp knife to trace the outlines, and then lift the cutouts with your knife and place as desired.
I have over a hundred 8" diameter Pie Guides designed on paper already - everything from sea monsters and submarines to rockets and robots to pandas and poodles - and my hope is to be able to continue to offer nifty new designs to the pie-loving public. But first we have to make this campaign a success!
If you are ready to help me bring my Pie Guides to the world, please click on the green "Back This Project" button and select a reward level. If you'd like to see some more of Pie Guides in action, read on...
Geeky Upgrade! Add incredible effects and detail with the “Powder Guide” Kits.
The basic Pie Guides outlined above are the just the first batch of what will (hopefully!) be many more designs to come... But I wanted to also offer a unique incentive for backers who select the option of purchasing multiple sets of Pie Guides. The following "Powder Guide Kits" are special Guides that incorporate both a traditional Pie Guide for cutting out dough, and a "Powder Guide" - made of a thinner flexible clear foodsafe material - for adding additional, finer detail in your favourite powder such as cinnamon or cocoa.
These kits allow for more sophisticated compositions without adding any additional complexity to the creation process. If you can sprinkle spices from a jar, you can pull these off!
To use the Powder Guides in the kits, simply:
- create your basic shapes with the regular Pie Guide in the kit
- place your Powder Guide on top and give it a quick egg white wash
- sprinkle your cinnamon (or powder of your choice) and blow off the excess
- lift off the Powder Guide to reveal a unique and beautiful pie design!
To date, I have created and tested prototypes for two different Powder Guide Kits...
Powder Guide Kit 1: Math Butterflies
The Math Butterflies Powder Guide Kit consists of four beautiful sets of wings covered in some of my favourite mathematical symbols. At first glance your guests will be greeted with a lovely array of textured butterflies in flight, but on closer inspection the true nerdy nature of this pie will be revealed...
Powder Guide Kit 2: Steampunk Caravan
"Carry me caravan, take me away..." The whimsical Steampunk Caravan Powder Guide Kit just begs to be tricked out with your own special touches... particularly with details from the other Pie Guides (I'm picturing a C'thulhu attack erupting around the wagon from a steaming cherry pie sea. Anyone else picturing that? No, just me?)
UPDATE Three new Powder Guides just announced: Mr Puggy Face, Eye Brain Eater, and Retro Rockets! You wanted cute, you wanted gross, you wanted Retro... you got it. Choose from any of these, or the two above.
My final offering in the initial volley of Pie Guides is something I'll wager no one in your circle has ever seen: "The Ultimate Custom Pie Guide" - aka. your face on a pie.
- presenting your pie-loving brother with his favourite pie, adorned with his smiling face, for a graduation present
- preparing a buffet table filled with dozen of different flavours of wedding pie, each featuring the likeness of the happy couple
- surprising your impossible-to-buy-for spouse with their mug on a pie for their birthday
- proposing to your fiance, in pie form, with a special message and image served as the final course of a home cooked meal
- freaking out your D+D group by constantly bringing a pie with your face on it to every game night and shouting "eat me!" as you deposit your creepy edible centrepiece in the middle of the table
Okay, maybe I'm the only one who thinks that last one is cool... But whatever you use your "Ultimate Custom Pie Guide" kit for, I guarantee the recipients will never forget it!
I make each custom kit myself using high contrast, high resolution images which you provide, and creating two illustration components:
1) A basic Pie Guide, which forms the head outline in pie dough, plus a simple decorative shape if desired
2) A Powder Guide, which creates all of the fine detail in contrasting powder, and may also include a short line of text
Together, these custom Pie Guides and Powder Guides combine to create one-of-a-kind images of your friends and loved ones (or any other image you own the rights to) in the immortal medium of pie.
Okay, its not really very immortal. But it is darn cool.
This reward level is limited though, so act fast if you want one!
The making of each Pie Guide and Powder Guide involves a process of:
- Brainstorm sketching
- Sketch refinement and focus group testing
- Digital mock up in Illustrator
- File refinement for manufacturing
- Material selection and negotiations/QC with manufacturer
- Prototype stress testing
- Prototype pie testing with third parties
- Design refinement as needed (when angles too sharp or detail too fine)
- Final documentation and design lock
I have gone through this process with all of the designs featured in the above sections, but I need your help to complete the next step! In order to make my Pie Guides available to the world at a reasonable price, I need to place a minimum-sized bulk order with my manufacturer. Which is why I am looking to raise $2000 (Canadian!) from you, the good people of Kickstarter.
But I don't expect anyone to help me out of the goodness of their hearts... gosh no! So, what's in it for you if you back this project? Read on...
Whether you're a master baker (tee hee), just a little pie curious, or simply a fan of the whole "pie" thing, there's a reward level for you!
And if you are looking to order a Pie Guide as a gift for a baker friend this Christmas/Chanukah/Festivus/etc. I've got you covered... Every backer at the $10 and higher level will receive a link to download a special "You're getting a Pie Guide!" Gift Announcement card which showcases the Pie Guides in action, and has a place for a personal holiday message from you. The cards will be available to download the second the project ends on November 30th so you don't have to worry about missing your holiday deadlines - you can wrap up the card in a pie pan and your friends and loved ones will know exactly what they've got coming to them!
Show your support for team pie AND your mad colouring skills on a neato downloadable Art Nouveau-inspired pie poster. Plus you'll get a special thanks on www.piesareawesome.com as one of the very first supporters of the geeky Pie-oneering movement.
Get the thing! For $10 Canadian plus shipping you can choose from any of the first six Pie Guide prototypes. And of course you'll have instant access to the downloadable gift card for your holiday gift-ees.
Kick the epic up a notch with one of the Powder Guide Kits. Choose from either the Math Butterflies or the Steampunk Caravan.
Why choose? Get both Powder Guide Kits at a savings of $6!
Get all six Pie Guides at the $50 level for a savings of $10, then mix and match to unleash maximum weirdness - er - creativity!
Save $21 when you order all six Pie Guides and both Powder Guide Kits!
Go in with a buddy, or buy an extra set for your bestest baker friend... and save $52!
With the Ultimate Custom Pie Guide you can propose to your fiancé, wish a delicious retirement (re-pie-r-ment?) to your folks, or a Hap-pie Birthday to your boss in a way they'll never forget... with their face on their favourite pie! Plus you get one of each Pie Guide and Powder Guide Kit too.
Since I hand make each Guide file, this tier is limited to 10 backers so act fast...
While I only need $2000 to get the pie party started, I would love to be able to expand my offering and spread the good pie word even further... With this in mind I've prepared a few stretch goals to gun for:
If we hit the $5000 mark, I will produce a series of How To videos, showcasing all the weird and wonderful things you can do with Pie Guides. Backers will get a preview link before they go live online.
If you are a member of the Pie-oneers Club, you know that you get a new pie colouring sheet every quarter with my newsletter already. But I would love to be able to produce a full 24-page downloadable book of Art Nouveau inspired pie posters for people to colour! If we hit the $7500 mark on this campaign, I will do just that. Backers will get 4 new pages free as a downloadable pdf before the book is released.
If we're fortunate enough to hit $10,000 in pledges, I will kick things up a serious notch by producing a full-length cookbook showcasing all of my pie secrets - codified by technique, and chock full of new delicious geeky pie examples and tutorials. Everything from simple "pie modding" (that's fancying up store bought pies) to from-scratch epic masterpiece construction. Backers will get a free preview chapter as a downloadable pdf before anyone else.
Brand-spankin'-new stretch goal! We held a poll on my Twitter account so you could vote for the next Pie Guide I would offer, and the Ninja Bunnies won in a landslide! So if we can reach $31,415.92 before November 30th, everyone at the $50 pledge level and higher will get a new Ninja Bunnies Pie Guide FREE!
On my blog, Pies Are Awesome, I teach people how to make a new epic pie masterpiece each week. Recently I had the pleasure of appearing on ABC's television series The CHEW along with half a dozen pies from my blog and this custom one made just for the show...
Click here to check out the clip, and watch me mildly burn Clinton Kelly ;)
I've also been featured in the following publications:
And you can read a few of the articles below:
New York Magazine/Grub Street: http://www.grubstreet.com/2016/10/this-woman-bakes-pop-culture-references-into-pies.html
That’s Nerdalicious: http://www.thatsnerdalicious.com/recipes/diy-cthulhu-strawberries/
Something Cool: http://www.somethingcool.ca/cool/this-is-simply-pietastic/
Awesome Inventions: http://www.awesomeinventions.com/crypt-of-the-necrodancer-pixel-art-pie/
Food and Wine: http://www.foodandwine.com/fwx/food/cthulu-pie
Over at www.PiesAreAwesome.com, and on my Instagram account (@thePieous), I aim to demystify the process of epic pie creation and share all my tips and tricks with weekly tutorials. But what I love most of all is learning from you! That's why every Monday I write about someone else's inspiring epic pie in the "Ins-pie-ration" section. If you've got an epic/pie or baker to share - let me know on any of my social channels!
Instagram: @thePieous www.instagram.com/ThePieous
Twitter: @thePieous https://twitter.com/ThePieous
Here's a quick peek of some of my pies - all of which you can find along with detailed tutorials on my blog!
There's not much left to say but thank you!
Thank you for taking the time to check out my project, and thank you for helping me spread the word about the awesomeness of pies.
If you are ready to Join the Pie-oneers, please share this project and let the world know that Pies Are Awesome!
π > ∞
Risks and challenges
The largest risk with this project is still a relatively small one: depending on the number of backers, different manufacturing techniques and different manufacturing partners may need to be employed to fulfill orders. To help mitigate this risk, I have established connections to half a dozen different local and overseas companies which should be able to cover me for any size of potential order.
Another small risk is variation in colour batches. While I would love to offer exactly the colours depicted here for each Pie Guide, depending on the size of the orders I may be limited to specific colours outside of my control.
As challenges arise, I will rely on my experience with project and product management to find solutions in a timely fashion, and I will do my utmost to respect the faith you've all placed in me with your pledges!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)