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What’s cookin’ for 2021?

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 (133)

  • Aug 05, 2021

    I would love to buy a Troll Bowl and a travel mug for my dearly beloved son who has a similar wacky and dark sense of humour. I already know he just loves Calamityware.
    But I don’t understand this kickstart business.
    You need to have the money upfront before it gets manufactured?
    I am not on Facebook and never ever will be. So that is an additional obstacle to securing these gifts , I guess. ❓. 🤷🏼‍♀️ Cheerio from Canada

    — Anneke

  • Jun 21, 2021

    I would like to submit a nomination for a reusable water bottle with the TCBW print. Thank you for all the creative things you share with us!

    — Loretta Scott

  • May 14, 2021

    I absolutely love setting the table for company, using my full set of Calamityware — sometimes the guests are so interested in the different plate designs, the food starts to get cold. And, the expression on new guests’ faces when I place a full bowl of homemade soup in front of them with the calm observation that there’s a fly in the bottom of the bowl? Priceless!

    Stein, yes!

    Troll bowl, yesyesyes!

    I still yearn for calamitous fabric by the yard, so that I can sew myself custom covers for my countertop appliances, and cushions for my kitchen chairs. (Calamities are a given, in my kitchen, so I might as well decorate appropriately. ;-) )

    And I also really love the idea of a vase, that I could use as part of my everyday living room decor. Back in February, Rosemary Race suggested a “scone vase”, and while I’m sure that a second ‘c’ escaped from that first word, now I have visions of a vase decorated with mad scones trying to eat each other, which is making me laugh — so, thank you, Rosemary! I needed that, today, more than I can tell you!

    — Katrina in NH

  • Apr 23, 2021

    I adore the Guardian Dragons Stash (Cookie) Jars! I have two. One for green tea, one for black tea. (I drink a lot of tea.) How about matching graduated canisters for other dry goods? Like flour, sugar, coffee, spaghetti, macaroni (well, any pasta). And spice jars, enough for maybe 2? 4? ounces.
    What I really like is that they’re square and straight-sided but have round tops for air-tight seals. Also the neat designs. Also the blue on white pattern.

    I also have the pair of skedaddleosaurus bags. They go everywhere with me.
    Thanks! Fleet

    — Fleet

  • Apr 12, 2021

    I stumbled across Calamityware maybe 2 years ago and immediately fell in love with your hilarious designs. I would LOVE to see the pirates on a giant vase, serving dish or cookie jar down the road!!! They are my absolute favorite. Keep up the excellent creativity!

    — Kristel

  • Mar 29, 2021

    Love the troll bowl. Hopefully its blue and white so it matches everything. Love it need more serving pieces. Hopefully there will another serving platter design soon. I’m loving the beer stein.

    Suggestions: teacups and saucers, salt & pepper shakers, soup tureen, gravy boat and plate set. Just going by the other dinnerware sets I have.

    — Shi

  • Mar 22, 2021

    Peeved Paisley or Petulant Paramecia?? I’ll take 10, please.

    My spouse and I use the Omnivore bowls for almost every meal. Yes, we have gained weight—how nice of you to notice…


    — Maureen Metcalfe

  • Mar 22, 2021

    Hungry for more:
    Troll Bowls, please! B&W looks nice, but blue and white would match the Omnivore Bowls to fill from the Troll Bowl’s bounty making them a color-coordinated set, no?
    Salt and Pepper shakers would be amazing! I’m imagining small cube-shaped, with a different calamity critter on each of the six sides — salt would have blue critters on white cubes, and black would have white critters on blue cubes. I’ll take at least two sets for my Calamity settings for twelve.
    Gravy Boat, yes! Please consider a dish for the boat as well to protect surfaces from calamitous dinner guests, but I’ll take whatever you’re serving up!

    — Jack

  • Mar 08, 2021

    I received one of the mugs yesterday as a birthday gift from a dear friend. This was the first I knew of Calamityware. I love my mug and the idea behind it. Keep up the drawing, Don! This world needs your talent and humor.

    — Cheryl Dunn

  • Feb 27, 2021


    — Leslie

  • Feb 27, 2021

    Long time fan, first time buyer. ;) Received my teaware and ADORING it! It’s the levity I need in this historically awful time.

    Backed the Kickstarter for the travel mug as soon as I saw the message. Would love the beast bowl, considering the shower curtain, love the idea above for wrapping paper – I’d absolutely buy that (and considering the holiday mugs, but paper would be more useful to me in that print).

    One more idea to consider: I’d wear a black and white square silk (or satin-y) scarf in the Things Could Be Worse-style print.

    — Lisa

  • 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

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