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Dear friends and strangers,
Thank you for finding and taking time with this project of mine. My name is Simone Bodmer-Turner and I am a ceramic artist and sculptor working in Brooklyn, NY. I focus on handbuilt sculptural form, and have created a collection of functional vessels that I sell in retailers throughout New York City and the US, and am in talks with retailers in Tokyo, Paris, Melbourne, and Antwerp. In addition to my functional Permanent Collection that I sell through retailers, in 2018 I showed conceptual collections and individual pieces in the Architectural Digest Design Show, New York Design Week, Paris Design Week and will be showing in Milan Design Week in 2019. I also make large scale sculptural work, the first iteration of which I showed in New York in September. I am in the process of building out a private studio space so that I can expand my production and refine my art practice, hire on an assistant, and take on the projects I have had to turn down because I have been working at the capacity of what I can make as one set of hands in a shared studio. I am asking for help from my community and the Kickstarter community to help me fund the initial buildout of the new space, the installment of the major equipment and tools, as well as to help cushion the increased costs of rent and hiring my first full-time studio assistant.
In the two years since returning to NY from a year and a half of travel and ceramic study, I have been completely humbled by the growing interest and demand for my work, and have been working at my fullest (and most exhausted) capacity to be able to accept the retail orders, private commissions, and design show invitations that have continued to come in. I have worked in several shared spaces in New York over the course of my six years here, run my own space while in a ceramics residency with a florist, and have moved into increasingly professionally focused spaces as my work has grown. After spending the last 9 months working at perhaps the pinnacle of shared studios for professional artists, sculptors, and ceramicists in New York City (shout out to Sculpture Space NYC), the amount of storage and kiln space I needed to fill my orders had surpassed what the space was able to accommodate easily. This serendipitously coincided with a studio mate being in the same boat with their craft and business, and with the blessing of our studio we began looking for a private space that could support both of our growing practices.
In October, we signed a lease on a gorgeous but very raw 1400 sq ft industrial space full of natural light and lots of potential in Brooklyn's Navy Yard neighborhood. This space will allow for ample room to store materials, in-progress and finished pieces and keep a stock of pieces available for studio visits. I will be able to run my own kilns on my own schedule to meet deadlines in an expedited fashion, and hire on an assistant to manage loading kilns, packaging, shipping orders and mixing glazes in order to give myself more time to make and design. Anyone who knows me personally knows that the other thing I love as much as working with clay is gathering and feeding friends and strangers. I am excited to finally have the space to host visiting artists series, handbuilding, sculpture, and ceramic-design-for-floral-arranging workshops that are full of big family style lunches, dinners and good natural wine.
I write to you now from Japan, where been accepted to a residency over a year ago that began right in the midst of building out the space. Travel and creative study has been so fundamental to my work and inspiration, and after a summer of feeling like a human factory, without the ability to take on an assistant, or have a breather between finishing commissions, I felt committed to coming to the residency. Back in the city, we are in the process of installing two large electric kilns, the ventilation system and electrical hook up to handle them, a slab roller, a spray booth, building and wedging tables, clay recycling systems, sinks, and shelving and storage units, along with all the studio furniture and tools for group workshops. All will be up and running by mid November, and the goal of this Kickstarter is to support my portion of the buildout and equipment, as well as helping me transition into an increased rent and support of a studio assistant. The detailed costs associated with the securing of this space and the initial buildout are below.
- Rent - downpayment of $2300/month for 4 months and security - $11,500
- Full Time Studio Assistant - $600/week for 2 months - $4800
- Oval Kiln + Kiln furniture- $6548
- Smal Kiln + Kiln Furniture- $4700
- Plug for Kilns - $8000 (!!)
- Spray Booth - $1517
- Slab Roller - $1295
- Custom Handbuilding Table - $400
- Wedging Table - $300
- Shelving - $1743
- Sink + Faucet - $952
- Clay Drainage System for Sink + Installation - $167
- Overhead and Table Lighting - $664
- Initial investment of Clay and Dry Materials - $750
- Clay Molds for Large Scale Orders - $1800
- Miscellaneous Studio Furniture (stools, low boy, tables for kitchen and other storage containers, wholesale packaging order) - $3000 approx
- Miscellaneous tools (banding wheels for workshops, sponges, basic tool sets) - $2000 approx
TOTAL : $50,136
As you can see, the initial buildout is just over $50,000, bringing my portion of the investment to $25,000 to keep it simple.
This is where you come in!
I have put together a collection of rewards to give supporters many different ways of participating regardless of budget, space, or even a desire to own a piece of mine (I see you, curmudgeonly but loving Uncle). My hope that if you know my work and have been intending on investing in a piece, that this Kickstarter will serve as the impetus for that. If you are more interested in the experiential side, and I am over the moon to delve into this arena with my community, there are many different options for private, group, and focused handbuilding and sculptural workshops. If you're of the interior design mind, and have wanted to collaborate on a custom piece for yourself or a client, there are some really accessible options in there as well. I am also keen to share the beauty and tradition of this area of the Japanese countryside that has come to mean so much to me, and have included a few rewards for those that feel as moved by the possibility of travel for the purpose of creative exploration and revival as I do. So please take your time looking through the rewards and decide what resonates most with you !
Important Notes on How Kickstarter Works:
Each and every dollar you pledge goes to making this project a reality. Please note: Kickstarter is all-or-nothing so I will only be backed if I am 100% funded. Additionally, no pledge rewards will be given if I am not fully successful.
If you know you'd like to pledge, the sooner the better. Early traffic and funding of a Kickstarter puts the project on the map for the folks at Kickstarter to promote it within their community and have it take on a life of its own (wouldn't that be wonderful?).
Last but not least, if you're wondering if I'm a real person or just a money swindling robot:
if the link didn't direct you to my work, the store is either a new account that hasn't photographed and listed my work online yet (Mociun), or is only available in-store (The Great Eros) or by appointment (Viola Lovely). All stocklist information consolidated here.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. Looking forward to connecting with so many more of you than I would have otherwise, and sharing this space with you.
UPDATES FROM ANAGAMA:
Risks and challenges
Given a successful campaign, I plan on hitting the ground running and returning to a fully built out studio (thanks to this studio partner of mine and his team of dedicated and skilled builders and friends) and be able to pay him back in full for my portion of the expenses and get to work on my commissions and rewards for you lovely people.
To be completely transparent, without the funding of this Kickstarter I will not be able to front the initial payments on this private space without taking out a small business loan. This will take time and turn my focus away from creative work. This may also set me back significantly in being able to deliver the commissions I have accepted, but not yet been paid for. I will reiterate that Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing campaign, so if the $25,000 campaign is not fully funded, you will get your money back and I will not receive any of it. This also means that no rewards will be given if it is not 100% funded.
I have given myself a large window with staggered deadlines to be able to plan, make, and deliver the rewards that I have offered. Group workshops (1 Day Handbuilding Workshop, Weekend Long Immersive Workshop, and Form and Floral Workshop) will work best for pledgers who either live in New York and/or have flexible schedules. I will do my utmost to accommodate every single pledger's schedule, and as mentioned in the reward, I will be writing to you before the workshops are shared with the public to coordinate with your availability. At some point I will have to commit to dates that work for the majority of the party, and if for some reason you are not able to make the workshop, I am more than happy to accommodate you otherwise with a private workshop, free inclusion in another workshop you might be interested in, or the trade of a vessel.
As I hope that I have communicated to you though this campaign, and I imagine the reason many of you are drawn to this project, every piece is made by hand and is varied and nuanced. No piece that is received as a reward will be exactly the same as another, and that is the beauty of this work.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (24 days)