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Fashion Ad Sets
Red Rain Boots
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We are at a point in time when it seems impossible to avoid the modern epidemic of everyday stress. Conversation about the concepts of happiness and mindfulness has moved into the mainstream. The inescapability of the pop hit “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, and the addition to the Huffington Post of “The Third Metric,” a section dedicated to the practice of mindful living, are only two examples that suggest that our culture yearns for a simpler time past when we believe life was easier, less stressful, more happy. Backward seems to be the way forward.
The project I am proposing speaks to the need to connect with the past and to the desire to connect with others in a meaningful, un-technological way. I would use the residency to create ceramic Red Rain Boots that nourish that part of us that still remembers the simple joy of stomping in puddles and the free-spirited possibilities of a rainy day. I propose perpetuating that feeling by producing a run of 100 pairs of the boots in partnership with Atelier Dion, a local ceramic fabrication and production studio. I will use the process to benefit local ceramic artists and the welfare of at-risk children in the Bay-Area who are served by art therapy programs. At 7" tall, the slip cast rain boots, finished with a bright red glossy glaze, make a strong visual statement on a garden table or an entryway console, standing alone or holding fresh flowers.
My ceramic sculpture is a translation of my experience through which I attempt to make an ephemeral moment tangible. My work has explored the interdependence of space and time, and the physical and psychological effects of loss, aging and evolution, themes that are all defined by the irreversibility of time. For the past two years I have experimented with casting objects as a way to remember and capture moments of being or shared human experiences. I started by casting bodies as a way to halt the passage of time, but I am now interested in the power of color and form to communicate collective meaning.
Based on my prototype (photos), I will recast the pair of children’s rain boots in pottery plaster to clean up imperfections I’ve identified in my original mold. To speed the production process I will create multiple molds, from which the boots will be slip cast using a low-fire white casting slip. To complete the process, each pair of boots will be hand finished, receive a spray application of the glossy red glaze, and be fired a final time.
SCHEDULING AND BUDGET ESTIMATES
To complete 100 pairs of boots in one month, working five days per week, my experience making the boots leads me to propose the following work schedule: one week of mold making and meetings with Atelier Dion, two weeks of boot making, and one week of glazing. Based on my knowledge of the cost of the materials, without factoring in any large-quantity discount I may secure, my expectation is that my total project budget would be less than $3,000. It would be spent as follows: $40 for Plaster (2 50-lb bags of No. 1 Pottery Plaster @ $20.00 each), $200 for slip (4 5-gallon buckets of low-fire white casting slip @ $50 each), $612 for glaze (34 pint jars of Amaco Lead-Free Brilliant Red Glossy Glaze @18.00 each), and $2000 for labor (labor costs budgeted for Atelier Dion @ $20.00 per pair of boots) for a BUDGET TOTAL of $2842.
I first created these boots in 2013 as part of a two-piece art project, Slipping (photo) and Summer Puddles, that used clay casting slip to explore the relationship between space and time and the physical and psychological dimensions of aging. What I found was that others were drawn to the boots more than to the work as a whole, and I myself became obsessive about perfecting the craftsmanship of the boots. In a course at the California College of the Arts (CCA), I developed the boots as a product for the Spring Craft Fair and they sold out, suggesting that they really resonate with people. I have donated a pair for a silent auction to benefit the Alameda County Community Food Bank. The price they draw may help me establish a price point, but I expect them to be priced around $78.00, which would, by my estimate, return more than the cost of production for the residency.
I would love the opportunity to use this residency to develop the product for a larger market and test the feasibility of a community-based business concept. As a student at CCA, I meet many talented artists for whom the joy is found in the making, not in the marketing, of work. In 2014, as part of a class at CCA, I started Blue Valentine Studios to serve as a conduit for Bay Area ceramic artists to get their works to market, as a way to help sustain the local creative community, and to bring beautiful objects out of the studios and into homes.
It is important to me that a portion of the proceeds of each pair of boots be donated to an organization that serves at-risk children through art therapy. Because I was serious and shy as a child and had a troubled home life, my mom signed me up for art classes at the Berkeley Art Museum, the Richmond Art Center, and a potter’s studio in Berkeley. Through art, I found solace and my voice found expression. Part of my mission is to support children who, because of violence, emotional abuse, or learning or medical challenges, are in need. It is my experience that art can help heal.