Funding international ceramics center Atelje Janja Gora project
Please take a minute to read this letter and consider supporting us in achieving our goal.
For more than 10 years now, we have been building our international ceramics center. Literally stone by stone, making small but significant progress every year. Since 2006 we have managed to rebuild our house torn in the war in Croatia, build the working atelier and gathering space for our guests and to build the great janjagama anagama (wood-fired ceramics kiln).
We became a part of international projects and exhibitions, and we ourselves organized and lead many local and international events that had, and will in the future have a long term positive impact on our society. Our home has become a meeting point for artists and activists from different walks of life, sharing their life experience and knowledge, enjoying the energy of the place.
From the very beginning of our journey we had a clear vision of what this place would be. In the years past we have realized that we are the tool in making it happen. The wish to create a unique spot in this part of the world is not only a dream, but also has its practical and sustainable side and offers great potential in the future. We live in a post-war area, with very poor economy and many actual and existent political problems. Any, even a small positive change is more than welcome to help us all live a better, richer life.
By realizing this project we will be able to organize workshops and lectures of national and international level.
In the meantime, this cute organic and artistic camping spot will attract visitors who are on their way to the famous National park Plitvice lakes to stay here, only 30 km away from the lakes, spend more time in the area and by doing so help the development of the whole area and its people.
A great potential for employment and sustainable tourism. It will also bring creative jobs to our children, allowing them to stay here and not follow a great exodus of people in a search for a better and decent life elsewhere abroad.
All of the building and planning will be done by our own hands and the hands of volunteers and friends of our atelier, open for the wide public including our local community. Everything will be done in the manner of sustainable building with locally available natural materials (stone, wood, straw and of course lots and lots of clay).
That way, we want to share our experience and knowledge and want to encourage other people to do the same, helping to preserve and nourish our environment and by doing so, our lives. The whole process will be filmed and documented and will, as such, provide the learning materials for future builders. How we built until now can be seen on the pictures on our Facebook page.
Here is what we want to do:
Finish our working and visitors space and shop
There are a few more steps before we can call ourselves completely ‘open’ to the public.
One of them is finishing the working and communal space, including a gallery for the artworks to be exhibited and sold. That includes tiles on the floor and a rocket mass heater made of sustainable materials for heating the place in the winter months, as well as a toilet/bathroom for our guests and visitors. Also, new doors and windows need to be placed to improve the insulation of the space. Lastly, some ground work needs to be done for the purpose of our sculpture park (parking space, walking paths, benches, etc.).
Some elements of our sculpture garden will be an artistic bridge over our (temporary) river, resting and chill out spots, spots for sky watching (there is no light pollution), playgrounds for children made of clay and other natural materials, all of it beautifully linked together by unique works of art displayed around the terrain.
Approximated amount needed € 20 000.-
And after that…
We want to build a few small organic huts and cabins so we can offer our guests a place to stay.
The houses will actually be a part of our sculpture garden, all built completely out of natural materials (wood, clay, stone, hay, sand) and materials made by ourselves and our friends. Every house will be an example of a different natural building technique, set up as a workshop, offering at the very beginning the opportunity to learn how to build with sustainable materials. The houses will radiate the traditional knowledge of ancient people brought together by our own hands, and all together they will form a kind of an artistic village.
Placed between the trees, on the edge of a meadow, all of them will become a part of nature itself, offering their inhabitants a direct connection with it, along with their unique shapes and sizes which will add the magic we so often forget exists in this magnificent world.
The houses will all have a small solar unit to load phones, cameras, laptops and use other small appliances. For sanitary needs we plan to build a camping bathroom with toilets and showers as mentioned above. Warm water will be provided by the rocket stove heater. The initial plan is to build 2 cabins for 4 people to stay (each).
Approximated amount needed € 15 000.-.
Costs of logistics, technical support, tools, transport and organization: € 10 000,-
Al together we need about € 45 000,- to get the work done. So, let's do it!
In the past years we have become pioneers of many things in our area - being the first artistic center in a wide area, building the first anagama (wood fire kiln for ceramics) in an even wider area, being the first to organize international workshops and to participate in international exhibitions. Right now, the first ever touristic map of our region will see the light of day, including all the lovable and special places we have to offer.
Practically at the door of the Plitvice Lakes, with nature as beautiful and yet untouched by millions of visitors, still as powerful as it has been for eons.
Our intention with this project is to set up a cultural center as a model of non-invasive tourism, where the visitors come and enjoy their stay without having any negative impact on nature and the community itself, but by instead immersing themselves into our world in way of exchange and respect. We know for sure that lots of people travel to enrich themselves completely delving into the place and culture they visit.
To make it all happen, before we grow old collecting the bits and putting it together, we decided to start this crowd-funding campaign and call upon our friends all around the globe to support us in achieving this goal.
As with any crowd-funding, we would like to offer rewards for all of you that participate in this project and we bid you our most heartfelt thanks.
How to do it?
Use the form on the top of the page or in the table below click on the link next to the reward of your choice. Please leave your email address so that we can contact you and arrange the details of sending you your reward, etc.
To be able to continue our work we need some extra investment. We are building 2 small, natural accommodation huts (chalets), a sanitary infrastructure, visitors space, a gallery+shop and an educational sculpture garden/park dedicated to water. For all that we need an amount of approx. € 45000,-. But even if we don't reach that goal, we will still be able to build some of it as it concerns many small units that can be built gradually, one by one. As they are built, they will immediately be put in function and that way help in generating money for the next step.
Future plans and wishes
Many of the ideas presented on these page have come to us years a go. It is interesting how some visions hold on and pass the test and challenges of time and daily life. And how some of them disappear and then 'strike' back for no particular reason, telling us that the time might come to do some. But there is work to be done before. Before we completely open up to the world and share our experience and knowledge we still have some infrastructure work to be done. As I am writing this, in June 2020 after we had been struck by corona crisis we are forced to stop all but necessary activities, just to survive. So, gone are our plans to finance and finish it al by our selves. But, we still need to finish our guest and working space, shop, visitors sanitary facilities and build a few, natural building, small huts for our guests and apprentices. That's why we launched this campaign. If you want to help, please go over the table above and choose your option.
we can start and proceed working on projects like:
international ceramics youth exchange, with the goal to expend the worlds of young people,
to help them 'ground' and to let them communicate and learn from each other on international level
artist in residence program. Inviting fellow artists to come and work with us on our sculpture garden
international project 'Water, fluid of life', a series of workshops, exhibitions and activities to raise the awareness on water,
also as a inspiration for the art
building and expending our sculpture garden dedicated to water and ancient knowledge
testing a raw materials from our surroundings and use them (clay, minerals, wood, etc.)
building another, smaller anagama for production firings
developing a series of local souvenirs based on historical, anthropological and nature research
developing a series of traditional cook ware for daily use made of local materials, as in old traditions
organizing archeological research in the area
developing tourist programs in the area
helping local community throughout local programs of education and skill teaching