Thursday, November 20, 2014

Announcing The Great American Ceramic Artist Designer Craftsmen Network Crowdfunding Web Site !

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Introducing  the newly created Andersen Design website. I It is in its bare bones state today but that will be changing over time.
Alpha & Omega the Becoming of Andersen Ceramics into The Great American Ceramic Artists Designers Craftsmen Network
Andersen Design is the wholesale and production entity for Andersen Ceramics. Andersen Studio is our retail and design entity.

Andersen Ceramics began as Ceramics by Andersen
Andersen Ceramics is a family business which was established by my parents , Weston & Brenda Andersen in 1952.- well actually it started in Ohio in 1951 but my parents knew they couldn't keep doing production in the Levitt style home which Dad had acquired with a veteran's loan and so they moved to Maine in 1952 to become the first ceramic enterprise on the Boothbay Peninsula - soon to have a cluster industry sprout up around the area, which still exists today.
The Great American Ceramic Artist's Designer's Craftsmen Network should include multifarious sizes and types of production including state of the art facilities but my romantic heart loves the small independent intimate production that one might find attached to a home,  perhaps because I grew up in just such a home business  thus the imagery I created is about that style of living and working
For many years now I have been promoting the idea of  evolving what our family built into what I call The Great American Ceramic Artists Designer's Craftsmen Network.  This AndersenDesign.Biz website is dedicated to that effort, which, if successful will mean that we can work with other American ceramic slip casting enterprises to produce the Andersen line of collectible ceramics. "Spreading the engaging work process around"  as said about wealth, and we think an engaging work is a form of wealth in its own right.

At one time we had a large production studio in Portland, Maine but, as things go in family's businesses, it came to pass that when my parents grew tired of the long travel distance between Portland and Boothbay, the production facility was transferred to another party that did not continue it for long and the entire production ended up in our small space intended to be our design studio.

So we need to solve the problems engendered by a much too small production space. To that end, for some time I have been trying to figure out how to create crowd-funding magic.  My latest effort is this video but I have decided to put the project in this video on the back burner for now and focus on the mug project, which I have also discussed in this video:


Since I published this video , there have been many wholesale requests for the mugs. The problem is that we have only one mold of each mug. I have been the primary person producing mugs out of our singular molds and that is why I including them in my own project.

With only one mug mold, it does not make sense to wholesale mugs but the wholesale interest in the mugs makes a crowd funding project to make rubber molds of our mugs into perfect sense.

Andersen Studio has a large and layered line of classic designs. Since I have been promoting the concept of the Great American Ceramic Artists Designer's Craftsmen Network, I have consistently focused on producing rubber molds of our line as the natural starting point. This is because the production of rubber molds make the production of working molds easy and affordable. Fresh molds make every aspect of production go more smoothly and smooth production makes for happier customers and a better profit margin.

I am today announcing a Crowd-funding Project which we are running on this website. The project is to have a rubber mold and production molds produced of our wide Gingerbread Style Mug:

This is the Wide Ginger Bread Mug in the Brown Tree Pattern. For now the options are plain white or brown tree but as this process progresses, I will add more finish choices. Please feel free to make a request .Please click on the Crowd-Funder link Here or in the menu at the top of the page to contribute to our Gingerbread Mug Mold Making Crowdfunder

I am starting this crowd-funding project today but  I have not figured out what a standard  crowd funding platform does for us in return for taking a percentage of the profits. We have to promote the project and build the support base ourselves. All the crowd funding platform does is give us a listing. Our support base is our collectors, the people we have done business with over the years, and people we hope we can work with and do business with in the future. For a company like ours it is hard to make the distinction between doing a crowd-funder,  which entails rewards in exchange for contributions, and making sales, They are virtually the same thing except for a subtle distinction in the terms of agreement. The agreement is that you are agreeing to advance us the funds needed to put this mug into production  with an outside production company which will produce a rubber mold and probably some of the production molds as well and who knows from there on in.I am managing this project separately from Andersen Studio Retail  as the proceeds of this project are dedicated to the successful completion of a rubber mold and 6-12 production molds. That's why I created a special website for the Andersen Design mold making crowd-funder. We have a vast line of designs which all need to have rubber molds made. Collectively, it might cost between 40-50 thousand dollars, but for now I am launching each mold project separately.

The  Goal is $2000.00  The project will last through November 30th
 You can make a contribution by clicking on the crowd funding link in the Top Menu- or Right Here

If the project gathers enough steam over the next couple of days, I hope to initiate it next week , making it possible to deliver some mugs by Christmas on a first come first serve basis BUT as this is a crowd-funder, no specific delivery date is specified as there are too many unknowns in the process at this point. During the time that the production mold is being made, I will not have a mold with which to work.

The  stimate I am working with is three weeks delivery time for the molds to get to us.  Once we have multiple new production molds that makes our production time considerably  faster. I am hoping to be working with six to 12 production molds at one time. I estimate two weeks from the time we have the new production molds to the first shipments going out. There may be an additional two weeks added to the estimated time if a plaster positive of the mug needs to be created before the mold making process can be initiated and I  don't know for sure that our project can get on the production scheduled of the outside  contractor immediately so those are the terms of a crowd-funder- a lot of unknowns in the process.

In return for advance payment on the mugs, I am offering these prices:

Our Standard shipping price is $12.00-in the USA- whatever is ordered - up to a dozen mugs

Single Mugs are at the standard price of $40.00 but you can also order seconds at $20.00

4 Mugs are offered at a 10% discount $36 x 4=$144.00 + 12.00 shipping =$156.00

8 mugs are offered at a 20% discount $32,00 x 8 =$256.00 +12=$268.00

12 mugs are offered at a 25% discount S30.00 x1 2=360 +12.00= 372.00

By participating in this crowd funder you will be helping our company to become a more robust organization with a better capacity to serve our customers.

Please click on the Crowd-Funder link Here or in the menu at the top of the page to contribute to our Gingerbread Mug Mold Making Crowd-funder.

Thanks You for Supporting Our Evolution ! And Merry Christmas!
Mackenzie Andersen

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sunday, October 12, 2014

     Preserving The American Political Philosophy: Introducing Mikkel Clair Nissen

I accidentally deleted this post. I recreated it but the link is now different and so I am posting it again with new link Mikkel Clair Nissen is a Danish psychologist who has written a book exposing the the life and general psychology of Danish people under socialism. He is so much on the same page as I am on in my blog and he is a passionate spokesperson and an eloquent writer. Perhaps if Americans and Mainer's hear the message from a European living in a deeply entrenched socialists system, the message will be more powerfully conveyed. In this post I show some of teh correlation between what Mr Nissen discusses and what is taking place in Maine as the government has been incrementally transformed from a state to a corporation

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Seeking the Influencers for Revitalizing East Coast Ceramic Slip Casting Industry



  Our ceramic birds are popular sellers that fit into the kiln in small spaces around other objects making for a denser load and higher dollar value for the firing.

( not having yet addressed our own customer list) It does not surprise me that to date I have received no sign ups for my pre-launch. I anticipated such a response as I have received a similar response to other efforts.

In terms of the sculpture project itself, instead of spending my time on a crowdfunding campaign, I could spend that time learning to make a plaster mold, and that has it's benefits but one of those benefits is not having a way to pass our family business on to future generations, and so I would be working on my own designs in the context of a business for which I do not see where the future leads. The only feasible way to work in such a situation is as a limited edition line. One can't design a product for a production line if one has no production.

I am trying to communicate a complex idea - that of the value of having a creative American slip casting presence in the USA,. Providing the capitalization, our family business could be instrumental in supporting such a creative network.

The success of Mud Shark Studio's on the west coast is exciting.The owner started in his basement just making molds and in the course of seven years has built an astoundingly successful business.

We contacted the owner, but in my opinion, he gave us the cold shoulder, perhaps because we are not big enough in his eyes. He does work for a lot of major labels. It is hard to know how much of that work might be developing prototype designs for production that will be located in global low cost labor markets- and how much is a product that is produced in America.

We found another company in California and one in Pennsylvania, both of which expressed an interest in working with us. There may be other slip casting companies in the USA but we haven't located them. Even if most of the business were in developing prototypes , there is clearly room for such a business on the East Coast and in our case we want our product to be largely produced in the USA, although we leave our minds always open.

The world today is rapidly changing . China is acting very aggressively toward its neighbors and trying to develop a home grown market for its products and so one might wonder how secure are foreign owned businesses when the host country no longer sees that as an advantage to them.

Andersen Studio has been in competition with products produced overseas for decades. Our problem is not the marketability of our products, which has been proven over the course of sixty years. Our problem is that through the  course of events, we lost control of our larger production facility and so what is supposed to be our personal design studio is functioning as production and office space and it is too small for that.

There are so many ways to expand marketing available today with the internet but one cannot utilize those assets without a production and management staff to match it. That is the problem for which we need capitalization to solve.

So my problem is how do I communicate a complex idea based in a love of a process- with others who have never experienced that process?

Perhaps that is not a concept for general consumption. If so I need to connect with  business entrepreneurs far more influential than myself and who get my idea and believe in its feasibility.

Two American companies that I like because they are well organized and managed and offer excellent benefits to their employees are Star Bucks and Whole Foods. I know some don't like Whole Foods because they have seen that company drive out smaller businesses but I like them for other reasons. Whole foods has a loan or grant program to help small farms and they have carried the top of the line health care for their employees for decades.

Andersen Studio would like to be doing the same, but the difference is , we are not only retailers, we are also manufacturers in an industry in which most major companies have their manufacturing done in global low cost labor markets. We have been able to compete all these years because our product is individual, distinct, and collectible. We get many personal  letters of appreciation from our customers. Retailers with whom we work often express surprise at how well our work sells.

But if we do not start developing relationships with other slip cast productions- and I hope - in helping to bring new slip casting productions about, in the current situation, this business could suddenly stop if anything were to happen to one of us. We are responsible for doing too much of the work ourselves. The continuation of such a creative and viable business should not be dependent on any one person. That is why we need to expand our circle of productivity and we need to generate capital to do that.

Making rubber molds are key to that because rubber molds preserve the work and make it easy and affordable to produce fresh production molds. That in turn makes it possible to work with outside slip casting productions. Just making the production molds from the rubber mold masters could be a separate business we could contract out- but we would always have to be in control of accounting for the distribution of those production molds.

So perhaps this concept will never catch on with a general audience and that is why I need to connect with business influencers who can see the vision that I am seeing.- but those people are generally hard to get to and so I need to find the keys that unlock those doors. I am looking for help with that through my

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Mackenzie Andersen's Tufted Titmouse Crowd Funding Pre-Launch Sign UP

This is a video for a yet to be launched crowd funding project.



This is beginning of our Pre- Launch Phase in which I will be collecting email addresses of those interested in supporting our project. The goal is to have strong launch reaching a good portion of one's goal in the first few days.

This project is to raise $3000.00 to have the mold for my tufted titmouse sculpture created by an outside production company.

The project is also a Prelude to Andersen Studio's Business Re-Start Crowd Funding series. Andersen Studio needs to raise in the neighborhood of $300,000.00. Although we would like to start working with other American slip casting productions to have our line produced, We also need a local production studio. We are currently doing production in the space intended to be our design studio.

The goal of the Andersen Studio- Design crowdfunding series is to bring about the circumstance in which we are able to:
  • A new production studio located locally where we can train others and develop designs and glazes.

  • Rubber molds made of our designs. Rubber molds are very expensive but they are the best for preserving the designs and once a rubber mold is produced, it is both easy and inexpensive to produce plaster production molds . A good mold makes all aspects of production work better and results in a higher quality end results.

  • We need to update business management and customer service with state of the art software and hire an adequately sized staff

  • Once we have accomplished the above, we are then in the position to take advantage of the many marketing resources offered by the internet.

Andersen Studio has a large and layered line of wildlife sculpture and functional forms which have maintained their marketability since they were first created. We have many collectors – some which have passed collections down from generation to generation and so we are confident that our market can grow once it is backed up with a strong production, business management and customer service departments.

Our previous crowd funding project did not succeed and so this time around I implementing a better planned strategy.
Advice found from reliable sources recommend developing one's support prior to launching a project.

Then it becomes important to have “notables” or “influencers” support one's project to create a fresh new surge- or surges of support.

I am reaching out for support in both areas. If you have ideas that we can use to make our crowdfunding series a roaring success please send me the word at with “  Crowd Funder Synergy” as the subject . Synergy is what we want to achieve in Pre-Launch.

I am also calling out to my “Six Degrees of Separation” to get the support of the notables- Over the years Andersen Studio has contributed to a plethora of non-profit fundraisers, we have been number one sellers in notable retail venues, and we have been recognized for our historical contribution and so let us not forget our very loyal collectors! It seems that we can mine our resources and six degrees of separation for a notable's network to support our crowd funding efforts, but we need your help.

So Thank you for adding your name to our crowd-funder list and for help in securing notables support- and for sharing sharing and sharing- to spread the movement in support of our entire crowd-funding series.!

Monday, June 16, 2014

One of A Kind Art Object Offered in Mold Making Crowdfunder Project.

The large fish was designed by Weston Neil Andersen . It requires individual craftsmanship in the assembly and handcrafted finishing of the sculptural form. The fish will be decorated as a One of A Kind Art work and signed by Mackenzie Andersen. This is a rare item . Only a few have been or are expected to be produced.

Eagle Sculpture In The Works As I launch Crowdfunder For Mold project For Tufted Titmouse

This is the Tufted Titmouse that I completed in the wax phase over a year ago. I am still waiting indefinitely for a mold to be made on premises and so now I have decided to launch a crowd-funding project to capitalize contracting with an outside production to have this mold made.

The Eagle sculpture you see below is a sculpture in the works.The sculpture is not completed but is getting there. If I run a successful crowd funding project- one that goes over my goal, the additional capital will be used to go toward a mold made for the Eagle.

I will post here when the crowdfunder project is launched.