I like drawings that make me laugh. When I inherited a traditional Willow-pattern plate, I just had to redraw it and add a pterodactyl. 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.
My first four Calamityware Kickstarter projects (flying monkey, giant robot, voracious sea monster, and UFO invasion) found sponsors, so here is the fifth project in what might turn out to be a long series.
This design includes robust ornaments, a rich assortment of flora and fauna, architectural marvels, innocent victims, romance, and enterprising pirates. Imagine all those curiosities behind your Chicken Kiev!
Final production will feature a rich blue image on 10.5"-diameter, white porcelain plates. You can hang it on your wall or use it for dinner (food safe, microwave safe, dishwasher safe). Makes a really astonishing gift, especially for pirates.
Series continues. I’m committed to producing at least eight plate designs. If sponsors remain enthusiastic, I’ll go to 12.
Here’s the current lineup.
SERIES 1: On-Glaze Plates
Calamityware Plate 1: flying monkeys
Calamityware Plate 2: giant robot
Calamityware Plate 3: voracious sea monster
Calamityware Plate 4: UFO invasion
SERIES 2: In-Glaze Plates
Calamityware Plate 5: pirates in the neighborhood
Calamityware Plate 6: rambunctious volcano
Calamityware Plate 7: tentacles!
Calamityware Plate 8: vortex of doom
This plate (and future Calamityware plates) are going to be produced at the award-winning Kristoff porcelain workshop in Poland. This change will allow me to shift from on-glaze to in-glaze production. As good as the original plates were, these new plates will be slightly better.
What’s the difference? My designs of the first four Calamityware plates were applied on top of the final porcelain glaze. You can actually feel the vitreous inks standing proud on the surface. But with the in-glaze technique, the image will be more smoothly integrated into the surface of the plate. Casual observers won’t see a difference, but connoisseurs will appreciate the beauty of the in-glaze technique which the artists at Kristoff have been refining since 1831. This is the look of porcelain plates you see in museums. Sweet.
The Series 2 Calamityware plates are slightly more shallow in shape and the blue is just a touch more somber—a tiny bit less perky.
Will all the plates in this series match? No. The designs of the plate borders and central image of each Calamityware plate are 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 happen at different times, months apart, on different continents. If you appreciate the notion of “eclectic,” you’ll be delighted. But if you are a perfectionist about matching, you should order enough of your favorite Calamityware plate so all your guests have the same design.
How can I get a collection of different designs? If you want each of your dinner guests to have a different calamity, the best way is to sponsor each of the successive Kickstarter projects. I’m trying to space these projects 30 days apart. So, in 2015, it should be possible to introduce the four new designs listed above. You can find the first four Calamityware plate designs here.
When? I’ve already proofed this plate design, so production can start as soon as I have enough sponsors. Assuming nothing calamitous happens, you should be dining with pirates by the end of July 2015. Maybe sooner.
International shipping. Plates can ship anywhere in the world. Orders outside the US have a postage charge that varies depending on where the package is going. Porcelain plates are heavy, so postage costs are shockingly high. But for a treasured heirloom that may last generations, you might be able to justify the expense.
In some countries, customs duties may be applied to plate shipments. I have no way of predicting if they’ll apply to your shipment. It’s all very willy-nilly.
What’s going on? Sponsors of this project will receive periodic updates through Kickstarter as the project unfolds. You can also receive a trickle of news about designing, producing, and enjoying Calamityware plates by liking the Calamityware Facebook page.
Questions? Send me your questions and I’ll add them and the answers to the FAQ section of this page.
Risks and challenges
Countless things could go wrong to delay this project. But the design is done and the pre-production proof has been approved. So if I get enough sponsors, I can green light production. I’m using a workshop that produces porcelain for monarchs and potentates and has perfected production techniques over 180 years. The biggest risk is that production will take longer than anticipated.
We must mold blank plates and produce transfers. Then skilled decorators must apply the transfers to the center, rim, and back of two thousand plates by hand. All the plates need to be glazed and fired multiple times. Finally the plates will be packed into a container and loaded on a ship. The captain must cross the Atlantic while avoiding icebergs and pirates. In Baltimore, the ship will be unloaded and the plates trucked to the fulfillment center in New Jersey.
I think I’ve left ample time for all these steps in the schedule, but lots of problems could arise.
I’m now working with Fulfillrite, so the shipping problems that haunted the first series of Calamityware projects are gone.
Fate could still fling new and unexpected problems at me. Earthquakes could toss cities, UFOs invade, or pirates sink my boat, so I’m alert for pending disasters. I promise that I won’t stop working until all my sponsors receive their Calamityware plates. I think we’ll be shipping before the end of July 2015. I hope it can be sooner.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)