About this project
Missed this project? You can still find this and other Calamityware plates at BuyCalamityware.com
I like drawings that make me laugh. When I inherited a traditional Blue Willow-pattern plate, I just had to redraw it and add a dinosaur. As I drew more plates and added more calamities—UFOs, Sasquatch, and volcanoes—folks urged me to produce real dinner plates. A Kickstarter project was born.
The first two Kickstarter projects went well (flying monkeys and giant robot), so here is the third project in what might turn out to be a long series. This design includes a hungry sea monster who appears to have escaped from the wild areas of an early Renaissance map. Imagine finding that bad boy behind your fish sticks!
The final production plates will feature a rich blue image on white porcelain. You can hang it on your wall or use it for dinner (food safe, microwave safe, dishwasher safe). Makes a flabbergasting gift.
If we get enough sponsors, the craftspeople at Bryan China Company (New Castle, PA, USA) will transfer the drawing to full-size dinner plates and fire them at 1500 degrees to permanently fuse the image to the porcelain. I expect to ship these plates before the end of August 2014. Perhaps sooner.
Series continues. I’m committed to producing at least six plate designs in this series. If sponsors remain enthusiastic, I’ll go to 12.
Here’s the current lineup.
Calamityware Plate 1: flying monkeys
Calamityware Plate 2: giant robot
Calamityware Plate 3: voracious sea monster
Calamityware Plate 4: UFO invasion?
Calamityware Plate 5: pirates in the neighborhood?
Calamityware Plate 6: to be announced. I’m considering a volcano, Sasquatch, mariachis, mimes, pterodactyls, a giant octopus, bats, alligators, and several other themes. But probably not all at once. Stay tuned.
If you missed the previous Kickstarter projects and want to address a gap in your Calamityware plate collection, you’ll find a limited number of plates at BuyCalamityware.com
Will all the plates in this series match? No. The designs of the plate borders and central image will be very different. It’s also possible that the exact size of the plates and the shade of blue will shift slightly because the plates, transfers, and firing are going to be happening at different times, months apart. If you are a perfectionist about color matching, you should order a set of matching dishes with the same design on all. Even then, you might see a little variation. Welcome to the real world.
How can I get a set of six plates with different designs? If you want each of your guests to have a different calamity, the best way is to sponsor six or more separate, successive Kickstarter projects. I’m trying to space them 90 days apart. So it is going to take a while. But the wait will be worthwhile, right?
If you missed any of these projects, you need to get over to http://BuyCalamityware.com and catch up.
More back story. If you want more details about Calamityware plates, take a look at the previous Calamityware kickstarter projects and the weekly updates I shared. Search on the term “calamityware” or follow this link to the first project... https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/159974695/calamityware-dinner-plate-1
Want to see more of Don’s drawings? I post a new drawing of something almost every day on Flickr. Here https://flic.kr/ps/xUygP. You can see my Calamityware drawings in this Flickr set https://flic.kr/s/aHsjKazkKb
Risks and challenges
Now that I have already done two of these Kickstarter projects, I’m beginning to understand some of the things that can go wrong. The world is full of calamities, so why should the world of Calamityware plates be any different?
The technology of producing porcelain plates is sound. But every other part of the project is vulnerable to calamity, mishap, and fiasco. I’ve already figured out how to cope with delays, broken plates, flawed addresses, and slow-motion couriers. What next?
I give you my word, I will work tirelessly to get everyone their Calamityware 3 plates as soon as possible. It’ll probably be early August—in plenty of time for holiday gift giving if you live in North America. But some international orders will take a very long time to arrive. I don't know why, but they do.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
I once lived and worked in Toronto. So I want to help out my friends north of the border. If you live in Canada, shipping will be included in your pledge.
But you need to pledge in a special way. Here's what I want you to do. When you make your pledge, pretend that you live in Pittsburgh. (It's nicer than you think.) Don't ask for international shipping. Don't pledge the extra $30USD to ship overseas.
Later, when I ask you for your current mailing address, you’ll tell me that you live in Saskatoon, or whatever. We'll need to trick the system once more by pretending that Saskatewan (or whatever province) is in the USA. I'll change the mailing labels from US to Canada and you will have saved $30. That seems to work.
In theory, a PO box number should work. But in fact they have proven to be problematic. In these cases, the workshop can’t use UPS and has to rely on the United States Postal Service. So far the postal service has made the whole process painful, slow, and unreliable.
The ideal address to use is a business where people are active during the day. But if all you’ve got is a PO box number, we’ll use it and you’ll get your plate eventually. Probably.
No. All the plates in this series will be almost exactly the same size and nearly the same color blue but the designs of the plate borders and central image will be different. It's also possible that the shade of blue will shift slightly because the transfers and plate firing is going to be happening at different times, months apart. If you are a perfectionist about color matching, you should order a set of matching dishes with the same design on all of them.
If you want each of your guests to have a different calamity, the best way is to sponsor six or more separate, successive Kickstarter projects. I’m trying to space them 90 days apart. So it is going to take a while. But the wait will be worthwhile, right?
But remember that these plates will not be a "set" in the sense that they match exactly. See the Q&A above.
There may still be some plates available from previous Calamityware Kickstarter projects at BuyCalamityware.com. Kickstarter is the best deal, but you can catch up and fill in gaps in your Calamityware plate collection there. Those plates may take a long time to arrive. That’s because the workshop can only take care of fulfillment when the real work for non-silly projects is done. Often the Calamityware orders are forced to wait while orders for presidents and oligarchs are expedited. We have to wait our turn.
After the first plate was funded, sponsors were asked to indicate their favorite calamities. Based on that research, here are the next four plates.
Calamityware Plate 2: giant robot
Calamityware Plate 3: voracious sea monster
Calamityware Plate 4: pirates in the neighborhood
Calamityware Plate 5: UFO invasion
Beyond that calamities may include volcano, Sasquatch, mariachis, mimes, pterodactyls, or a giant octopus. Stay tuned. I’m waiting to see what strikes my fancy.
I'm still trying to figure out if there is any way to accommodate the special requests for calamities that I received in my survey—ants, former spouse, canned music,
There are invisible plate hangers that work well without damaging the plate. Here's a link to an update from the first Calamityware plate that introduces these sticky yellow marvels.
Stretch goals only work for projects that can leverage economies of scale. These plates don't have it. If I get twice as many pledges, all the costs double--plate blanks, transfers, labor, cartons, and postage. Take another look at my video and you will see Kelly applying a transfers to a plate. It takes artists like her twice as long to do twice as many plates.
Stretch goals are fun for sponsors, but they don’t make economic sense in this case. This is one of the things that the folks at Kickstarter warn novices about. So no stretch goals for Calamityware. Sorry.
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