I just rolled out a kiln load where 95% of the pots are cartoon free. Why? I had always wanted to burn through all the odds ‘n ends bisque ware that accumulated throughout the years. An experiment with an asymmetrical cup and plate set like the one above seemed like a good idea when I threw it, but I never really got around to seeing it through to the end. Pots like that can tend to haunt you as time goes by and they were messing with the feng shui of my workspace. The past two weeks has been a blur of glazing up all the odd little orphans and finally getting them finished. The firing turned out really nice and the glaze surfaces are excellent. You can now see over sixty one of a kind items from this series in my online store in a new section appropriately called, “The Odds ‘N Ends Firing”. They are all one of a kind items and reasonably priced in the $12 to $60 range. The ones below are some of my favorites.
Sometimes I like to think that my job is producing cryptic objects that will confound insect art historians millions of years in the future. When all the wood, metal and computer hard drives have decomposed, it’s the sinks, toilets and coffee mugs that will be the final record of our civilization. Exhibit A: “WTF happened to the United States of America?!!” started as a challenge I made to myself to come up with a Stormy Daniels joke. I really like the way this cartoon captures the way so many of us feel about how our once great democracy has turned into one big weird reality TV show these days.
Exhibit B: My better instincts came up with this next mug, which grew out of the fact that I’ve been to two political marches already in 2018. This is rare for me as I’m not much of a marcher. They take too much time and leave me feeling insignificant and futile. And I really hate chanting dumb slogans in unison with strangers. I’m much more of a “letter to the editor” or “make a soapbox coffee mug” kind of guy. This design has gotten rave reviews from my fans and galleries, and I’m pretty sure we’re going to be making a lot more of them this year.
Exhibit C: The insect art historians are going to have a tough time with this one, because I don’t completely understand it myself. Suffice to say it’s a mashup of two iconic sci-fi shows, X-Files and Westworld. I know I’m having a lot of trouble figuring out whether or not the world we live in is really real anymore. How about you? All three of these new designs can be found in the “Funny Mugs” section of my online store.
Here’s a crazy story. Back in 1994, I got this strange idea to stash away some Wally mugs for people in the distant future to see. I didn’t set a date for their unveiling and I didn’t hide them in the foundation of a building under construction. They were simply packed away in boxes and stuck under a table in my studio.
I unpacked those boxes this week and took quite a trip down memory lane. All told, there are 80 mugs with a wide variety of designs. I’m putting them all on sale this Tuesday, and I’m kicking my thirty-something self for not making more of the Tonya Harding and OJ Simpson trial mugs. These pieces have real nostalgic value. I suspect they will sell out quickly because I only made two of each.
As we dig deeper into this odd collection, there is some strange, horribly dated and downright demented stuff. I don’t know why I made so many atrocious jokes about disgraced Oregon Senator Bob Packwood. I suspect it was because Twist, my #1 gallery at the time was in Portland, Oregon and Bob Packwood jokes were hot back then. Fun fact for all Wally fans: Wally’s dad is a human!
But the real magic of this treasure trove of Wallialia are the odd mugs that I made just for the hell of it to freak out and confound my fans of the future. You and me, right here, right now are those fans. I love the little messages that I wrote on the bottom of each mug. They are so sweet, genuine and revealing.
So now it’s my chance to feel like a ticket agent selling tickets to an epic rock concert. At 6 a.m., MST all of these mugs will go on sale for just $15.00 each. You can preview them now in the “Vintage Wally Mugs” section of my store. Here are a few important tips and disclaimers:
-The 10% “Fan” discount code doesn’t apply in this section of my online store.
-These mugs are a little smaller than my current mugs. They are about a half an inch shorter and hold 8 ounces instead or 10 ounces. I guess the world was a smaller place 23 years ago.
-All of these items are inventory controlled, so my store won’t sell more than two of each. I haven’t tested my online store under “waves of people ordering all at once” conditions. The process of me switching these pots from “NOT FOR SALE” to “IN STOCK” is a bit untested so there might be some snafus at first. If you can’t buy something at 6:03 a.m., it’s probably because of a technical problem, not because thousands of customers are gleaning the store all at once. Try again, you’ll probably get what you want.
-The messages on the bottoms of the pots aren’t guaranteed as I made two of each and wrote different messages on each mug. If you are the first to buy a design, you will get the message you see in the store. If you are the second person to buy that mug, you will probably get a different message.
-If we are indeed sold out of a design and you really want that design, fear not. You can simply order a mug with that design and I’ll get it in the next firing and ship it out the first week in May. Re-makes cost the standard mug price of $28.00.
I’m really excited about this whole project! It’s been a bit of a chore to photograph all these pots and load them in my store, but it will be so much fun to find homes for these funny little relics from the past. Happy time traveling!
As you might guess from the look of this delightful art bowl, I’m going nuts with the farting unicorn motif. There is a new section in my online store entitled, “Here’s where you can buy the Farting Unicorn pots!” and it’s chock full of really nutty pots that all have my trademark flatulent mythical beast. “Why?” you may ask. “WHY NOT?!” is my answer. Right now there are thirty-two separate pieces in this section. Some of them are stock items that we carry multiples of (electric car mugs, oil bottles, wine sippers and Christmas ornaments), but most are one of a kind artworks like the ones you see here. I really think this is some of the best work I’ve done in a long time. My new online store has inventory control which means that once a unique item sells, it’s gone. I’ve already had a couple of requests to duplicate items that have sold and I won’t be doing that with these pots. They are really time consuming to produce and I don’t want to have to go back and try and make another. My apologies to the desperate patrons. Below are some of my favorite pieces from my “crazy for unicorns” period. I really appreciate the fact that they are selling well. Thanks, fans!
Last year my electric car mug design received some nice recognition when Elon Musk tweeted it and declared it to be, “Maybe my favorite mug ever.” In March of 2017, my farting unicorn graphic was put into the operating systems of the Tesla automobiles. Pretty crazy, huh? This situation has inspired a whole new line of work.
The first wave these pots are out of the kiln and up for sale in the new, aptly named section of my store, “Here’s where you can buy my farting unicorn pots!” For sale right now we’ve got two versions of the electric car mug (the 2.0 model has a red Tesla in space!) and the “Tesla stole my unicorn” mug, platter and celadon wine sipper. Next week I’m doing a firing that has one of the most insane groups of pots I’ve ever done. Farting unicorns a-go-go, baby!
The last firing of the year has been rolled out, every single pending order has been shipped, and we’ve still got a really good supply of work for all of you end of the season shoppers. Here’s a nice little overview of some of the items we have in stock right now. Click on the links below to jump on over and see them in my online store.
Funny Bowls: We have a really good selection of most of our top sellers right now: Jesus is coming and he’s bringing the bean dip, feed the !#*@!!! cat, already, the pass it on party bowl, bad cat, crazy cat, psycho killer, super cat, hell cat, the LSD bowl, the I SCREAM bowl, the cocktail nuts are history bowl, the wonderful bowl, the double dippers bowl, and a smattering of others.
Funny Mugs: There are a ton of designs in this department, and we’ve got a pretty good selection of many of them sitting on the shelf ready to ship. Favorites in stock include: Holy shit! That’s good coffee!, It’s decaf! The Caffeine Curve, my cat is a psycho killer, why I like cats, why I like babies, the cool people club, I passed my drug test, why we like dad, I can’t stop thinning about bees, I think I’ll feel better after I take over the world, big foot’s love child, the strongest coffee on earth, and more.
Political mugs: Oh man, this category is the big winner of 2017 for my business. We made so many of these pots this year! And I still have a few left but you better get on over to my store ASAP because they are going fast. As of 12/07 we still have just a few of these designs: Trump Coffee, move to Canada, resist the jerk, political detox, and the runaway hit, “Am I the only person who thinks about killing Donald Trump?!!”
Christmas Ornaments: Gosh, these little wheel-thrown gems are a real treat on the tree or as an adornment to a package under the tree. Here’s what’s left: nationalize elf care, fuck the tree, fun in dysfunctional, zombie pirate xmas and Happy Wallydays!
Wally pots: We’ve got a pretty good selection of your favorites right now on mugs, plates and bowls. There are just too many designs to even start with a list of what’s available. Wally is the ultimate collectable hand draw cartoon on wheel-thrown pots!
The Famous Cartoonist Guest Artist Series: About ten years ago, I threw some pots for two now-famous cartoonists: John Porcellino and Noah Van Sciver. We sold some of the pots back then but eventually these pieces just ended up gathering dust in my studio. Now that these guys are famous, it’s time to sell this stuff to collectors.
Braxton Phibes’ Pottery: This cryptic dude did some work out of my studio this year, but right now he’s on hiatus doing volunteer work at a lemur rescue camp in Malaysia. Before he left, he issued instructions for me to take his pots out of his Etsy store (“It’s getting way too corporate, man.”) and sell it all through my new sales platform. I’m adding as much stuff as I can right now, and in another week we should have a lot more in there and a major announcement. Stay tuned!
And last but not least, check out this new Seattle supergroup that my daughter Robin is in! Who is She is a side project for Julia Shapiro of Chastity Belt, Bree McKenna of Tacocat and Lisa Prank (that’s Robin’s a.k.a.). The name of their album is “Seattle Gossip” and their songs are all about friendship, classified ads and time travel.
This tomato is screaming for joy because my new online store is up and running at last! As of today there are over 250 items in it and more will be more added within the next couple of days. It’s got inventory control for all limited edition items, so you can’t buy more than what we have in stock for certain items (art pots and factory rejects). To launch this new venture, we’re having a 15% discount on all stock items. The sale doesn’t include custom orders, Bargain Basement Items, or Braxton’s work. To take advantage of this sale, you don’t need to add a coupon code, the discount will show up at checkout. So don’t delay as the sale lasts until Monday, November 13. Click here to check it out!
If you go to the Unique Art Pots section of my new store, you will find these three tomato themed oil bottles. We received some requests for them from customers who saw them on last summer’s blog post, The World’s Greatest Tomato Art Pots. I’m looking forward to making more oil bottles like this in the future.
And here’s a new Wally cartoon came to me on the highway last week after a big shiny white truck with a giant American flag graphic on its tailgate pulled in front of me and belched a huge cloud of black smoke out of its tailpipe. Apparently this is a thing among conservative yahoos and it’s called rolling coal. I’m still having trouble wrapping my mind around the severe ugliness of this behavior. Memo to Elon Musk: I’m still waiting for my free electric car in payment for that artwork you stole from me. If you ever deliver on my request, I would’t mind getting one with this way-cool feature.
I was dropping off work at the Show of Hands Gallery in Denver last month, and Katie, the owner, suggested that I come up with a new anti-Trump design because that’s my top-selling theme for them. This joke just popped into my head out of the blue last week, I ran it by the legal team here at Wallyworld and they say it probably won’t get me thrown in jail. It turns out that thinking about something illegal isn’t illegal. (Yet). I’m really thrilled about the way this cartoon distills the core passions of our horrible president down to three things: golf, his robotic trophy wife and Kentucky Fried Chicken. If you want to be one of the first to own this bold new form of protest on a coffee mug, jump on over to my online store and buy it. NOTE: I’m not able to have the pics of this mug in my store right now due to a software glitch in the system. Look for a whole new store template coming next month.
And if my latest take on Donald Trump didn’t bother you, how about this great little musing on old people? I honestly think this design is a classic party gift for someone who is hitting an aging milestone. If you can figure out how to get from one page to another on this newfangled internet thingamabob, you can buy it in my online store.
And last but not least, my studio partner, Braxton got this amazing platter out of the kiln on Monday and it has a great story. He wasn’t exactly sure how this glaze combination would look, but he thinks the magic has something to do with the fact that the kiln was fired over the weekend, just as Hurricane Irma was hitting Florida. Muy Mysterioso!
It’s tomato time again! For the past four years I’ve been sending tomato-themed pots to The Tomato Art Fest at the Art and Invention Gallery in Nashville, TN. This is a wonderfully weird art event that even includes a parade of people dressed as tomatoes. Apparently this year they are attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the number of people dressed as a fruit or vegetable. This year’s crop of pots is by far the best one yet and the 36 pieces I made for the show are some of the most ambitious pots I’ve made all year. If you want to purchase one of these items, you’re going to have to call Meg at the gallery and hope that it’s still in stock as the show opens on August 11th.
Here’s the entire group of pots being painted by my assistant, Kelly (in an obviously staged photo). The time it takes to decorate these pieces is a bit overwhelming and these are definitely some of my least profitable items to make. They retail for just $38 to $42 each. Posted below are some of my favorites.
Last Thursday I came home from a trip to California to find dozens of orders via email for my electric car mug. This happened a couple of months ago and it was a wonderfully weird mystery that was caused by Elon Musk, the scientific genius/visionary industrialist who had fallen in love with my mug and tweeted about it, referring to it as “maybe my favorite mug ever.” So this time around, I knew it had to be him again. But what I didn’t know was that he had tweeted the above graphic as a way to pitch the new screen software on his Tesla cars. Crazy, huh?!! Wanna buy one? Click here!
The really fun thing about this new wave of minor fame is that there have been a slew of articles written about Elon using my wacky cartoon, and most of them have the words “farting unicorn” in the title. Hot damn! I might just might get my own wikipedia page for this someday. Some of the articles have a link to my online store, and entrepreneur.com profiled my part of the story really well in the article, “He designed Elon Musk’s favorite mug, now he’s getting a boost in sales.” To see how many write ups are out there, just google the words, “Elon Musk farting unicorn” and marvel at the fact that I can now be called, “that farting unicorn coffee mug guy.” (photo credit: Elon Musk)