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Kissing frogs


A handful of unlucky people who ordered the first and second Calamityware plates still don't have their shipment. I’m very sorry about the delay. It was not what I intended.

Last week I uncovered one of the reasons. I was talking to Bruce at the workshop where my drawings are applied to the porcelain and fired. He confessed that they frequently talk to artists about grand plans to produce hundreds or thousands of plates but no orders ever come in. He and his team have been frustrated by this experience so many times that they have given it a name. They call it kissing frogs. Bruce said, “We have to kiss every frog we meet. But they never seem to turn into a prince.”

When they met me, the team assumed that I was another frog with big dreams and that few plates would ever be produced. So when it was time to produce and ship my orders, they were unprepared. They didn’t have enough porcelain blanks on hand and didn’t have enough shipping cartons of the right sizes. Most important, they didn’t have enough production time blocked out in their schedule.

Bruce and his team had never heard of Kickstarter. So the notion that I had already found homes for all the plates I ordered was a new concept. They are accustomed to the delays of a long sales process.

I believe I finally have the team’s attention. The majority of the production calendar for the end of June and the start of July is committed to Calamityware. So, the backlogged Calamityware 1 and 2 plates as well as all the Calamityware 3 plates from the recent Kickstarter project will be in production soon.

Once again, I apologize to those of you who have had to wait. You’ll be dining with flying monkeys and giant robots soon.

Don (former frog)

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Proofs sometimes trigger changes. Here's a pair of photos comparing details of proof 1 and proof 2 of the first Calamityware plate (flying monkeys) with some of the changes highlighted. These refinements are needed to ensure that details are not lost. As I've gained more experience with reproducing drawings on porcelain, these tweaks are becoming rare. But proofing will always be part of the process to ensure that the design is right.

Sometimes obsessive attention to meaningless details is an asset, right?

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Testing the box

Carton tested. You might be interested to know that the shipping box we will use to send Calamityware dinner plates has been thoroughly tested and approved by both the US Postal  Service and UPS. It has worked admirably in all but the most extreme conditions.

Test 107E

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Monkeys on the truck


The first Calamityware plates are shipping. Some are already rolling toward their new homes. The rest will go out the door today and tomorrow. You'll probably have your reward for supporting the first Calamityware Kickstarter project by next week, unless you live in some distant, remote, or inaccessible place.

If you snap photos of your plate in use, post the image on Twitter with the hashtag... #calamityware. 

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Visit to the workshop

I visited the Bryan China workshop on Valentine's Day and saw flying-monkey plates in production. I made a brief video of Kelly applying the rim image to a plate. 

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Great skill is required to position the image elements accurately and eliminate all trapped moisture and air. Kelly is an artist—a joy to watch. Each plate spends more than 4 hours in the intensely hot kiln (1500°F) to fuse the image to the porcelain. After the finished plates are inspected, they're packed in shipping cartons to await labels.

Coming soon: Calamityware Plate 1 in a carton ready to go.

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Workshop visit

I visited the workshop today to check on production of the first Calamityware plate (flying monkeys).

I saw my drawing being artfully transferred to plates. If all goes well, plates will start to be fired next week. Each plate spends more than 4 hours in the kiln. Once they have cooled and been inspected, they will be packed in shipping cartons to await labels.

Here's a glimpse of the production process you may enjoy—plates racked in preparation for firing.

Look for your Calamityware 1 plates in March.

Here's a link to a video of the image transfer process...

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Hanging Calamityware plates

If you prefer to hang your Calamityware plates, you need a good plate hanger. Here's one that is completely invisible.

I tested one of these hangers. It works and it can be removed without damaging the plate (by soaking). Unlike those springy metal plate hangers, this is completely invisible—hidden behind the plate. You’ll find them for sale all over the web. The one I tested was 4 inch.

You could also probably DIY with some duct tape and a paperclip.

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