Tuesday, March 8, 2016

More on the Potters' Penguin Project

The Potters' Penguin Project now has a formal purpose:
The Potters' Penguin Project is a community art project to create and exhibit >1,500 clay penguins, in order to make the impacts of global warming on distant places more immediately tangible to both makers and viewers. 
The project also has its own Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/potterspenguinproject/. Please "like" the page and/or contact me if you'd like to participate.

The general vision:
  • Participants will collectively create clay penguins in multiples of 1,500. The initial goal of 1,500 is one hundredth of the lost Adélie penguin population at Cape Denison in Commonwealth Bay.*
  • We find at least three venues willing to exhibit 1,500 clay penguins. During exhibits, donations may be requested, with proceeds going to an agreed-upon non-profit working against, or raising awareness about, global warming. 
  • At the end of the exhibits, penguins may be sold for additional fundraising.
Penguin specs:
  • Maximum clay penguin height = 10 cm (~one seventh of the height of an adult Adélie). Penguins should be displayable on a horizontal surface (i.e. not require hanging/leaning on a wall)
  • I will happily offer demos for making wheel-thrown-and-altered penguins; other makers are encouraged to do the same for their penguin-making method of choice.
A note about global warming and ceramic art: yes, I realize the irony of memorializing penguins by making more stuff using materials that have to be dug out of the earth and firings that leave a carbon footprint. I expect we'll explore single-firings and earthenware options; other suggestions are welcome.

*The initial goal of 1,500 penguins should be challenging enough, but might not look as impressive as I was first imagining. Assuming average penguin footprint of ~25 cm2, 1,500 would easily fit on my dining-room table. So I'm already contemplating larger numbers; not 100 dining-room tables' worth (150K penguins), but more than 1,500...

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