Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 23, 2012.

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Fund the US-based production of Speechless Studios' round-bottomed, self-righting ceramic Wobble Bowls.

With a round bottom, Wobble Bowls rock and spin but come right back up. Simple to set in motion, but surprisingly stable.

I designed, and began producing, the Wobble Bowls almost two years ago in my own small studio. I'm not a ceramicist--I'm a designer--but I've produced hundreds of them myself for sale at museum and design stores. Now, it's time to let someone else produce them, so I can get back to designing new products, market them (instead of just keeping up), offer larger quantities, and actually get out of the studio sometime. 

And you can get one of the first production run of Wobble Bowls by supporting this project.

What's a Wobble?

Round-bottomed bowls, bright colors, three sizes, good for everything from your morning cereal to a big salad. The three sizes nest for storage (upside down, please), but why wouldn't you just leave them out since they look so nice?

Orange, blue, yellow; small, medium, large (~5, 7, 9" in diameter).

They're like toys that no one will make fun of you for.

Why Wobble

Wobble Bowls were designed to bring the memory and experience of play to your grown-up tabletop with vibrant toy-like colors and movement. With round bottoms, they easily rock and spin, but with their low center of gravity and turn inward, they remain surprisingly stable and right themselves when tipped over.

The Project

I've talked to the guys, gotten the quotes, run the numbers, and am ready to outsource my production--not to some far-away factory, but to a production studio in Portland, OR. I'll give them the designs for all three sizes--and they'll make an original master mold, rubber mother molds, and from those, multiple plaster production molds for each size. Then they'll produce the bowls individually, using traditional slip-casting techniques.

They'll fire, glaze, and ship them to Speechless in Oakland, and we'll get them out to you, retailers, shows, and whoever falls in love with one.

Where's the Money Go?

Quality materials and expert labor. Because I'm choosing to have these made in the US, I'm paying for production by skilled craftsmen (and ladies). But I think it's worth it to sustain craft in the US, and get products that I don't have to worry about the quality or materials of.

I'm paying for multiple molds (master, mother, production) in each size, slip (clay), glaze, firing costs, shipping, and packaging. The cost of the molds alone is approximately $4,000, and the minimum first run will cost another $6,000. Add in shipping and packaging, and it's over $10,000 in costs just to get into production.

But, once the molds have been made, I can continue producing as many bowls as I need to meet demand and turn a small profit. Getting past this point completely changes what I can offer and builds a sustainable small, independent design business that supports an ecosystem of other small businesses, from production to retail.

What About You?

I want to make it easier to find more joy in your everyday life. I want to give you something you'll love, something unexpected, something that will make you feel happiness when you do one of those everyday things you don't even think about.

You can get bowls in all three sizes and colors. You can also get a set of bowls (small, medium, and large), multiples to use as gifts or just to decorate en masse. I'll also send out gifts for you throughout the year, if maybe you don't want to have to worry about forgetting your mom's, sister's, best friend from summer camp's, or dog's birthday again this year.

You can also get various expressions of gratitude (which come with every contribution no matter what), or a surprise Speechless piece. If you're more into experiences or need a designer's eye, I can also take you on a tour of design stores in SF or NYC.

That's a lot of choices--there must be something in there you want (I mean, since you're still reading).

Thanks, you. You really are great.

and thanks to

Switch Thomas. The king of big lenses, hypoallergic kittens, explosions FX, and snuggles.

Jon Sung. Writer of Songs, Righter of Wrongs, single. That song belongs to him.

And the rest of you.

FAQ

  • The small holds about 0.5 liters, the medium 2 liters, and the large 4 liters.

    They're about 5, 7 and 9" in diameter.

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  • The simplest thing to do is buy them directly from me at http://speechlessstudios.com--after. After the campaign is over and more bowls are available (and after everyone who pledged has gotten their rewards!), the site will offer them for sale.

    I'll also post a list there of retailers where they're available in case you want to check them out in person.

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  • Just message me directly, and I'll take care of you.

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  • Yes, you can actually use them! With their low center of gravity and turn inward, they're pretty stable and stuff stays in. While it's generally best not to fill them quite to the top just to be safe, or to place something very heavy (like a really big serving spoon) against one side, which can throw off the balance, they're well-suited to be used as serving bowls, snack bowls, or for just throwing coins into at the end of the day.

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  • They ideal as serving bowls--the small ones are perfect for nuts or candy, mediums are great for serving vegetables, and the larges are in constant use at our house for chips (and the occasional salad--gotta stay healthy).

    The smalls also fit well in the hand, so I think they're perfect for a quick bowl of cereal that I hold while I eat.

    They can also help you keep items at hand in the kitchen or office--throw your keys into a small one to stay organized, or keep garlic or fruit out on the counter.

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  • They are ceramic, so they can break or chip, but they have thick walls and are made out of a medium-fire stoneware, so they're pretty sturdy.

    Last updated:
581
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    39 backers

    "I-JUST-WANT-TO-HELP-AND-DON'T-HAVE-ROOM-FOR-MORE-STUFF": Feeling good.

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    7 backers

    MY VERBALLY-EXPRESSED THANKS: A personalized thank you note, signed or smudged by a me and/or studio feline. Or, a tweet thanking you for your support (with or without profanity). Your choice.

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    MYSTERY BOX: I'll send you a surprise Speechless piece. It could be a ceramic pot pie. It could be something useful.

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    217 backers

    SMALL WOBBLE: You choose your color (add $10 for international shipping).

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    MEDIUM WOBBLE: You choose your color (add $10 for international shipping).

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    LARGE WOBBLE: You choose your color (add $10 for international shipping).

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    111 backers

    3 SMALL WOBBLES: You choose a single color, or one of each (add $20 for international shipping).

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    65 backers

    S, M, L SET: One of each size, you choose a single color, or one of each (add $20 for international shipping).

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    5 backers

    3 MEDIUM WOBBLES:You choose a single color, or one of each (add $20 for international shipping).

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    3 LARGE WOBBLES:You choose a single color, or one of each (add $20 for international shipping).

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    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    DESIGN SHOPPING TOUR: One large bowl, plus a trip to some of my favorite design stores (SF or NYC only).

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    1 backer

    DON'T-MAKE-ME-THINK-GIFT-PACK-OF-10: 10 small wobbles, your choice of colors, for delivery as gifts. You give me a list of the recipients, dates for delivery, and occasions, and I'll send them out for you, gift wrapped for delivery to each recipient by your requested dates, anytime in the next year (add $10 per international delivery).

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    25 SMALL WOBBLES: 25 small bowls shipped all at once to you to display, give away, or otherwise enjoy. You really like them. Like a lot (add $100 for international delivery).

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    DON'T-MAKE-ME-THINK-GIFT-PACK-OF-20: Just like the "Don't-Make-Me-Think-Gift-Pack-of-10" but with 20. 20 small bowls sent to your gift recipients, when you want them delivered (add $10 per international delivery).

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Funding period

- (30 days)