Project image
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$2,026
pledged of $2,000pledged of $2,000 goal
40
backers
11days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, September 27 2019 3:59 AM UTC +00:00.

Mosaic Tarot

78 mosaics resembling the Rider-Waite deck, totaling over 2,500 square feet, made by hand from broken pieces of ceramic tile.

Mosaic Tarot

78 mosaics resembling the Rider-Waite deck, totaling over 2,500 square feet, made by hand from broken pieces of ceramic tile.

$2,026
pledged of $2,000pledged of $2,000 goal
40
backers
11days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, September 27 2019 3:59 AM UTC +00:00.

About


Ahoy friends near and far!

My name is John Withee, and I am the creator of the Construction Paper Tarot deck. I'm a poet, artist, and writer from the improbable little town of Kalamazoo, and most of my public work is curated at The Cucumber Boat (fb, insta, .com)


My interest in tarot came to me many years ago, and has been an indispensable meditation practice for me, not just for transformative moments, but living day by day as well. Since then, Construction Paper Tarot has been used for readings by folks just like you in many countries across the world. Awesome!

In 2014 I visited an artist collective that had specialized in mosaics in the 1990's. I was impressed and wanted to learn how to do it myself, but spent the following years returning to grad school for poetry. I finally have time to focus on this project!


I like to look at Mosaic Tarot as intergenerational communication. I want my art to be able to speak to someone fifty or a hundred years into the future without losing its ielevancy. I want future viewers of Mosaic Tarot to be able to tap into an ancient wisdom for the unimaginable challenges that lie ahead.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably spent some time wondering about how such a small person can make a difference in such a big world. For me, that starts right here with my friends and neighbors in Kalamazoo! There are plenty of people who need help and assistance right in my backyard. So to that end, 10% of the sales of these original mosaics will be donated to our local YWCA, where my best friend is a crisis volunteer. Further donations from the project will benefit Urban Alliance, the Tree of Life School, the future Edison Chapel, and many more organizations that fight back directly against poverty and foster community among people in immediate need in the city that I love so much. You are going to be able to watch your donation to this kickstarter grow and grow into something that is locally transformative in so many different ways.

So what is it already?! Let me tell you.

I am creating 78 individual mosaics from an estimated 400,000 individually broken, chosen, placed, mortared, grouted and cleaned pieces of broken glazed ceramic tile. About 2/3rds of them will be fifteen square feet in size; the rest, smaller or larger, depending on a number of factors, such as need for greater detail or particular significance. Ultimately the project may reach a maximum of 2,932 square feet, being composed of somewhere between 152-196 15-square-foot panels.  Those decisions are mostly dependent on time constraints.  I want to make them as detailed as I can -- but I *also* want to make sure *you* get your decks sooner rather than later!

As part of my artistic process, I smash tiles with a hammer. It is important to me that each piece is “repurposed from a moment of chaos,” something that happens to people from time to time. 

Ultimately, much of the project is going to make and early victory lap in September of 2020 when the project will be painfully and carefully moved up to Grand Rapids for ArtPrize, and decks will print and ship shortly after.  But there are going to be a lot of fun stops along the way!

I can’t do this alone. In addition to this Kickstarter, I am pursuing avenues with local grants, and there are even more ways to get involved with this project that you’ll want to check out at thecucumberboat.com! 

In the past, I have included kickstarter backers in decision-making processes, such as the layout and design of the cards you will receive. So climb aboard, poke around, and let’s make this ambitious and beautiful project to life!

There have already been many people who have thrown essential support behind this project over the years, primarily Mike Braganini for guidance on the medium, Sarah Harber for building the website, and many more – and I want you to be a part of it! 

Risks and challenges

While there is no doubt that I will complete the project, and much of it by the time ArtPrize rolls around, the real challenge is going to be producing the time that I need to build these pieces. It takes a lot of work, and the process can be very energy- and time-consuming!

At the moment, I work 60 hours a week to make ends meet in addition to working here in the studio on mosaics as often as I can. The less I have to work, the more time I can spend here doing what I love! Selling some of these original mosaics as an extra source of funding for the project as I go along will provide another source of funding for the project, which will cover all the unforeseen costs, as well as buy me some much-needed time in the studio.

I'm more than ready to work on this project every day from sun-up til sundown as long my expenses are covered, and the sooner I can complete the project, the sooner everyone gets their decks!

I'll be documenting the challenges I face as time goes on and giving plenty of status updates here, as well as Facebook and Instagram, so you can frequently interact with the journey!

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    Pledge US$ 7 or more About US$ 7

    Postcard

    I'll send you a unique postcard over the course of the project with a unique and #rare picture of the project that no one else has and give you a special note on how things are coming along!

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    Pledge US$ 27 or more About US$ 27

    Book (+Postcard)

    I am writing my sixth book for you!! The tentative title is "The Cucumber Boat's Guide To Tarot." This guide through the Rider-Waite will be specifically informed by intentional sobriety and learning how to live day by day with disorders such as C-PTSD. It will include many black-and-white images of the Mosaic Tarot project.

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    Mosaic Tarot! (+Secret Poem) (+Postcard)

    Here it is!! This beautiful 78-card deck, forged through baptisms of fire and water, dredged up through joy and pain and truth, will be yours a full four months before it will be available for purchase by anyone else. You will have special access to updates and images, and you will be an integral part of the process, as I am going to need your input along the way to make design decisions that I occasionally need your expert advice on!

    Your Kickstarter pledge pays for the printing of your deck -- but it also buys me the lumber I need to create one structure & frame, an absolutely essential cost to the beginning stages of the project.

    For the first fifteen pledges I'll write a secret poem for you underneath a specific Mosaic that I build on the structure & frame that *you* allowed me to work on!

    At this backer reward level, shipping is FREE!

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    Pledge US$ 49 or more About US$ 49

    Mosaic Tarot! (+Postcard)

    Here it is!! This beautiful 78-card deck, forged through baptisms of fire and water, dredged up through joy and pain and truth, will be yours a full four months before it will be available for purchase by anyone else. You will have special access to updates and images, and you will be an integral part of the process, as I am going to need your input along the way to make design decisions that I occasionally need your expert advice on!

    Your Kickstarter pledge pays for the printing of your deck -- but it also buys me the lumber I need to create one structure & frame, an absolutely essential cost to the beginning stages of the project.

    At this backer reward level, shipping is FREE!

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    Pledge US$ 69 or more About US$ 69

    Mosaic Tarot (+Book) (+Postcard)

    Get the Mosaic Tarot Deck and the Cucumber Boat's Guide to Tarot all at once!

    At this backer reward level, shipping is FREE!

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    TWO Decks (+2 Postcards)

    Double the fun for a small discount. That's how it works!

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    THREE Decks (+3 Postcards?!)

    2021 is the eleventy-first birthday of Pamela Colman Smith's iconic, transformative, and visionary images. Celebrate by pledging eleventy-one bucks! Free Shipping!

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    Pledge US$ 69 or more About US$ 69

    Mosaic Tarot (+Book) (+Poem) (+Postcard)

    Get the Mosaic Tarot Deck and the Cucumber Boat's Guide to Tarot all at once! For the first five of these pledges, I'll write you a secret poem behind a mosaic I'm building that only you know is there!

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