This week’s firing yielded a nice assortment of new items. Top of the list are four new cat bowl designs: psycho killer, bad cat, happy cat and wild cat. These bowls are approximately three inches tall and four and a half inches in diameter. They sell for $29.00 each and can be purchased in my online store. You can click on the pictures below to get a larger view of these items. Check ‘em out!
And due to the great success of my “MERCURY IS IN RETROGRADE!!!” mug, I’ve decided to wade further into the murky waters of astrology with this year’s ambitious project: a mug for each astrological sign! Rather than racking my brain to come up with all twelve of them at once, I’m taking each one on just before our planet slides into their respective houses. First up is Pisces, February 19th to March 20th. You can buy it for $28.00 at my online store, of course!
This is what happens when you make pots just for the fun of it. I came up with the “Lobster Girl” character last year and I really like the way anyone can make up their own story about her origin. Was she a scientist who didn’t realize there was a lobster on board the first time she tested her matter transporter device? Maybe! We rolled out the first firing of the year last week and it included this art piece plus a few more Valentine’s themed mugs that were quickly sent off to the Show of Hands Gallery in Cherry Creek, CO. The mug pictured above is for sale for $33.00 in my online store. Show of Hands has a really nice selection of my one of a kind art mugs right now. I sent them the best remaining pieces from the Bowie-Pop mug series, along with this crazy one-of-a-kind V-Day gem:
So if “Love Monster” is too weird of a gift for your Valentine, how about a lovely Ohata Kaki red ceramic vessel? I just discontinued a dozen items from my ohata red line and put them at “50% off” sale prices in my online store. There are some really nice mugs, beer steins, shot glasses and a few large bowls. Be sure and note that quantities are limited on these sale items. These prices are really good, so they probably won’t be available for too long. Check ‘em out!
I’ve got a new title to add to my resume: “filmmaker.” The past couple of weeks I’ve been making some simple homemade videos for my daughter, Monica who is a middle school English teacher in Phoenix, AZ. Next month her seventh graders will be reading the book, “A Single Shard” by Linda Sue Park. It’s a touching story about a homeless twelve year old boy in twelfth century Korea and his desire to make pottery like the master potter in his village. The videos I’m making for Monica’s class are designed to compare how I make pots in the present day with how they used to make pottery nine hundred years ago. Surprisingly, there are more similarities than differences. You can see more on that when we get those videos edited and up on You Tube.
So last week, I came up with this wild idea to do a time-lapse video of the process of unloading and loading my kiln. The following Monday we were going to be doing back to back firings with a glaze rolling out and a bisque loading in. My little camera doesn’t have this function on it, so I called my friend Len Aitken (professional filmmaker) and he loaned me his “industrial strength” camera for the project. It turned out to be a lot of fun setting up the shot and learning how to use the camera. I estimated that I could do the kiln job in about an hour, so I bought a cheap big clock and nailed it to the post by the kiln. The shoot went pretty smoothly except for thirty-five minutes into the film where I bumped the clock and it came crashing down on to the floor. But I totally hit my mark at the end of the hour, and this project far exceeded my wildest dreams for what I had initially envisioned. This is primarily due to the fact that Len did an amazing job on the editing and the technical support. I’m also really happy with the song we picked for the film. Keep on Movin’ is by King Tuff. I’ve been listening to the King Tuff album practically nonstop for over six months now and if you like this song, you should just go buy it because every song on it is a total gem. And now, without any further ado, I present you with my new video:
Well, it was a tough year to pick the top entry in our yearly ornament design contest, so I took my wife and oldest daughter out to dinner and sprung on them the job of helping me decide on the top honor for 2013. They took on the job admirably and with three people we had the perfect number of judges to avoid any ties of the votes. And fortunately, it was a unanimous decision for the winner, but let’s go through some honorable mentions first:
-Kudos to last year’s winner, Pam Hamilton, for sending us a flurry of decent material. My favorite of these was “Snowden leaks Wally’s famous dog biscuit recipe.”
-A big “YEOW!!!” to Bruce Block for his wonderfully tasteless and unprintable joke riffing on xmas balls and neutered pets.
-And much appreciation to Jamie Gould for sending in two great sketches in her bid for the #1 spot. Check out her lovely depiction of the death of Miley Cyrus under a Christmas tree:
And now the drum roll for the top spot….
Here it is! This year’s winner of the 2013 Holiday Ornament Design Contest is a timely little piece that riffs on the fact that the National Security Administration just replaced Santa Claus in the spying on our private lives department. So who thought of this timely, salable and easy to draw design? None other than my assistant, Kelly Clements! That’s right, this contest didn’t have any silly rules about employees or family members not being eligible for the grand prize. Seriously, a big “Thanks!” to everyone who entered and look forward to your crazy ideas coming my way next year.
If you want to purchase this new NSA ornament, the new “FUCK THE TREE! MY BACK HURTS.” ornament, all the other ornament designs we carry, or anything else in my line, hop on over to my online store. Our next firing comes out on December 5th so there’s still time for us to make just about anything you want for Christmas.
If you’re looking for an amazing gift for your favorite pooch this year, consider having us create a custom porcelain dog dish! I just added four new designs to the “Custom Items” section of my online store. Here’s how it works: there are two bowl sizes: 5.5 inch diameter ($33.00) and 7.5 inch diameter ($44.00). You can pick one of four designs for the inside of the bowl, and there’s a drop-down menu that allows you to choose one of four colors (blue, green, red and yellow) for your dog’s name. It’s pretty easy to follow and you’ll need to allow 2 – 4 weeks for delivery. We’ve got just three more firings to go this year, so just about anything ordered in November will get to you with time to spare for the holidays. Here are some pics of the four designs, plus a nice grouping of milk bone jars that we made last year for a customer who really wowed his family and friends with this awesome collection of dog treat containers ($48.00 each).
It’s that time of year again! It’s time for you, my customers to show us what kind of jokes you’ve got and what weird kind of ornament you want to hang on your tree this Christmas. It’s been an amazing year for weird stories in the news, so there is lots of material out there for us to work on. As always, the person or persons who come up with the best design(s) will win an ornament with their design on it and the bragging rights to having come up with this year’s winning design. Here are a few guidelines for coming up with a winning entry:
Keep it simple! I need to be able to hand-draw this design on a two inch diameter bisque circle. Elaborate designs are too hard to reproduce.
Try to tie in the holiday theme. The Balloon Boy joke above works so wonderfully well because it brings in the holiday verbiage.
Make it something that will just get better as the years go on. What current event do you want to remember every year as you trim your holiday tree?
DEADLINE: Wednesday, November 13! We’ll announce the winners in an email on Tuesday, November 19th.
Want to get some inspiration for this project? Take a look at my line of ornaments (for sale for just $13.50) in my online store.
And here’s a new one for 2013: The Lou Reed memorial ornament! I’m a big fan of his music and was impressed with the number of tributes to him around the world last week. But it seemed kind of odd to see the mainstream media gushing about him with phrases like “he wrote about the dark underside of life.” Actually, he WAS the dark underside of life and he was pretty mean at times, too. So here’s my tribute to Lou:
I threw this “car mug” shape a while back, but decided not to make it part of my regular line because it’s a bit too difficult to produce. It fits in a car cup holder slot really nicely so the design I came up with is the perfect thing to celebrate all those women who take on the high stress task of ferrying kids around from place to place. “AIN’T NOBODY GONNA BE SAFE WHEN MAMA’S GOT ROAD RAGE” is a limited edition design that’s only available in Wally’s Bargain Basement while supplies last. They are a real deal at just $18.00 each, but don’t order more than the quantity it says are available in the online store. I ain’t makin’ any more!
And here’s yet another entry in this year’s crazy theme, The Paranormal Testimonial Mug Series. “The toddler who ate my brain” is practically the sequel to the wonderfully successful baby shower gift, the “I am carrying Big Foot’s love child” mug. Also really popular in this series is our current top-selling design, “My cat is a psycho killer!” Check them out in my online store!
Check out these two new designs! The first is yet another take on the timeless theme of not being able to sleep. “SOMEBODY PLEASE SAVE ME FROM THE CURSE OF INSOMNIA!” is the perfect mug to drag into work when you’re dragging yourself to work after a rough night of unsuccessfully trying to get a good night’s sleep. The artwork distills the insomniac’s early morning hell down to its basic elements: the night, a tired soul and that damn clock radio beaming the time out into the dead of night. The red and blue lines were done with a sgraffito technique where the black underglaze is scratched through with a razor blade and then red and blue color is painted over the lines. This awesome new mug is for sale in our online store, of course!
And here’s the perfect bowl to take to your next Colorado potluck! With the advent of legalized marijuana here in the mile high state, it’s important to let everyone know that it’s just dried parsley in your yummy hummus on the communal food table. This bowl holds about two cups, so it’s a good size for dips, etc. Look for a larger size coming out next month. We only made a few of them, but we will have more when our next firing comes out in mid-October. You can purchase these world-premier items in our online store.
I created this graphic back in 1982 and I sell it on mugs and t shirts.
It’s so weird the way stuff travels around on the internet. This weekend I noticed that my Caffeine Curve image was making the rounds on various Facebook sites. The groups, “Food Inc.” and “Give a Shit about Nature” posted it last week, and as of today almost three thousand people have shared it with their friends on Facebook. This graphic has been all over the web for well over a decade and it’s always a thrill for me to see how people respond to it. The comments on these sites range from appreciative raves, to prickly criticism like “the shape of the graph is all wrong”, to downright indignant anger over the fact that I had the audacity to make a joke about gun violence. A Google images search yielded some really interesting finds. My favorite discovery was a pastor in Adelaide, South Australia who related to the joke so much he posted it on his blog but changed “triple shotgun murder” to “kick the dog for no reason.” That’s so funny on so many levels! And I guess I should have realized that this would eventually happen, but there’s a commercial site selling knock-off mugs and T-shirts with slight variations on the wording. My legal team is in the process of getting them to cease and desist with this outright theft of my copyright on this joke. More on this story as it develops.
I’m hoping that all this internet buzz will eventually lead to more traffic making its way to The Caffeine Curve mug that sells for $28.00 in my online store. I did sell one of these wheel-thrown-hand decorated mugs last weekend due to the recent Facebook posts. And I’m going to get some more T-shirts printed up for the upcoming gift season. These will be done in classic black, of course. This blog is going to be the cornerstone of my campaign to get the world to realize that I’m the creator of this time-honored internet meme. But what is the origin of this crazy graphic that is slowly becoming one of my biggest claims to fame? It’s got a really interesting humble beginning, and if it weren’t for the actions of one observant co-worker at the time, “The Caffeine Curve” would have been lost forever.
Way back in 1982, when I was renting studio space at Santa Barbara Ceramic Design and making reduction fired functional pottery without cartoons on it, I drew the very first caffeine curve graphic on the chalkboard in the lunch room. I did it merely to get a laugh out of my co-workers and the wording on it was exactly the same as it is today. This happened during my pre-Wally period, about a year before I ever made any pots with cartoons on them. The caffeine curve drawing stayed on the chalkboard for a long time, and it would have been lost forever if it weren’t for the instincts of then intern and now master potter James Haggerty. James was about to clean off the chalkboard, and he respectfully came over to my corner of the studio and suggested that I write it down somewhere because it was so funny. I took his advice, wrote it in my glaze notebook and, sure enough, about a year or so later when I was drawing jokes all over my pots, it came in really handy. And it has been a highly popular design ever since!
I just rolled out a glaze kiln yesterday with some great one of a kind pots. One of my wholesale accounts received an order for some platters with classic Wally designs on them and I’m really happy with how they turned out. We do these platters on a custom basis and they are for sale for $85.00 in my online store. It’s fun to come up with the decorative motifs for the borders and I like having more space to draw the designs.
And one of our yearly rituals here at Wallyworld is to create the awards for the Evergreen Big Chili Cook-Off. This is a great local event that features live music, firefighter competitions and lots of great chili. I started making these awards about eight years ago, and they are now a time-honored tradition with the locals. My favorite joke this year? The Restaurant awards feature all the amazing things that will happen to the winners of these awards: getting a key to the city, your name in a local paper, and the world-famous environmental artist Christo, wanting to fill Evergreen Lake with millions of gallons of your chili!!!!