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What’s cookin’ for 2021?

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What’s cookin’ for 2021?

Most of the products in the Calamityware store start as Kickstarter projects. Here are some things I’m working on that might become Kickstarter projects in the new year.

As always, my predictions are likely to be wildly inaccurate. The freedom to start new projects, procrastinate, change my priorities, and put work on the shelf are some of the reasons I love my self-inflicted projects.


BADbanda 7: Peeved Paisleys Another cotton bandana with a twisted translation of a traditional design. This time...paisleys that are peeved, annoyed, angry, miffed, and irked. Feels like this could be a Kickstarter project early in 2021.



Travel mugs Big porcelain mug to fit in a cup holder. Include a tight-fitting cap to reduce sloshing spills. I’ve been testing a prototype and find it serves perfectly. This could be a Kickstarter project in early spring.


Creature Comfort Throw Blanket. I’ve always wanted to adapt my design for the back of the Creature Comforts playing cards into a cotton throw. Something to curl up in for a nap on the couch. Imagine wrapping yourself in bugs, bats, and beasts for a nap. Bliss. We’ve found a workshop in Portugal that will weave gorgeous throws for us on a Jacquard loom. I hope this can be a Kickstarter project in late winter 2021. 




Beer Steins decorated with Calamity World coat of arms is the last thing the world needs. But I appear to be caving into pressures to make such a thing. Based on the problems I'm having just to get a prototype made, I suspect that this idea might be doomed, cursed, or hexed.



Jigsaw puzzles. I have several designs in the works. One or two might make it to the finish line. First, there’s a picture gallery of improbable portraits. Then, I’ve got to do something funny with all those dogs I have been drawing. That doesn’t even include the upside-down diner, the playground full of creepy aliens, or the world’s worst circus.



Troll Bowl. I just love the title. I’m thinking I need a really big bowl for popcorn, chips, or a fatal serving of ice cream. Big enough to bathe a dozen gerbils. I’ve completed a preliminary design that includes trolls, goblins, lawyers, and worse. The workshop is producing a prototype and if it turns out okay, this can be a Kickstarter project before the end of 2021. 



Letterpress print(s). I’ve started work on several ideas that might make charming prints. Potential themes include the four seasons, pet tricks, and hazmat fashion tips. The discouraging thing about doing prints is that I must sign them. Thinking about that task encourages procrastination.



Books. I have two ideas for illustrated books that are competing for my attention. Both could be a vital public service to our confused civilization. Plus they both offer me excuses to draw plenty of absurd characters doing preposterous things. Good news. Neither of these ideas will inflict more of Don’s poetry on anyone. Yeah!



Patterns. There are bound to be a few new textile patterns in 2021. There are already some tea towels in the works and it might be fun to do another quilted cotton bag or backpack with an absurd new pattern.


Other potential projects include tea cups, hazmat suits, snowshoes, ornaments, magic wands, astrolabe, gravy boat, and pet disguise kits. Watch for email updates as the year advances. Naturally, you might feel tempted to write and tell me which products you want me to work on. Go ahead. But don’t expect an individual reply and don’t expect me to actually shift my priorities just because you want a cummerbund.

I draw every day. I’m exploring the zone where products are beautiful, utilitarian, and funny. I hope you’ll find something I’m doing worthy of your support. But I plan to keep up the effort, whether anyone is behind me or not.

Don—Pittsburgh, December 28, 2020

Copyright 2020. Don't duplicate without permission.

Comments on this post (122)

  • Feb 25, 2021

    I love your sense of humor in art. It would be so awesome if you would draw bandanas or cups with the “Kraken”. 2021 has been such a “Kraken” of a year. I love your robots. I went to get my Covid shot recently & then we drove to a local restaurant to get a cold drink. In N.M. we don’t “dine in” during this Covid shut down, we do drive ups. A robo voice took our order but that was it… no directions to drive forward, so finally we drove forward to the window, a kid opened the window to tell us: “We’re not open yet, we open at 10:00.” The robot didn’t take our order… it lied to us…. we drove away laughing like crazy. There are also Sasquatch & U.F.O’s here in New Mexico (not to mention other wild Crypto animals.) Your Squatch on the mugs is too cute. We take our “calamaties” really serious, here in New Mexico, & your art really makes me smile, (during a time when smiles are absolutely needed to cope with the intense shut downs from Covid.)

    — Ann

  • Feb 22, 2021
    I drew my neighbours tiniest Hebe structure petal yet when I look at it it reminds me of seaweed!

    Your designs are carelessly funny weird and waisted – belt would be nice, headband, cap, shoe laces, socks, scone vase, backpack, lampshade, bookmark, bangle, ripped towel edge, bathmat, sew on patch, shoes with toe ends upright like me!

    — Rosemary Race

  • Feb 22, 2021

    I’ve been trying to wean myself away from Kickstarter and then today I ran across the travel mug on KS. I love it! Of course, I had to look at the rest of your Calamityware. I’m hooked. And “lucky” that so many of my favorites are ‘sold out’. If it hasn’t been suggested, in these times of covid 19 pandemic, how about a calamity-laden face mask? (with pattern similar to the one on the travel mug)

    — Cecilee

  • Feb 15, 2021

    Oh! So many lovely things to look forward to! Puzzles and beer steins are the top of my list. And a throw! Cosy up with a throw! Also… troll bowl for the popcorn to go with the beer when we are doing the puzzles!

    — Sharon

  • Feb 15, 2021

    Troll bowl, beast bowl, and travel mug please.

    — Heather Benes

  • Feb 15, 2021

    Building on what Carl B. suggested, latte bowls would be fantastic. And a salt pig would be a great addition to your line.

    — Julie B.

  • Feb 15, 2021

    Ever thought about adding a soup tureen to the collection? I think it would look fab next to my cookie jar and tea pot….and cups…etc.

    I would LOVE a soup tureen, although I’m not sure if they are used much anymore. Just a thought.


    — Kris O'Meara

  • Feb 08, 2021

    Troll bowl I need it.

    Hopefully one day you will make a teacup and saucer set. That would be perfect and would complete the tea set.

    — Shi

  • Feb 08, 2021

    Throw blanket , Travel mug and new tea towels are all MUST HAVES!! A Beer Stein is a Dream Gift. Troll bowl also. All great ideas!

    — Lee W

  • Feb 08, 2021

    Okay, the throw but as an office rug would be freaking amazing.

    — Joe

  • Feb 08, 2021

    I love the vase idea plus how about making some wrapping paper for birthdays or Christmas? Thanks for your consideration.

    — Gloria Rose Koepping

  • Jan 22, 2021

    Troll bowl please! Fatal servings of ice cream are sometimes necessary during this crazy time!

    — Cherie Mascis

  • Jan 22, 2021

    Not that you need more ideas, but might I suggest a nice, glossy, 12-month wall calendar featuring some of your fave designs/creatures/artworks? I would be willing to part with good money for those every year. And, as gifts (or just hanging them where lots of people would see them), it would be a great way to spread Calamity amongst friends, family and coworkers.

    — Donald J. Jackson

  • Jan 20, 2021

    Mmmmm… I likes the “Troll Bowl” Keep on it…you are
    “one, crazy guy”!

    — Patricia J Noud

  • Jan 20, 2021

    Love it all!
    If I win the lottery I’m buying one of each!

    — Louanne Nicotra

  • Jan 18, 2021

    Ahhh, looks like I have to wait another year for a large tumbler or two. Great stuff though.

    — Clark Richardson

  • Jan 15, 2021

    I had seen postings of calamity ware and was delighted to get two mugs and a cookie jar for Christmas. The puzzles look wonderful and museum store worthy. Personally I think a line of decorative tiles would be fantastic. The red designs are lovely too so maybe a set of four in blue, red, green, black……Cheers.

    — Kathy

  • Jan 15, 2021

    Your blog is both informative and hilarious, at the same time. I am looking forward to the future to see what it brings to Calamityware!

    — Patricia Butterworth

  • Jan 15, 2021

    Travel mug! I’m so excited about this prospect and already nervous that I’ll break it somehow.
    I do love the idea of salt and pepper now that people have mentioned it.

    — Erin L

  • Jan 15, 2021

    Pet disguises please! What fun!

    — Stacie

  • Jan 11, 2021

    I want that troll bowl and beer stein.

    I truly hope you do teacups and saucers one day.

    — Shi

  • Jan 11, 2021

    Microbes yeah!
    Troll bowl yeah!

    When are the beast bowls arriving? My beast has been waiting.

    — Jacqueline

  • Jan 11, 2021

    Maybe at some point, maybe, cat and dog stuffed toys, dog collars, dog leashes and/or dog sweaters/sweatshirts? Have to admit that I see lots of must-haves pretty much every day on the site and in the potential upcoming projects. . . . Carry on, team!

    — Carolyn

  • Jan 11, 2021

    I personally detest paisley, which is why I must have peeved paisley everything.

    — Lee Toy

  • Jan 11, 2021

    A travel mug and a back pack?! Score! I also love the peeved paisley idea, particularly as a long scarf or a ’90s-inspired short-sleeved button-up (you know, so I can roll up the sleeves!). Channel the cummerbund request to fuel your fury!

    — Miranda

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