Deadline: July 15
Specs: B&W, 600 dpi jpg or ai, 3.25" x 8" max
How can art create the world in which we want to live?
Watching the success of the pink Pussy Hat project as a way to unite protestors and to speak truth to power was amazing and beautiful to watch. The recipe was perfect- common craft skills, minimal requirements, functionality, and visual appeal. We wondered how we could take a page out of their book and apply it to The Democratic Cup.
Ceramics, by nature, has a higher bar of entry than fibers. Access to a kiln, specifically, is the greatest challenge in creating a project that can move through creative and motivated groups of people. It hinges on people either having kilns or having access to ceramic artists with kilns.
Over the last six months, we have learned a lot about accessibility and pots. $60 for a cup in the world of handmade ceramics is a middle of the road price, and yet to the wider public, it was too much when s/h was tacked on. This has limited how wide-reaching this project has been and raised the question of, "what is the deeper mission of TDC?". Is it about the object itself? Is it about the conversation? Is it about connection? Is about inclusivity?
The answer is that all these matter and at the top of the list is conversation and connection. At the core of pottery is the notion of community and how a simple object can help facilitate a link between two people. Pottery is effective because is operates day in, day out.
All Hands On Deck is our initiative that aims to get free decals into the hands of ceramic artists all across the country. We're focusing on local ceramic artists and local conversations to drive this effort of driving conversation from social media to person-to-person conversations.
Both decals address civic literacy, which in the second phase of TDC, is a crucial element in how we want to approach conversation. Given the new policies of Trump's administration, we want to help educate an informed and motivated citizenry. The First Amendment decal, by David Gordon, is a straightforward list of all the rights that the first amendment covers. The Town Hall decal, by Klai Brown, acts as an interactive visual device that can used at town hall meetings with elected leaders. Besides the "agree" and "disagree" signs, we felt it was important to include "listening" as a way to open up a conversation with nuances.
We are excited about the page we have taken from the Pussy Hat project! If you want to be part of All Hands On Deck, we ask that you have a conversation and post on social media about your conversation or interaction with the tag #thedemocraticcup and by linking to us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Send a SASE to The Bright Angle, 207 Coxe Ave, Studio 15, Asheville, NC 28801 or visit us in Portland, OR at NCECA where the Artstream Nomadic Gallery is hosting us in the Expo area.
As an added NCECA treat, we'll have our Venn diagram Citizen Ceramics temporary tattoos available! Free!
If you've ever wondered what it takes to make a cup from start to finish, we've outlined the steps in our slipcasting and decal process.
Looking at the list, there are some steps that only need to be done once such as formulating the casting slip, but the majority of steps need full attention and might have sub-steps. We strive to create the most beautifully crafted object that we can based on skill and experience.
Special thanks to The Bright Angle design studio for all their hard work.
Set Up and Mold Making
1) Designers make prototypes
2) Make first working mold
3) Make rubber master mold from first working mold
4) Make multiple working molds from master mold
5) Illustrators make multiple iterations of illustrations
6) Translate illustrations to silver and cobalt decals
7) Have decals screen printed
Making the Cups
8) Formulate a porcelain recipe and glaze recipe that fit
9) Mix powders into casting slip
10) Adjust porcelain slip for proper casting thicknesses for each cup
11) Fill working molds of both handles and cups
12) Wait for proper thicknesses
13) Pump porcelain back into tank
14) Let cups and handles dry to soft leather hard in mold
15) Pull cups and handles from mold
16) Clean handle seams
17) Attach handles
18) Clean up seams
19) Load and
20) Fire bisque kiln
21) Unload kiln
22) Sand and wash bisqueware
23) Mask off unglazed areas
24) Glaze pots
25) Wipe glaze from bottoms and masked areas
26) Load glaze kiln
27) Fire glaze kiln
28) Unload glaze kiln
29) Cut decals from decal sheets
30) Wipe cup surfaces with rubbing alcohol
31) Apply decals and dry
32) Load decal kiln
33) Fire decal kiln
34) Unload decal kiln
35) Sand bottoms
37) Label and Ship