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No matter how bad your day is going, these beautiful porcelain Calamityware mugs graciously remind you things could be much worse.
No matter how bad your day is going, these beautiful porcelain Calamityware mugs graciously remind you things could be much worse.
No matter how bad your day is going, these beautiful porcelain Calamityware mugs graciously remind you things could be much worse.
4,327 backers pledged $264,997 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Things-Could-Be-Worse Mugs

$264,997

4,327

Lost your keys? Lost your job? Look at the bright side. At least you’re not plagued by pterodactyls, pursued by giant robots, or pestered by zombie poodles. Life is good!

The Things-Could-Be-Worse Mug is designed to remind you how lucky you are.

These porcelain mugs feature my drawing of a traditional blue-willow paradise discombobulated by more than a dozen calamities, perils, and pests. You’ll find...
• hairy fiend
• giant frog
• pirates
• cephalopod
• unpleasant blob creature
• voracious sea monster
• UFOs
• agressive pterodactyls
• rambunctious robots
• zombie poodle
and other suspicious animals and shrubs.

Some of life’s inconveniences glimpsed.
Some of life’s inconveniences glimpsed.

What do you get? Sponsors of this Kickstarter project will receive sets of four identical mugs decorated with my multi-calamity drawing. These mugs are made and decorated by the award-winning Kristoff Porcelain workshop in Poland using the traditional in-glaze technique. The mugs are food safe, microwave safe, and dishwasher safe so you can use them every day to remind you of all the problems you don’t have.

Reward: Set of four matching porcelain mugs
Reward: Set of four matching porcelain mugs

The Things-Could-Be-Worse Mug is NOT like those cheap ceramic mugs you get free from the auto body shop or the veterinarian. This is fine porcelain that will enhance your dinner table today and could also delight your descendants for generations.

Why sets of four? When you see how fine these mugs are, you’re going to be glad you have multiples for all your guests. If you are a lone wolf who survives with only one mug in your kitchen, you’ll have three beautiful mugs to give as gifts. Experts have assured me this is the way that classy dinnerware is packaged. Besides, I don’t have the resources to pack and ship mugs in different quantities. Keeping track of all that would make my head explode. Trust me—you’re going to be glad you have multiples.

Don evaluating mugs. These 12-ounce mugs are the perfect size.
Don evaluating mugs. These 12-ounce mugs are the perfect size.

I worked hard to find the perfect mug size and shape. I wanted to avoid the discomfort of gargantuan mugs that are too big to lift and tiny mugs that require constant refills. Unlike bland, ubiquitous cylindrical mugs, this mug’s gently curved shape enhances your meals with a sensuous form that suggests plump bounty and refined social grace. Caution: This high level of refinement may drive you to upgrade to a better quality coffee or tea. 

Coffee break
Coffee break

Things-Could-Be-Worse Mugs make perfect gifts. So, consider getting extras—especially for your coffee-loving friends.

Each peril is a vivid reminder that, even on your worst day, things could be much worse.
Each peril is a vivid reminder that, even on your worst day, things could be much worse.

Your Things-Could-Be-Worse Mugs are sure to become treasured family heirlooms cherished for their beauty, utility, and humor. Plus, these mugs help you achieve inner peace by keeping life’s setbacks in perspective and promoting a healthy attitude of gratitude. Things could be worse.

My initial deign is flat. Then, I work out placement of all elements with cut paper on a blank mug to make sure one or more perils are always visible.
My initial deign is flat. Then, I work out placement of all elements with cut paper on a blank mug to make sure one or more perils are always visible.

When will you receive your mugs? I’ve already completed this mug design and inspected the first prototypes. A second prototype is needed to confirm a tweak that was needed to refine the UFOs. Production can start as soon as I have enough pledges. Assuming nothing calamitous happens, you should be enjoying your favorite beverage in an amazing mug by early November 2015. Probably sooner.

International shipping. Mugs can ship anywhere in the world. Orders outside the US have a postage charge that varies depending on where the package is going. Porcelain is 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 reward shipments. I have no way of predicting if they’ll apply to your parcel. It’s all very willy-nilly. They may not hit you, but don’t be surprised if the customs inspector arbitrarily singles you out. Things could be worse, right?

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 all my silly projects by liking the Calamityware Facebook page.

Questions? Send me your questions and I’ll add them and the answers to the FAQ section at the bottom of this page.

If you are curious about production, you can study this overview of the steps involved to produce Calamityware plates. Production of porcelain mugs follows the same outline. (Too small? Click image to download PDF.)

Steps to get fine porcelain to your door.
Steps to get fine porcelain to your door.

Want to see more of Don's drawings? Each day, I try to post a fresh drawing from my sketchbook on Flickr. Feel free to follow along if you are interested in what I’m working on. 

Don

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 without delay. 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 production will take longer than anticipated—perhaps because a potentate gets into the production queue ahead of us.

I promise that I won’t stop working until all my sponsors receive their things-could-be-worse mugs. I think we’ll be shipping by early

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    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    No reward. Perfect if you want to support this project but don’t have room in your life for any mugs. Set your pledge level at any amount.

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    Pledge $48 or more About $48

    Set of four matching Things-Could-Be-Worse Mugs with multiple calamities to remind you that no matter how bad your day might be going, it could be far worse.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
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    Pledge $92 or more About $92

    Two sets of four (8) matching Things-Could-Be-Worse Mugs with multiple calamities to remind you that no matter how bad your day might be going, it could be far worse.

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    571 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $132 or more About $132

    Three sets of four (12) matching Things-Could-Be-Worse Mugs with multiple calamities to remind you that no matter how bad your day might be going, it could be far worse.

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    196 backers
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Funding period

- (21 days)