About this project
I love to draw. The drawings I like best make me laugh.
Back in 2011, I was drawing an heirloom plate that had belonged to my mother’s ancestors before they left Ireland. In my sketchbook I thought the composition needed more flair, so I added a pterodactyl for extra excitement. That sketch started my Calamityware™ projects. So far, I have produced 12 Calamityware dinner plates. Each design features the added thrill of a calamity to enliven the traditional Blue-Willow pattern. The first four designs have been unavailable for a long time now.
This Kickstarter project is about revisiting those four designs to make them available to the people who missed those initial Kickstarter projects and for whose who can never get enough Calamityware.
Let’s review. Calamityware plate 1 features a squadron of flying monkeys. Plate 2 has a giant robot disrupting paradise. Plate 3 is threatened by a big, voracious fish. And plate 4 is enlivened by UFOs. You’ll find photos of these four plate prototypes below.
You don’t have to decide now which specific plates you want. Just pledge for the appropriate number of plates now and later you’ll make your selections when you answer the Kickstarter address survey.
“What’s this?” she exclaimed. Supporters of the Calamityware projects enjoy serving guests food on Calamityware plates and waiting for the moment when the visitor discovers the porcelain includes sly calamities.
What does “revisited” mean? These plates will be different from the originals in two important ways. First, I have made some small additions to the designs. Now, if you look closely, you may find some new creatures that were not included in the originals. (Spoiler alert: details about the design tweaks are included at the bottom of this page.)
Second, these new plates will be produced using the in-glaze technique to match Calamityware plates 5 through 12. The original plates were on-glaze. On-glaze images sit on top of the porcelain surface while in-glaze images are fired at a higher temperature and melt slightly into the surface of the porcelain.
This project should delight two groups of people. First, those who missed the original Kickstarter projects for the Series 1 plates. And people who prefer the refinement of the in-glaze technique.
Top quality. Like the latest Calamityware dinner plates, these 10.5"-diameter plates will be produced at the award-winning Kristoff workshop in Poland using the in-glaze technique. Final production will feature white porcelain with a rich blue image—destined to become treasured family heirlooms.
In-glaze plates are fired at extra-high temperatures to allow the image to melt slightly into the surface of the plate. 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 you see in museums. Sweet.
Will all the plates in this series match? No. Although all the Calamityware plates have been designed to look good together on the same dinner table, the designs of the plate borders and central image of each Calamityware plate are different. 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.
Unmatched gift potential. Isn’t it obvious that Calamityware porcelain dinner plates make superb gifts? Maybe you should get some extras?
When can I expect my Calamityware plates? Assuming nothing calamitous happens, everyone should have their rewards before the end of March 2017. Possibly sooner.
Free shipping in USA. If you live in the United States, there’s no additional charge to deliver your reward to your door. We’ll also apply the amount we’ve budgeted for postage to international orders, so international sponsors only need to pay the extra amount beyond what a U.S. shipment costs.
International shipping. Calamityware plates can ship anywhere in the world. Orders outside the U.S. 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, perhaps you can justify the expense.
Read this if you are outside the U.S. In some countries, customs duties may be applied to plate shipments. I have no way of predicting if they’ll apply to your shipment. Customs inspections are very arbitrary and willy-nilly. Most packages sail through without any duty, but some are selected by chance and the recipient gets hit with a duty fee. So if you can’t tolerate the risk that your shipment might get selected for extra costs, you should probably not support this project. Or arrange to have your reward shipped to a friend in the U.S. who can bring you your porcelain in their luggage next trip.
Customs inspectors are unpredictable. We’ll be using the U.S. Postal Service for the international shipments because that seems to minimize the number of packages that get hit with customs fees, and there are no extra broker fees added.
Pay attention. If you are an international sponsor and receive a tracking number when we ship, track your package daily to make sure it doesn’t get hung up in the system and returned to us. Don’t just assume it will show up at your door. Shipments have a way of getting stalled, and monitoring the status of the tracking number allows you to intervene promptly.
Project updates. Sponsors of this project will receive periodic updates through Kickstarter as the project unfolds but not so often that I’ll feel like a pest. You can also receive a trickle of news about designing, producing, and enjoying Calamityware plates (and the other projects Don is working on) by liking the Calamityware Facebook page.
Caring for porcelain is easy. How much pampering you give your porcelain should depend on how long you want it to last. I wrote a blog post that offers practical advice about living with porcelain. Read it and follow the advice if you want to keep your porcelain pristine.
Questions? Send me your questions and I’ll add them and the answers to the FAQ section of this page.
Previous Calamityware plates. If you missed my previous Kickstarter projects, you’ll find a few earlier plates at Calamityware.com. There are some other unusual products there, too, that began as Kickstarter-Don projects.
Spoiler alert. Don’t read the next paragraph if you’d prefer to discover the design changes on your own.
Design enhancements. These new plates are very similar to the original designs. A quick look will suggest that they are the same. But I couldn’t resist the temptation to add something to each plate.
Risks and challenges
Countless things could go wrong to delay this project. But the designs are done and the pre-production proofs have been approved. So if I get enough sponsors for a production run, I can green-light production right away.
I’m using a workshop that produces porcelain for monarchs and potentates and has perfected production techniques over 180 years. So technical problems are unlikely. The biggest risk is that the finished plates won’t catch the cargo ship we want and will have to come over on the sister ship a month later.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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