Saturday, November 11, 2006

What do coffee mugs have to do with woodworking?

There are two things that I can't do without in my studio- good music, and a good cup of coffee. When my favorite mug was recently broken, I wrote to the potter who made it, asking if there were any more that I could purchase. No luck.

So I've been on a quest to make the perfect mug. Here are a few recent ones, the kiln is cooling as I type this and there should be another batch of mugs tomorrow. You can see the glaze samples hanging on the back wall, offering some ideas about color combinations.

To me, working with clay is MUCH harder than working in wood. Wood is forgiving, and any mistakes made along the way can be corrected as a piece is being built. Not so with clay.

If you're lucky enough to have a pot that survives making and trimming it, you still have a couple of firings, not to mention the glazing process itself. It's often frustrating, but completely addicting.

I like my mugs without handles, there's a pleasant interaction between holding the mug and enjoying what it holds. In cooler temps, it's a nice way to keep your hands warm. And I like my mugs to be big, much bigger than most coffee cups. Once my coffee slightly cools to that perfect temperature, I often find myself at the bottom of the cup. So a larger mug works out well.

Next... we'll talk about music in the woodshop...

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