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A couple of weeks ago I launched some new custom items: dog bowls and milk bone jars. The response to these has been great! One astute customer in Tempe, AZ realized this would be the perfect item for all of the pet owners on his gift list and the result is the group of milk bone jars you see here. I had a blast reading the brief descriptions of the dogs and then coming up with specific designs to commemorate their lives. Bomble, for example, got a call from the cops because he’s such an avid barker:
And Jonesy and Shiloh spend a lot of their time chewing on the same toy at the same time:
Doesn’t this just make you want to jump over to my online store and order something for all the dogs in your life? If so, you better do it quickly because I have a limited supply of pots ready to decorate and the last kiln load of the year is firing this weekend. The deadline for these orders is Thursday, December 13th. Woof! Woof!
Posted 5 months, 1 week ago. Add a comment
We’re having a really good summer here in the sales department at Wallyworld. One reason is a series of large orders from the Keith Fleming Gallery in Port Clinton, Ohio. Over the past few months we’ve shipped them hundreds upon hundreds of pots and they are now my top-selling gallery for 2012. It’s great to have such an amazing new account! The other reason my sales are up right now is that the buying mood overall is a lot better. A lot of the new accounts that I took on in the past year have been re-ordering steadily lately. If you have been reading this blog over the years, you will note that this is significantly better than the dark days of 2008 – 2010 when I had to take a job with the U.S. Census because my business was so slow. So every time I hear Mitt Romney ask that rhetorical question, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” I answer with a resounding, “Yes!” Those rhetorical questions can cut both ways, can’t they?
So here’s a nice little “How To” photo essay on our yearly ritual of making the Big Chili Cook-Off awards. This is a fundraiser for the mountain area volunteer fire departments in Evergreen, CO. I’ve been doing these awards for ten years now, and it’s a great event to be a part of. This year we made ten of the “chili chalices” and six bowls with a total labor hour tally of over forty hours for my assistant and I. Each piece has original cartoons that go with the theme of the award (e.g. “best showmanship” – fire-breathing bikini roller skate chili). I always gripe about how much effort these pots take, but by the time the kiln rolls out, I’m really happy with the results.
Posted 8 months, 1 week ago. Add a comment
The clock is ticking. Can you hear it? It’s telling everybody out there that there are just five days left for you to place your custom orders for the holiday season. On Friday we will load up the last kiln of the year, so if you have any intentions of placing a way-cool custom order or two, you had better do it soon. Over the past couple of years I’ve been actively encouraging my customers to submit these orders because I know how much fun it is to give someone dear something that was specially made for them. And due to the “anything goes” nature of my artwork, we have gotten a lot of strange requests over the years. One of my all-time favorites is a mug we did for a guy who was in charge of getting all the mold out of his lab/workplace after Hurricane Katrina:
Good ideas yield good custom orders. Another mug that was particularly fun to do was one we did for a woman named Sharon. I really like the affection the friend who commissioned the mug must have for her:
And last year we got an order that was a holiday gift for one of my all-time favorite musicians in the whole universe: Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead!! Take a look:
Do you have someone on your gift list who you would like to give something like this? If so, get over to the “Custom Orders” section of this website and read through the tips on how to place an order. It’s really pretty simple and it can yield some great gifts if you go for it. Don’t forget, anything ordered by Friday, 12/02 can be shipped out on Tuesday, 12/06.
Posted 1 year, 5 months ago. Add a comment
Here’s a joke I came up with ten years ago when “Wally” was a weekly cartoon in the Canyon Courier here in Evergreen, CO. It’s a bit of a soap-box message, but I really like the way it is drawn and the meaning is clear and to the point. I received an email this week from the prestigious Bonkers Institute for Nearly Genuine Research asking if they could have a fresh link to this cartoon as my old website used to feature it. You bet, Dr. Bonkers! So I think I’ll reissue this classic design next month. They will be available on mugs, plates and bowls in my online store the second week in September.
For the past month I’ve been sending out weekly emails with goofy specials for my fans. Some of these items are still available in “Wally’s Bargain Basement” in my online store, and this week I’m giving a FREE CRAZY MUSIC CD to everyone who places an order. But quite possibly the best special of the month expires this Sunday, 08/28/11. If you order any custom item, you can get it without paying the $5.00 – $8.00 customizing fee! Just go to the “Custom Orders” section of this website to get some pointers on how to place an order. It’s pretty simple and a great way to create something really unique. We received a wonderful custom order yesterday from a very talented ten year old who lives in North Carolina. Kaylee sent in this superb drawing of a coffee-crazed pig, to be recreated on a mug:
And last but not least, we rolled out a kiln yesterday with a couple of the “Jesus is coming and he’s bringing the bean dip” chip and dip ensembles. I’ve made these over the years and since the Jesus bowl has been selling better than ever this year (should we be worried?), I figured it would be good to make this item available to all now. The rim of the plate underneath measures twelve inches in diameter and the set looks great piled high with tortilla chips and filled with salsa. What better way to celebrate the end of the world as we know it? The set sells for $110.00 and is available in my online store.
Posted 1 year, 8 months ago. Add a comment
If you’ve got a goofy dad, I’ve got a bunch of Father’s Day gift ideas for you. My work really connects with geeks, oddballs, weirdos, wacky guys, etc. and my online store is the place to find the perfect gift that says, “We love you, Dad. You’re weird.” Just click on the names of the items below and you will be magically transported to a place where you can break out your credit card and buy some pots. Let’s start with ice cream bowls. The Ice Cream Monster is a time-honored favorite among sci-fi geeks and Ben and Jerry’s aficionados alike. If your dad leans more towards the fine arts, then the I SCREAM bowl could be the best gift for an art-loving, brain-frozen pop.
Mugs are the mainstay of our existence here in Wallyworld, so let’s pull up some of the heavy hitters in our lineup:
These eight mugs are a good start on your quest for the perfect gift. There are over one hundred and fifty mugs for sale in my online store! Here are store links to the mugs pictured above: Why we like dad, “Holy Shit! That’s good coffee!”, I’m on a drug, it’s called Charlie Donald Trump Sheen, The best way to fix something is to bomb the crap out of it, Wally tries viagra and has one of those “call your doctor” situations, When I was your age, we had to make our own coffee and it tasted like crap, Who needs sleep?, My brain is bursting with ideas.
The weird guy cover box is a great design, a time-honored classic! Over the past twenty years, we’ve produced literally hundreds of them. But we really don’t want to know what all the dudes who own them are putting inside them, OK?
How about a custom mug, plate or bowl for your dad? Check out our custom orders section for instructions on how to place an order. You’ll have to hurry on this one because our last firing before Father’s Day goes in on Friday, May 27th. And get this: the mug pictured above was a custom order for my very own dad! The wording on the other side of the mug is “Walt woks Wally”.
So you say our dad isn’t weird? That’s no excuse! Here’s another option: red pots. We’ve got a fantastic selection of beer steins (pictured above), coffee mugs, shot glasses, ice cream bowls and more in the Ohata Kaki red section of my online store. Check it out! And have a wonderful Father’s Day.
Posted 1 year, 11 months ago. 1 comment
The holiday season is always nuts for custom orders here at Wallyworld. At the last minute, fans of my work decide that they want something wild and funny for their loved ones and I get all these crazy emails requesting crazy pots. To top it off, I tend to put off the really challenging orders until the last day possible so I’m running around the studio trying to come up with a good idea for someone who is paying a lot of money for a stupid coffee mug. A good example: the mug you see above and below was a holiday gift for Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead. Wow! I’ve been a fan of the band since the 70s, so it was a bit nerve wracking to do something special for such a legendary musician and cultural icon. The woman who ordered this piece is a personal friend of Mr. Weir and she sent me some nice pics of him and his pets to inspire the design. I’m really happy with it, and apparently so was Bobby!
My other big celebrity item this season was a custom salad bowl for the makers of the movie “Jackass 3D”. I’m somewhat oblivious to this cultural phenomenon, but I guess it’s pretty big because the movie grossed (double entendre intended) over $50 million. After an hour of serious research on YouTube, I managed to knock out this design in a relatively short period of time. Kelly, my assistant, did a great job painting this piece, and the people who made the film were thrilled and impressed. Apparently, Johnny Knoxville might be giving me a call sometime to order more stuff. Woo-Hoo!
And here’s a lovely plate I made for some regular folk here in Evergreen, CO. I think it’s pretty much the consummate wedding plate. The recipients loved it:
Posted 2 years, 3 months ago. Add a comment
The basic premise of Wally is that he can go anywhere and do anything. Over the years he’s gone to hell, interacted with countless celebrities and done things you and I can only dream of. This week finds him in college at CU Boulder. Woo-Hoo! And he’s found his true passion in life: beer pong. I’m drawing this design on oversize mugs (14 oz.) and they are for sale in our online store for the same cost as the regular mugs ($28.00). And yes, we can customize it for whatever center of higher learning you desire. Just place the order online, and tell us what college you want Wally to go to. Please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery. It’s the perfect gift for that kid that is costing you $40K a year for a bachelor’s degree!
And as if that weren’t enough, here’s a new deluxe funny mug about the future. It’s based on that great Arthur C. Clarke quote, “The future isn’t what it used to be.”
Posted 2 years, 8 months ago. Add a comment
Yes, I am using this adorable baby to shamelessly sell pots. The customer who sent me the photo gave me permission to use it under the stipulation that I “don’t turn it into one of those creepy animated baby commercials”. No problem. I’m barely competent at Photoshop software so I assure you this is as far as it goes.
The above plate is a great example of how a good input can lead to a lovely gift item. All the words were written by the customer and my job was to simply put her idea on the plate. At first it seemed like a tall order, but the dinner plate size lends itself well to ambitious designs and this one was surprisingly easy to implement once I got working on it. The only thing I need to stress to those of you who want me to do things like this is that you need to think of the idea because my brain kind of locks up when I’m asked to “do something funny about golf”, or whatever.
I love this new mug because of the “hook” at the bottom right. I would bet that we’re going to get customers at fine craft galleries asking the salespeople, “Do you have one of these without the bloody severed head?”
And my new Wally adventure was inspired in part by the fact that I’m training for my first ultra marathon. On May 1st I’ll be doing a 50K (31 mile) trail race in Larkspur, CO. The week before last I put in an epic 90 miles in seven days and this design came into my head during one of my long runs. I love the subtext of the joke which is, “If I were to just eat, think and exercise correctly, amazing things would happen to me.” This joke is available in mugs, plate and bowls at my online store.
Posted 3 years, 1 month ago. 1 comment
My apologies to my faithful readers for my lapse in blog postings lately. I kind of dropped the ball on my blog last month and I’m finally getting back in gear here. This week I’m putting together a pair of email sales pitches to my retail customers and my wholesale accounts for a niche market I’ve been cultivating over the years: custom cartoons on pots. It’s a service I’ve been doing for years, and we always get rave reviews for these items. It’s always interesting to see what kind of designs people come up with. Last week, I received a great little cartoon for an order for a commemorative bowl for a dog named Toby who passed away this year. I’m looking forward to putting this cartoon on a salad bowl. To me, this is the perfect custom order: simple, fun to draw and very sweet.
Over the years, I’ve done dozens upon dozens of these kind of pots. Commemorative wedding gifts are a popular item. One of my all-time favorites had Wally jumping a Harley Davidson motorcycle over the wedding party, on the groom’s side were scary biker types and on the bride’s side normal middle-class people. It’s a timeless story: the good girl falls for the bad boy. For some reason, I seem to have gotten a number of custom orders from Deadheads and Phish devotees. These cartoons are as cryptic as Grateful Dead lyrics: “Harry meets Sarah dancing in The Phil Zone”. Unfortunately, I haven’t taken many pictures of these items, but perusing my collection of pics this afternoon, I did find a good one that illustrates this point perfectly. If you happen to fall in love at a jam band concert and you want a commemorative item, I’m the guy you need to call, OK? !!!!!
So I kind of have a love/hate relationship with these pots. I’ve been known to grouse about how much work it can be to draw them. Those “Holy Shit! That’s good coffee!” mugs are so easy to draw, I can do them with my eyes closed. Conversely, the graphics on these custom orders are a real challenge. And I don’t charge nearly enough as I should for this service. Right now, it will set you back and extra five dollars for a custom order. Pretty cheap, huh? I suppose I should charge more. But when these pots come out of the kiln or when I get that glowing email telling me how the plate with the goofy cartoon made the birthday girl cry tears of joy, it makes me realize I can’t stop making these pots for people. To order a custom item, you can go to the “custom items” section of my webstore.
Father’s Day SHOUT OUT to Walter G. Edwards: My dad turns eighty this year and he was the early inspiration for my odd style of drawing. When my sister and I were kids, he would always leave us silly notes with lousy drawings on them. I’m pretty sure these lousy drawings were stuck in my subconscious when I picked up a glaze pencil back in the 1980s and started this line of work. Thanks, Dad, for teaching me how to draw like an eight year old!
Posted 3 years, 11 months ago. Add a comment