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Traditional blue plate updated to suit modern appetite for calamity.
Traditional blue plate updated to suit modern appetite for calamity.
Traditional blue plate updated to suit modern appetite for calamity.
349 backers pledged $19,270 to help bring this project to life.

Let's put some monkeys in the furnace.


We made it! The first Calamityware plate project closed last night with 349 sponsors. Now we can make some plates. Watch for updates as we move into production.

In a few weeks, I'll send a survey to get your current shipping address. Please watch for that around January 1, 2014.

What's next? I promised to make another plate based on the calamity preferences of my  sponsors. Do you want more calamityware plates? Please send me your top three favorite calamities by December 15. I'll use the feedback to prioritize which designs come next. If I don't hear from you, I'll assume that you’ve had your fill of funny plates and have no further interest in mocking tradition.

Here's a list of thought starters: Hungry pterodactyl, Rampaging poodle, Hairy monster, Meteorite, Octopus, Plane crash, Rampaging robot, Volcano, Yucky blobs, Flying saucers, Sea monster, Pirates, Barbarians, Dragons, Loch Ness monster, Ninja assassins, Bears, Zombies, Diabolically brainy space aliens, Mariachis

If you need a refresher, you can see some but not all of these as sketches on Flickr. 


Gina Datres, Yvonne Kirk, and 12 more people like this update.


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    1. Leslie Madden Masson on December 15, 2013

      I love all of the designs except for the ants and the bats. I especially love the poodle but it is too close to the robot design. What I want is variety!

      1) Squid
      2) Volcano
      3) UFO

    2. Missing avatar

      Suzan on December 9, 2013

      Big fan of the abstract/fictional calamities. So top picks are: robot, dragons, aliens, sea monsters and the like.

      But really I'll probably just buy any of them.

    3. Missing avatar

      Ami on December 9, 2013

      My vote is for the giant fish sea monster.

    4. Veevay on December 9, 2013

      I'm having visions of a huge manatee, killer unicorns, giant spiders... =)

    5. AlmostHuman
      on December 8, 2013

      UFO, Pirates, and Solar Flare! (Yes, I know that Solar Flare calamity is not included in the illustrations, but I'll buy a minimum of 12 if you do Solar Flare.)

      BTW - great project. All of the possibilities...

    6. Missing avatar

      Gina Datres on December 8, 2013

      I like 10 and 15. I think the beauty is how we've all seen these types of plates forever expecting the usual botanical shapes and pastoral scenes. Your plates are seemingly the same -- but the real beauty, especially in the flying monkeys, is that, on closer inspection, your head says, "Wait! Are those FLYING MONKEYS?".For instance, I love the bats but there's no surprise. I see them at once. And so, to me, the beauty is in discovering a most unusual surprise -- and that's why I like 10 and 15.
      -- Gina

    7. Jen Darmstadt-Holm on December 8, 2013

      I could be as happy with an invading tripod army as with the UFO. :}

    8. Jen Darmstadt-Holm on December 8, 2013

      1) Kraken/Octopus/Sea Monster (Love both Plate 20 & Plate 7)
      2) Volcano (Plate 10)
      3) UFO (Plate 15)

    9. Lynnette Kelley on December 8, 2013

      Zombies, dragons, meteorites.

    10. Dorian Banks on December 8, 2013

      The less believable/possible the better.

    11. Adam Hill
      on December 8, 2013

      Flying saucers

    12. Missing avatar

      Caitlin Krueger on December 8, 2013

      My vote
      Tough choice! Here are my top 3.
      1. Pirates
      3.Flying Saucers

    13. Missing avatar

      Carrie McNair on December 5, 2013

      My vote: it wasn't easy to pick just 3!
      1. Sea Monster (plate 20)
      2. Huge Robot (plate 9)
      3. Meteor (plate 2)

      I like the meteor & how it's headed directly for the unassuming person-a few flames might be cool though???

      I'd love to see designs for mariachis and zombies too, though. I think the mariachis could give the robot a run for his money for choice #2. ;-)

    14. Missing avatar

      Jess LeClair on December 4, 2013

      I vote for:
      1. Sea Monster or Squid (either is equally awesome)
      2. Giant Robot
      3. Volcano

    15. Patty on December 4, 2013

      Flying Saucer Plate 15
      Rampaging Robot Plate 9
      Hairy Monster Plate 4

      So excited to get my plate!

    16. Mariella Wretman on December 4, 2013

      Congrats to a project well done. My votes are as follows based on pics on flicker: 7, 10, 14. However I am no stranger to ideas like zombies, dragons and bears... Excited to see the upcoming plates!

    17. Suzanne Shum on December 4, 2013

      Re: Betsy How about a bigger meteorite? Or flaming meteorite? The meteorite just looks so unthreatening and won't do much damage.

    18. Sharin Forest on December 4, 2013

      1. Plate 20
      2. Plate 10
      3. Plate 7

    19. Missing avatar

      Betsy Lawlor on December 4, 2013

      re: Suzanne Shum's comment

      I prefer the subtlety of just the single meteorite, with the calamity being imminent.

    20. Missing avatar

      Betsy Lawlor on December 4, 2013

      Yay! Monkeys in the furnace!

      Meteorite, Octopus, Flying saucer
      But it sure was hard to pick just three.

    21. Tracy Flood, MD, PhD on December 3, 2013

      Top 3 - so excited:

      (plate 7) Killer Robot
      (plate 9) Octopus
      (plate 15) Flying saucer

    22. Thunderbox Ink on December 3, 2013


      also agree with the other posters about a Godzilla type character.
      my hope is that you will eventually make all of them so I can have a unique set of each one to pass down to my children, thats how good I think they will be, collectors items!!

    23. Daniel Wyrostek on December 2, 2013

      going by the flickr titles, here's my top 3 picks:
      1) Calamityware plate 15
      2) Calamityware Plate 20
      3) Calamityware plate 9

    24. Jessica Stern on December 2, 2013

      1. Sea Monster/Octopus
      2 Flying Saucer
      3 Meteorite

      Godzilla and Gamera are personal favorites of mine, should they find their way onto plates. Just sayin'.

    25. Juliet
      on December 2, 2013

      1. DEFINITELY Sea Monster/Leviathan (this guy!
      2. Crocodile (alligator?) attack
      3. Rampaging robot

    26. John E. Altberg II on December 2, 2013

      1) Sea Monster
      2) Volcano
      3) Pirate Ship

    27. Derek Palladino on December 2, 2013

      1) Rampaging robot
      2) Octopus
      3) Sea monster

    28. Matt LaChance on December 2, 2013

      Flying saucers

    29. Nethra on December 2, 2013

      Any would be great!

    30. Barbara J. on December 2, 2013

      robot, dragon, flying saucer.

    31. Dixie Kaetsu on December 2, 2013

      Octopus, dragons, mariachis, volcano, zombies (is that too many to choose?) Oh, and meteorite!

    32. Suzanne Shum on December 2, 2013

      Octopus, volcano, UFO, zombies, ninjas, robot, etc...

      I would like to see more meteorites on the meteorite themed plate. It needs to be a meteorite shower (maybe with some burning/destroyed buildings)

    33. Missing avatar

      nk bushoven
      on December 1, 2013

      No poodle

    34. Missing avatar

      nk bushoven
      on December 1, 2013

      And Dragons and as

      Sea monsters

    35. Missing avatar

      nk bushoven
      on December 1, 2013

      Bats and alligators

    36. Philip Herbst on December 1, 2013

      Sea monster

    37. Missing avatar

      Pamela Diaz on December 1, 2013

      Congratulations on being funded!

      My top three for the next plate are
      1. Sea Monster/Octopus (tied)
      2 Flying Saucer
      3 Dragons

    38. Erik Berglund on December 1, 2013

      I love the idea, and am looking forward to more. I would recommend a sequence variety, natural disaster (earthquake, meteor, volcano) - science fiction (evil robot, alien) - man-made disaster (plane, fire) - historical, (ninjas, pirates) - animals (bears, bats, ants, and crocodiles) - mad science (poodle, zombies, mutant whale). I also like the idea of a mash-up... Pirates with fire and ninjas, Plane crashing with aliens and alien ships, Volcano with barbarians and dragon, etc.

      As for my top three designs... (keeping with the variety specified above)
      1. Pterodactyl
      2. Alien ship and/or invading aliens (mash-up)
      3. Volcano

    39. Jenny Brewer on December 1, 2013

      Sea monster, zombies, octopus!

    40. Agness Kaku on December 1, 2013

      Sea monster, sea monster, sea monster.

      Yucky blob is lovely too.

    41. Heather Siniscalchi on December 1, 2013

      1. Robot
      2. Squid
      3. Any Giant monster

    42. Nancy on December 1, 2013

      1. Ninja assassins
      2. Diabolically brainy space aliens
      3. Octopus

    43. Missing avatar

      brian beirne on December 1, 2013

      1. Robot
      2. Volcano
      3. Loch Ness Monster

    44. Stephanie Bray-Voorhes on December 1, 2013

      I love the bats, volcano, pirates....pretty much everything.

    45. Missing avatar

      Jeff on December 1, 2013

      1. Rampaging robot
      2. Flying Saucers
      3. Lock Ness Monster

    46. Jeffrey Price on December 1, 2013

      Sea monster

    47. Dyon Martin on December 1, 2013

      1. Dragons
      2. Kracken
      3. Flying saucer
      4. Rampaging robot

    48. Angeline Kahn on December 1, 2013

      1. Invasion of gators
      2. Sea monster (or Cthulhu!)
      3. Pterodactyl

    49. Angelica Gauges on December 1, 2013

      1. Octopus.
      2. Sea Monster
      3. I didn't see it on your list, but I quite liked the plate with the little alligators.

    50. Kimberly Blaszyk-Seifert on December 1, 2013

      Sea monster
      Big brained aliens