Hello, My name is Marcus Bellon and I'm an artist living and working in beautiful Salem, Oregon. I have designed a series of, what I'm calling, functional sculpture. I want to bring you something truly unique, functional and aesthetically pleasing. I need your help in translating these prototypes into a format that can be reproduced using slip casting. I will need some start-up supplies and a few pieces of critical equipment before I can begin production; the most important being a kiln.
For this Kickstarter project, I am focusing on creating three sculptural forms: A Teapot, a Sake Set and a Mug. If funding is successful I wish to expand and include larger and more diverse items in my work: wall-art, lighting, dinnerware and even non-functional sculpture! The possibilities are endless.
More About Me and Why I'm Doing this Project
This project is important because it represents the clear starting point of my professional career in ceramics. I want my purpose in life to be creating and bringing beautiful ceramic objects into the world. Since graduating with a BFA in ceramics in 2012, I have dreamed of doing a Kickstarter project to kickstart my career, and I want to do that by bringing you these geometry inspired vessels. My biggest setback is that I do not have my own kiln to fire my work. It’s an expensive piece of equipment that will allow me to work and fire in my own space, rather than using community space, which is what I’m forced to do now. While I love being in the community of working artists, it is difficult to have full control over my process with someone else's space and equipment. In my own studio and with my own equipment, I will be able to bring you more exciting ceramic art and experiment with new surface treatments and glazes.
What I'll Need
The biggest and most important piece of equipment I need is a kiln. I have done some research and chosen this one which will accommodate a small production studio:
I will also need some materials for slip casting such as: plaster, slip, buckets, lumber for drying racks and work tables and a few other miscellaneous items. There is a summary of my proposed budget a little later on. Once I have these essentials, I’ll have everything I need to complete this project and can continue to add to my studio over time.
The materials used for this project are non-toxic and food safe. Initially, there will be three colors to choose from: Aqua, Snow, and Wasabi. You will specify which color you want after the project is successfully funded. More information below under Color/Glaze Information*.
A simple form that is both functional and sculptural. The asymmetrical teacup is rectilinear on top, triangular at the base, completely balanced and easy to drink from and has a small handle. The symmetrical sake cup is faceted and does not have a handle, typical for this kind of vessel. Both cups hold approximately 6 oz. These are also available in sets of four (4).
This is one of my favorite vessels as I require a lot of caffeine... almost as often as I require oxygen. The lip of the cup, while angular, is very comfortable to drink from on any side. This over-sized mug holds approximately 16 oz. This is also available in a gift set which includes two (2) mugs, an assortment of tea and gift wrapped in a cute box.
The faceted design of this Sake Carafe is definitely a show piece. The carafe stands about 8 inches tall and can hold about 16 oz.
One of my more intricate designs, this teapot is a single piece; no lid and no "traditional" handle. To lift and pour this teapot, a handle was designed into the top of the vessel that serves both a functional and aesthetic purpose that balances the overall design. This teapot will hold about 20 oz of hot water.
This is the only gift set that I am putting together. It will come with two (2) Geometric Mugs, an assortment of tea (brand and flavor TBD) and will be gift wrapped in a cute box. I will also add the option of including a card with a personal message, free of additional charge, if you wish to ship directly to the recipient.
This set comes with one (1) Geometric Teapot and four (4) teacups. You can choose from the three available colors after funding period is complete.
This set comes with one (1) Geometric Sake Carafe and four (4) sake cups. You can choose from the three available colors after funding period is complete.
Premium and Ultimate Pledges
I wanted to put together some unique packages for supporters who want to go the extra mile in making sure this project is successful! By selecting an Premium or Ultimate Pledge, you are providing exceptional support for this project and saying you absolutely want it to succeed. In addition to the items below, I will be permanently affixing a handmade ceramic plaque to the outside of the kiln that will forever display my utmost gratitude for your patronage. Quantities are limited.
You will receive:
- Your name on a plaque, displayed on my studio kiln.
- A complete Geometric Sake Set which includes one (1) carafe and four (4) sake cups in a cute box.
- A complete Geometric Teapot Set which includes one (1) Geometric Teapot and four (4) Teacups in a cute box.
- Two (2) Geometric Mugs in a Gift Set.
- Optional Custom Glaze Color (choose from any compatible glaze, not just the three available for this project).
- Priority shipping, your items will be the first shipped and guaranteed delivery before Christmas.
- Optional tour of studio when project is complete (see what you helped make possible!).
Because of the scale of this project, and for the fact that it is currently a one-man operation, I am only promising the first 50 backers will receive guaranteed shipment before December 24th. This is because I do not want to make a promise that I cannot keep. However, if everything goes smoothly, everyone should get their items before or shortly after Christmas. If you're planning on gifting your reward, don't wait! Pledge now and know that by doing so you are supporting artists while giving a unique, handmade gift. I will keep everyone updated on my progress so you can have a proper expectation of when things are being completed. I also want to note that the boxes, labels and other shipping materials are not yet selected and will be chosen/designed with the most eco-friendly packaging available.
There are currently three colors to choose from, which you can specify at the completion of the funding period, if successful. The colors I have chosen are: Aqua, Snow and Wasabi. If you would like to pledge, but aren’t thrilled about the color choices, please let me know. I may add an additional color. You can see other examples here: http://www.bigceramicstore.com/glazes/mid-fire-cone-4-6/amaco/amaco-celadon-glazes.html.
Also, if you want to support this project in a larger capacity, consider choosing an Ultimate or Premium pledge. These rewards come with optional custom glaze colors.
Tables/Drying Racks $350
Materials (misc) $150
Kickstarter/Processing Fees $500
Grand Total: $5,000.00
Anything above and beyond my goal will be used towards additional supplies and equipment to make the project easier and faster to complete. Some other things I may need are additional glazes, buckets, mixer, power drill, gram scale, Masonite/MDF, shelving, canvas, slab roller, modeling tools, ribs, and I'm sure there is more! Some of my own money will inevitably end up going towards more supplies if I need them, but my funding goal is more than enough to ensure this project’s success.
Previous Work and Qualifications
I want to tell you a little more about my history as a ceramic artist and what qualifies me to take on this project. I have a Bachelor of Fine Art focusing in Ceramics and Painting from Western Oregon University. My thesis work was done primarily in slip casting geometric forms. You can see how my previous work aligns with the project I am proposing. I am deeply interested in geometry as a means to create visual interest in a simple object. This new body of work will align in the style of geometric abstraction and simplification.
Here are some examples of my previous sculptural work:
The method I used to make these sculptures is the exact same method of production I will use to make my proposed geometric vessels.
In the Early Stages…
The idea for this project started in a sketchbook. I’ve always kept a journal and write down ideas or thoughts I have on a daily basis. Here are some of the early stages of my work including the original drawings and ideas I had.
Thank you so much for taking the time to look at my Kickstarter project. With your help, I have no doubt I'll be able to see this project to fruition! I’ve put a lot of time and thought into this project and I’m passionate about making sure it succeeds. I hope that has come across clearly in this campaign. If you any questions, comments or concerns, please do not hesitate to send me a message. I will do everything that I can to hear, consider and respond to your inquiries.
If you are unable to back this project,I understand. But, if you want to contribute to its success… Please share with friends and family and help spread the word to other backers. Thanks again!