KickStarter Project is Live!

Hi everyone!

Happy Wednesday to you all.  I’ve finished up my MFA (I think)… all my papers are signed, sealed and delivered to all of the right people, as far as I know.  Knock on wood!  Now I just need to clean out my studio, walk across the stage without crying, and then wait for my diploma to show up in the mail.  What a wonderful day that will be!

Until that day, and every day after, it’s on to bigger and better things.  🙂  I have two main projects on my plate this summer:

1) Glass Fiber Stone, a group show I was invited to be a part of, in Loveland, CO, and

2) An Artist-in-Residence position at Guldagergaard International Ceramics Research Center.

I’ve been working as much as I possibly can at the two jobs I have (workstudy for the Ceramics Dept., which ended yesterday), and catering for a lovely man named Greg.  However, it’s become quite clear to me that even with both of those jobs I’m not going to be able to cover the costs of these two career-boosting experiences.  So, after a good deal of thought, I’ve decided to start a KickStarter page.  I feel a little funny about doing it, but my projects are exactly what the site aims to help fund.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with KickStarter, it’s “a funding platform for creative projects.”  Anyone can start a page for their project.  What you do is this: you set a specific goal (mine is $1,067 – the cost of getting my piece and me to Loveland).  After setting your goal and publishing your page, you seek backers to pledge money toward that goal.  People can pledge any amount, starting at $1.  It’s important to note that it’s pledges, not donations.  If the goal isn’t met in the time allotted (my project has 29 days to succeed, beginning tonight!), none of the Backers who have pledged money are charged, and the project doesn’t receive any funding.  Backers are only charged if the project’s goal is totally met – meaning the project is strong enough to be completely backed.

If you’d like to check out my page, here’s a link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/325571772/bring-1500-an-interactive-artwork-to-loveland-co.  I’d appreciate any help you’re willing to give, including non-pledge help like feedback on how to make the page stronger.  Thank you!

The project (titled 1500) will be comprised of 1,500 individual, handmade porcelain pieces like those shown below.  During the show, the public will be invited to take the pieces home with them.  As a result, the installation will constantly evolve as people interact with it.  Time lapse photography will be utilized, and my blog will be updated regularly with the changing images for the duration of the show.  This piece is an expansion of my thesis piece, Touch, which is partially based off my experiences in Istanbul at the Hagia Sophia, a 1,500 year-old structure.  You can read about Touch here and the Hagia Sophia here.

Amy Uthus Porcelain

Verdict: Guilty

Last night I was judge, jury, and executioner.

The story: I got home from the studio a little after 1am.  It’s been rainy and sort of chilly here for the past few days (or maybe a week?  I can’t remember – even after 3 years, it never fails to amaze me how drizzly weather can settle in here for several days in a row; I grew up on the plains where loud crashing thunderstorms roll in and out the same day).  Anyway, it was rainy and cold and I was tired.  I was really looking forward to a nice glass of wine and then a hot shower before bed.

The wine part of my plan went well.  I had a glass of a Portuguese red, the name of which I don’t recall.  There’s a large Portuguese population in New Bedford (it’s the largest Portuguese community in the US – read more about one of the town’s big festivals here).  The group was initially drawn here because of the whaling industry, way back when.  The community still thrives today, and as a result there’s easy access to many different Portuguese foods and beverages.

One of my friends recently told me about a shop on Dartmouth street that carries really cheap, good Portuguese wine.  It’s called The Butcher Shop.  I don’t know that I’d buy my meat there, but they have lots of other neat stuff and a large selection of wine, often as low as $2.50/bottle.  Don’t laugh, but because I don’t know much about Portuguese wine, or to be honest, wine in general, I usually make my selections based on the picture/design of the label.  Lame, I know, but I have yet to be disappointed! 😉

Anyway, after finishing my glass, I went to take my shower.  I pulled back the curtain and discovered a 2″ long (not including the legs) centipede/millipede/disgusting creepy crawler.  I hate hate hate those things.  They have so many legs and they can run so fast and they’re so quiet, you never know they’re there.  Until – BAM – you see them and barely choke back a scream that would have set your landlord pounding on your door, wondering if you’re being murdered.

My shower/bathtub seems to be a hip hang out place for these monstrosities.  I found several there last summer as well.  I don’t know why.  I haven’t seen them anywhere else in my apartment.  Only the bathroom, and more specifically, only the tub.  Maybe they come up from the drain.  Yuck.  Once I discovered one hiding under my bottle of conditioner.  I didn’t see it until I was in the shower, with wet hair, picking the bottle up.  You can imagine how well that went over.

So this beast was chillaxin’ in my tub.  What did I do?  I judged him.  Instantly, I found him guilty of: #1 being a creepy crawler and #2 having the gall to invade my bathroom.  One speedy trial later, he was sentenced to death by bleaching, smushing, and flushing.

After his demise, I grabbed the hand-held sprayer and shot water underneath my bottles of soap.  Needed to flush out anyone else who might have been hiding, you see?  (I learned from my other experiences.)  Then I proceeded to shower with the curtain open so I could keep an eye on my pajamas.  My bathroom is tiny and I like to put my pjs on the floor in front of the space heater to warm up while I’m washing.  But this time I was afraid the smushed creature’s friends would seek revenge by snuggling into my little pile of clothes.

Luckily for them, they stayed away.  I admit to vigorously shaking the tank top and sweatpants out before donning them, though.  Just to be safe.

Here’s a photo montage for you:

Also, remember to enter the contest to win one of my handmade ceramic cups!  Contest ends on Sunday.

The defendant.

Verdict: guilty.

Want to win a handmade cup? And the MFA thesis show (finally!)

Hey!  Where are you and what are you doing?  I’m sitting in my studio, waiting to have a meeting with my adviser.  I’m hoping he’ll have some novel ideas about shipping my work.  I have a show in Colorado in June, and I did a shipping estimate for it yesterday.   Guess how much it was?  The person who guesses closest will win one of my small translucent porcelain cups!

Winner’s cup may differ from what is shown here.

I’m going to be strict here, and say you must be following this blog in order for your guess to be counted.  How do you do that?  Simple: enter your email address in the box on the right hand side of the page where it says, “Stay in the loop!”  Leave your guesses in the comment section here; the contest will end & the winner will be notified on Sunday at 5pm ET.

Alrighty then.  As you begin formulating your guesses, I’ll enthrall you with the remainder of this post.

As I was saying, I got the shipping estimate.  It’s now clear to me that I either:

a) need to find a wealthy sponsor

or

b) need to figure out a different way to ship my pieces,

since:

c) I’m not willing to change my work

and

d) I don’t own a teleporter.

I really hope I can figure this out, because I’m not sure I can afford to do the show otherwise.

Moving on, here are some pictures from the MFA thesis show opening reception, which was held on April 7th.  It was really fun to see everyone who came out to the show.  Extra high highlights were my parents, who flew in from ND, Meredith Morten, who many of you might remember from my adventures at the ICS in Hungary last fall, and Bethany Rusen and David Doktor, who braved the east coast traffic from Philadelphia. 🙂

Click on one to open a photo viewer.  The photos end with the installation process for my 22′ porcelain column.