Handed down from generation to generation, fine porcelain china is one of the mainstays of the wedding gift table. The worlds these designs contain are so idyllic. Rendered in blue or red enamel, a plate might feature a Swiss cottage in a rustic setting or a family of geese paddling happily on a lake.
Graphic designer Don Moyer is here to shatter those idylls. Geese are nowhere to be found on his Calamityware dinner plates, unless a giant monster is biting off their heads. As for that pretty cottage, a 100-foot-tall robot is crushing it to pieces.
Moyer’s project was born after he inherited a traditional blue-willow pattern plate from his great grandparents. For laughs, he copied the design on paper and added a dinosaur. From there, other calamities ended up striking the unmoving denizens of his great grandmother’s dinner plate: UFOs, sea monsters, and volcanoes.
Launched last year on Kickstarter, Calamityware comes in four designs. The style (rather amazing) is reminiscent of Chris Ware drawings. In one, a giant Cyclops-like robot attacks what appears to be a Buddhist temple; in another, a town is attacked by befezzed flying monkeys. The third shows a Yuan dynasty UFO attack, and the fourth features a beached sea monster about to gobble up a stick figure peasant.
They’re all great. As someone who is getting married soon–this week, even!–I’ve held a hard line against fine china as a waste of money and space, but I might change my mind if I could scrape up some mashed potatoes from my Thanksgiving dinner plate to reveal a UFO invasion happening underneath.