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A woman-owned pottery business keeping art alive in the heart of San Francisco.
A woman-owned pottery business keeping art alive in the heart of San Francisco.
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367 backers pledged $75,650 to help bring this project to life.

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MMclay Ceramics Studio/Showroom: Bringing Art To Your Table

$75,650

367

5/23/19:  FRESH NEW REWARD - 7 days to go! 

15" Serving Platter $225  (or increase current pledge by $200 (Save $25!) to receive this plus previous reward) 

**Previous backers: increase by $200 and add-on this platter to your previous pledge reward**
**Previous backers: increase by $200 and add-on this platter to your previous pledge reward**

5/6/19:

$30,000... ✓Done. Let's Double It!

Thank you to everyone who has helped us reach the $30K milestone in just 5 days. Wow. 

We're close to a month away from our move-in date to the new studio... paint colors have been chosen, shelves are being constructed, my new Bailey 40-cubic-foot gas kiln is being welded as we speak. It's so exciting. 

We still have time to make this campaign truly impactful, and raise the funds necessary for a functional - and beautiful - production studio & showroom. I've decided to add a stretch goal of $60K; once we reach it, every backer will receive an extra large heavy-duty canvas MMclay tote - perfect for all your gorgeous Kickstarter rewards, as well as your visits to the market.

MaryMar Keenan: Owner & Designer of MMclay - a small production ceramics studio in the heart of San Francisco, California 


MMclay is a woman-owned business with a small team of makers and an enormous passion to keep art alive in one of the nation's most expensive cities. As founder, I design & produce handmade pottery, and I'm driven by its importance in provoking quiet conversations between maker, object and user.    

I’ve created dinnerware for art lovers, foodies, chefs and restaurant owners from all over the world. The demand for my work is higher than ever, but my studio is tiny - two large kilns, shelving and production equipment in a 500 square-foot space. I literally can’t fit anything more.  

Recently, I had to make a decision - either stop taking new orders or take a leap of faith and commit to leasing a bigger space. In San Francisco, the costs are astronomical, but this city is at the heart of my business, my community and my family - I’m dedicated to working towards a solution. 

After searching for a year, I've finally found it - an empty shell of a building that has the potential to transform my business. It’s blocks away from our MMclay Airstream retail shop, and is well-suited for workshops and events. We're excited to create more meaningful in-person connections among the community of artists and art lovers in San Francisco. 

Help me raise a minimum of $30,000 to make this project a reality! 

To encourage your support, I’m launching a brand-new line of vases, cups, bowls and plates, now available exclusively as rewards for this campaign. All are handcrafted, glazed and fired at MMclay, and each piece will be signed by yours truly. 

REWARDS, REWARDS, REWARDS

NEWLY ADDED REWARD: 15" Serving Platter -- $225

***Previous backers can add $200 to their pledge and receive this platter + previous pledge reward!!***
***Previous backers can add $200 to their pledge and receive this platter + previous pledge reward!!***

Previously added / original rewards:

What have I achieved so far, and why a minimum of $30,000? 

The project is already well underway - but I still need your help. I negotiated and signed the lease, designed the interior of the studio and put a deposit on a new gas kiln ($$$$!) which will triple MMclay's production capacity. I need to cover the balance for the kiln, as well as purchase additional equipment and furnishings to ensure a beautiful and highly functional studio for my employees and my customers.

My Kickstarter goal is $30,000 - but we need much more. Whatever we make beyond that will help offset bank loans and additional costs associated with outfitting and running an efficient ceramics studio in this expensive city, including: 

  • Two electric kilns for bisque firings
  • Shelving and storage
  • Ventilation, studio and safety equipment
  • Work benches and dry racks
  • Glaze kitchen and the equipment for it
  • Office supplies and furnishings 
  • Dishwasher and kitchen appliances to host chef and community events

Help me keep handmade art thriving in this city, by contributing to my project today. Please keep in mind: Kickstarter is all or nothing - I have to reach the goal in order to benefit from your support.  

Follow my progress on Instagram, Facebook and by subscribing to my newsletter: 

Spread the word!

By backing this project, you're supporting the arts community, creativity and a woman-owned small business. Please share the link with your friends and family!    

About MMclay: 

MMclay is a handmade tableware business operating from a very small studio in the Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco. MMclay took off in 2014, when I was commissioned to design work for Stuart Brioza's James Beard award-winning restaurant, The Progress. Since then, I’ve developed 3 collections that have been featured in Food and Wine Magazine, Remodelista, Saveur, San Francisco Magazine and many other publications. 

In 2017, MMclay opened an Airstream retail shop on Octavia Street in Hayes Valley. Between the Airstream and production studio, I now employ a team of hard-working and talented young makers. With their help, MMclay has produced tableware for 50+ top-tier restaurants in the U.S. and abroad, including:  

Beyond restaurants, my work is sold in select online and brick-and-mortar retailers. I also offer a wide range of custom design services, event rentals, wedding registries and more. For additional information, visit my website or email me directly at marymar@mmclay.com.

Risks and challenges

This fundraising effort has been carefully planned, and the need to move to a new studio is imperative. I have done my best to estimate our expenses as thoroughly as possible, but something could always come up! If and when it does, I am prepared to find a solution to make sure it happens. I've been working with contractors, architects and engineers to ensure the space is built according to San Francisco's strict guidelines.

I've also given myself a head start in preparation, so that every backer receives their rewards in a timely fashion. Maintaining business growth and preparing for the next big leap has been challenging - but I'm excited to take this new step.

Thanks again for your support.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    4" Ramekin (Condiment Dish)

    Exclusive Kickstarter release, this sweet little dish has multiple uses. Soy sauce, olives, cherry pits, jewelry, a fancy bowl for feeding your parakeet...the possibilities are endless. You'll wonder how you ever got by in life without it.

    Each high-fire stoneware piece is hand brushed with a beautiful white glaze and a satin-black trim. All will be signed by yours truly.

    Glazes will vary delightfully - making each one a unique work of art.

    Dishwasher & Microwave Safe. Lead-free & food-safe glazes mixed in house.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    7.25" Cereal Bowl

    Cereal, soup, salad, side dish, serving bowl: this versatile "Cereal Bowl" can be used for all sorts of delectable treats. Start your day with that healthy serving of Wheaties or, better yet, impress the crowd at your next pot-luck with your famous couscous salad. The intense color of those bright red cherry tomatoes will pop in this gorgeous bowl.

    The fanned out edges provide a dramatic side view. Each piece is made using a high-fire stoneware with white glaze and a satin black trim that can occasionally drip gold specs. This glaze design is an exclusive release for my Kickstarter. Each one is signed by yours truly.

    7.25”d x 3”h

    Glazes will vary delightfully - making each one a unique work of art.

    Dishwasher & Microwave Safe. Lead-free & food-safe glazes mixed in house.

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    Limited 59 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 125 or more About US$ 125

    Tall Vase

    An excellent housewarming, holiday or birthday gift, this tall vase is the perfect size and shape for any bouquet of flowers. Its slight bevelled top edge allows for a sturdy display and the white & black glazes give it a sleek, modern look.
    Red tulips, white hydrangea branches or that lovely lone palm frond - each make their own bold statement with this simple, elegant vase.

    8.5"h

    Glazes will vary delightfully - making each one a unique work of art.

    Dishwasher-safe, this piece is sure to be your go-to vase for any occasion.

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    65 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 185 or more About US$ 185

    Set of 4 Whiskey Cups

    Why drink whiskey alone... when you can have three friends drink with you?

    This set of 4 whiskey cups was designed specifically for this Kickstarter and would make the perfect gift for a friend, family member or yourself.

    If whiskey isn't your jam, then pick your poison... perhaps something a bit healthier? Green drinks? Or better yet, red wine! These cups may be handle-less, but they can handle anything. They make everything taste better, transforming even your worst whiskey into barrel-aged goodness.

    Glazes will vary delightfully - making each one a unique work of art.

    Dishwasher & Microwave Safe. Lead-free & food-safe glazes mixed in house.

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    42 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 225 or more About US$ 225

    NEWLY ADDED 15" Serving Platter

    Serve family-style meals and big BBQ dinners in style with this 15" Serving Platter. Available only on the Kickstarter, the Inkblot Line is sure to make a statement. Great as a standalone accent piece, or a focal point of your next dinner party. Makes a great wedding and housewarming gift!

    ***SPECIAL FOR PREVIOUS BACKERS: INCREASE PLEDGE BY $200 ($25 off!) and receive this platter + your previous pledge reward - please message me to confirm once increase has been made***

    15”d x 2.25”h
    White Clay
    Slab-formed, wabi-sabi feel
    White glaze with satin black rim
    Dishwasher, Microwave and Food Safe
    Handmade in San Francisco

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 380 or more About US$ 380

    6 Dinner Plates

    Start your MMclay Collection off right.

    This set of dinner plates will get you hooked on MMclay and will certainly make a bold statement at your next dinner party. The dark glazed edges make a big impact and will compliment all of the colors in your food wonderfully.

    These beauties measure around 11 inches and they can also be used on their own for appetizers. You'll fall in love with their versatility and slick, modern look.

    They are made of a durable, locally sourced white stoneware clay and have a beautiful, subtle texture on the back. You won't find anything like it elsewhere.

    Glazes will vary delightfully - making each one a unique work of art.

    Dishwasher & Microwave Safe. Lead-free & food-safe glazes mixed in house.

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    5 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 600 or more About US$ 600

    4-person Dinnerware Set

    This special Kickstarter 3-piece place setting for 4 will turn double dates into show-stopping gourmet dinners. You'll find that these dishes are the first ones you'll go for when you open that cabinet.

    The dinner plates (11") are beautiful on their own or can be used as an individual serving piece. The salad plates (9") are a perfect size for that smaller meal, while the cereal bowls are great for oatmeal, pasta, salad, ice cream, etc. Designed without a foot on the bottom, they fit comfortably in your hand making that warm bowl of soup extra cozy and comforting.

    Glazes will vary delightfully - making each one a unique work of art.

    Dishwasher & Microwave Safe. Lead-free & food-safe glazes mixed in house.

    Includes:
    • Cereal bowls
    • Dinner plates
    • Salad plates
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    14 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 900 or more About US$ 900

    6-person Dinnerware Set

    More people at your dinner table? This 18-piece set for 6 is just the ticket.

    With this dramatic and elegant design (Kickstarter special), your meals have never looked so good. Plus, I happen to believe that everything tastes better on handmade plates. It's time to get rid of that old set that you've been meaning to replace for years. These plates have both an elegant and casual look making them perfect for any occasion - and they come at a special price.

    Glazes will vary delightfully - making each one a unique work of art.

    Dishwasher & Microwave Safe. Lead-free & food-safe glazes mixed in house.

    Includes:
    • Cereal bowls
    • Dinner plates
    • Salad plates
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    5 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,700 or more About US$ 1,700

    12-person Dinnerware Set

    This 12-person place setting is your one-way ticket to the the ultimate MMclay dinnerware experience. 36 beautiful, handmade ceramic dishes fit for a Queen... or King.

    Each piece is a gorgeous work of art and will be admired individually for their delightful glaze variations. Just wait until you see the food on them. Every meal will be a special occasion, whether it's a simple sandwich or your grandmother's famous recipe that takes all day to prepare.

    Your food and your friends deserve these plates. And your table has never looked so good.

    Dishwasher & Microwave Safe. Lead-free & food-safe glazes mixed in house.

    Includes:
    • 12× Cereal bowls
    • 12× Dinner plates
    • 12× Salad plates
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    6 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 2,000 or more About US$ 2,000

    Pottery Making Workshop for 6

    Dive right in to the full MMclay studio experience with a fun pottery-making class taught by yours truly.

    This 3 hours immersive workshop will get you down and dirty from start to finish. Pinch pots, slabs and maybe a little wheel work - I will teach you the basic ins-and-outs of pottery making.

    Pitch in with 5 of your friends or plan a team-building event and let's make some magic together. I can't promise that you'll have an entire line designed by the end of it, but I'll make sure you have at least one piece to proudly take home.

    Instruction will be tailored to the group's experience level. Gold stars provided for good students. ;)

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    Limited 2 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 3,500 or more About US$ 3,500

    "Host your own party" at MMclay

    Planning a Holiday party this year and need an awesome place to have it? How about your BIG birthday - still looking for ideas? If you've ever searched for an affordable venue to host a party, this will definitely appeal to you.

    This opportunity puts you in the driver seat, allowing you to extend the invitation to up to 20 guests. My new space will be a perfect backdrop for your next fun event. And just imagine all of the beautiful serving pieces that you can use to wow your guests.

    The real kicker - I will be your bartender! Not to worry, I know how to pour a good drink... fun will definitely be had.

    Brand-new and beautiful MMclay event space and plates provided.

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Funding period

- (29 days)