We're a family-run jewelry company, and we're launching a new Sterling Silver collection to build our business. We need your help to develop and promote our work.
Scroll down to see photographs of the rewards we'd like to offer you in gratitude for backing our campaign, including our latest and greatest jewelry pieces at less than retail price. Some are limited in their availability, so it's a good idea to back early—and back often!
Kickstarter is all-or-nothing. If we don't reach our funding goal of $50,000, we don't get anything, and you won't be charged.
If you do decide to back us, thank you! You won't be charged today. In fact, you won't be charged for backing our campaign at all until our June 10th funding deadline (and only if we reach or exceed our goal). Credit card transactions are handled securely by Amazon Payments.
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Don't forget to watch our video… just click the rising sun at the top of this page!
Read on for the full story!
Anthony Lent is an internationally recognized master jeweler.
He's also our father. We call him Pops. Everyone else calls him Tony. Pops was trained as a goldsmith in Germany, and he's been handcrafting exquisite jewelry since the 1960s. His eclectic inspirations include the late 19th century art nouveau movement, early animation, mythology, the natural world, science fiction, wind-up toys, children's illustrations, the 60s fringe culture of his youth, and the human face, probably the most characteristic motif of his work. He's handcrafted an amazing amount of unique and exceptional jewelry over the years, but he's always been modest about promoting it and never got around to starting a company of his own.
The reason was his teaching career. For years, he was a professor in the Jewelry Design program at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. While there, he transformed the teaching of jewelry making in the United States. Instead of building a business himself, he trained and mentored others. The jewelry industry today is filled with his former students. But his own creations, as good as they are, have not yet reached a wide audience.
That's where we—and we hope you—come in!
All that glisters is not gold…
Up until now, Pops has worked mostly with 18k gold and precious gemstones. These have been great for his bespoke pieces, but they're expensive materials. They're costly for us to source, and the jewelry we make with them are costly for people to buy.
So we're launching a new collection in Sterling Silver!
Our project is to develop and promote a new collection in sterling silver that maintains the same level of quality as our more expensive pieces but is more attainable. We want our friends and people like them to be able to purchase our work.
This campaign, if successful, will fund the development of the new sterling silver collection as well as the promotional activities that will enable us to introduce it to the world (see the cost breakdown below).
We'll be able to purchase essential equipment, prototype new work more affordably, attend trade shows, and tell our story to more people. Best of all, our father's work will reach more people (and not just extremely wealthy people). This is what Pops truly wants even more than he wants a company—for his work to be out in the world literally touching people and inspiring them to have more art in their lives.
Me, my brother, and our father's legacy
I studied political science in college, and my brother Max is trained as an architect. Neither of us have formal training as jewelers beyond helping out in our father's studio while growing up. For the past few years, we've both been learning as much as possible about the jewelry industry. Even though Pops has been creating fine jewelry for over four decades, we only officially started a company last year, which is why we call ourselves the jewelry world's newest 40-year-old company!
Shortly after Pops retired from FIT, Max and I visited his studio. We looked at all the clay casts, custom tools, and heirloom equipment he had painstakingly built and collected since the 1960s and came to a frightening but motivating realization: if we didn't do something to preserve and promote our father's work, it would be lost forever. The idea that one day we would have to melt down what was left of the jewelry and sell off the tools of his trade was too much to bear.
All Pops wants to do—all he has ever wanted to do—is sit and create. The work we're creating as part of this campaign is his legacy as an artist, but it's also the torch he's passing on to his sons. We believe in him so much that we quit our full time jobs to focus on our family's dream. And he believes in us so much, he actually let us!
My brother and I decided to reach out to the Kickstarter community to see if other people love our father's work as much as we do. We don't have the personal wealth or financial connections to build an entire business from scratch, but a successful Kickstarter will keep our studio running and help spread the word about the art of Anthony Lent.
The Die-Striking Process
What sets the work of Anthony Lent apart is the combination of our father's artistic talent and some innovative manufacturing processes. One of the distinctive processes we frequently use is called die-striking. To make a piece of die-struck jewelry, we follow a multi-step procedure:
1. Our father settles on a design and makes it into a full-size sculpture in clay. 2. We create a mold of the sculpture and use that mold to make a resin model of the original work in clay. 3. We then use a machine called a pantograph to create a set of custom steel tools, one "hob" and a slightly smaller "force." It works by carefully tracing the resin model to produce smaller but otherwise identical copies. It's not advanced technology, but it seems like magic! 4. The hob is used to create the negative image of the jewelry piece or "die" and both it and the force, which is the positive image, are tempered in order to harden them (think sword making). 5. Now it's drop hammer time. With the tools set up beneath the hammer weight, we place a sheet of metal between the force and the die, release the hammer, and let gravity do its work. 6. The stampings are then punched out, trimmed, and hand-finished. Voilà! Die-struck jewelry!
The advantage of using this process is that die-striking produces a finished piece with a tighter grain structure in the metal. Essentially, the molecules are aligned as in a crystal. We get a harder, stronger, denser material that allows for higher surface detail and requires less cleaning and refinement than the casting methods used by most other jewelry makers. The finished product is astonishingly close to the original clay model and therefore to our father's original artistic vision. Moreover, since all the work and refinement is done at the tooling stage, the stamped pieces are exact replicas of one another. This degree of consistency is much harder to achieve with casting and virtually impossible at our level of detail.
If die-striking sounds familiar, you may have heard of its use in coin making. It's not a new process! It goes back to the ancient Greeks! Most jewelry manufacturers have passed over it as a technology, but Pops has rediscovered it as the best way to integrate his highly-detailed relief sculpture into his jewelry designs. By backing our campaign, you'll be helping to keep alive an important manufacturing tradition as well as supporting one of its most uniquely gifted practitioners.
Of course, we're not an entirely old-fashioned company. By combining this older, more authentic technology with the latest in rapid prototyping ("3-D printing"), Anthony Lent truly fuses the avant-garde arts and technologies of both the 19th and 21st centuries.
Our big dreams need big support!
Starting a new company is expensive and starting a jewelry company even more so. The product itself requires costly materials, tools, and skilled labor, and promoting it adds even more to our expenses.
With this Kickstarter campaign, we intend to finance the development costs of our new sterling silver collection and get the word out on the Anthony Lent brand. We're also curious to test the waters and see how people respond to our work. $50,000 is an ambitious goal, but we can get there with your pledge!
Detailed cost breakdown (approximate):
$10,000 for designing, tooling, and prototyping for the new sterling silver collection.
$25,000 – $30,000 to purchase a laser welder, an essential piece of equipment that we do not currently possess. It would reduce our costs significantly by allowing us to prototype more rapidly and produce more work in-house.
$5,000 to develop a beautiful new website to showcase our brand, our art, and our jewelry. Our website needs an update, and we'd like to make it the best and most attractive jewelry site on the Internet. Most jewelry companies have not really embraced the latest in web technologies, so we'd really like to do something cutting-edge in this space.
$5,000 to shoot a short documentary that tells the Anthony Lent story. We feel that we have a compelling story to tell about our company, a real family story that people can relate to. We have friends in the film industry who are willing to produce a video for us at cost, but the cost is still far from nothing. This video will be a professional presentation of our brand that we'll post online for all to see.
$3,000 to order new promotional materials, such as brochures, custom packaging, and company stationary—possibly more chocolate, too!
If we exceed our funding goal, we have plenty of other expenses along with ideas for future product lines and more promotional activities. Pops has a backlog of literally decades of designs we could put into production. The sky is the limit. This is only the beginning for Anthony Lent, so if you like what you see here, please support us, even if we've already reached our goal.
Remember, Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing proposition. If we don't reach our goal, we don't get anything!
We asked some of our father's former students to say a few words about their teacher, since teaching has been such an important part of his life. We honestly didn't know what to expect, but we were so stunned and delighted by their responses, we had to share them with you here:
General reward information
All of the following rewards include a special edition Anthony Lent brochure we're printing just for this campaign. It will feature the name of each of our wonderful supporters, and Pops himself will autograph them for the first 100 people to back our campaign.
All jewelry rewards are made to order. If the campaign is successful, we'll contact you to collect relevant details such as design choices and sizing requirements.
You will receive your reward as soon as we are able to manufacture, package, and ship it. Nothing has been pre-made, because we need your support before we can make anything! Our shipping estimates are on the conservative side, so you may receive your reward even sooner than indicated.
Some international orders, particularly for the costlier items, are unavoidably expensive to ship due to insurance and customs requirements. If you are interested in a piece that does not have an international shipping option, contact us, and we'll see what we can arrange. We are reluctant to ship chocolate rewards overseas. We just don't want them to melt or be confiscated!
Reward Photos (see sidebar for details)
Two pairs of Small Silver Stud Earrings
One pair of Small Silver Stud Earrings & One pair of Medium Silver Stud Earrings
Two pairs of Medium Silver Stud Earrings
STERLING SILVER COMBO SPECIAL ONE:
Flying Heart Pendant &
One pair of Medium Silver Stud Earrings OR Two pairs of Small Silver Stud Earrings
STERLING SILVER COMBO SPECIAL TWO: Flying Heart Pendant & Mask Ring, Snake Bracelet, OR Skull Ring*
STERLING SILVER COMBO SPECIAL THREE: Flying Heart Pendant & One pair of Medium Silver Stud Earrings OR Two pairs of Small Silver Stud Earrings &
Mask Ring, Snake Bracelet, OR Skull Ring*
* this is the Sterling Silver Skull Ring, not the Skull Ring with 18k gold teeth
STERLING SILVER COLLECTORS SPECIAL: Flying Heart Pendant & One pair of Medium Silver Stud Earrings & Two pairs of Small Silver Stud Earrings & Moon Face Pendant OR Putti Necklace OR Lion Cufflinks & Mask Ring, Snake Bracelet, OR Skull Ring*
* this is the Sterling Silver Skull Ring, not the Skull Ring with 18k gold teeth