One of the unique aspects of making pots is the ability to make a personal pot to my exact specs. For a mug, something large enough to carry a generous amount of coffee, pleasing to my eye and having a handle catering to a left handed potter. Knowing what I want out of a mug and being able to throw, tool, handle and glaze to that ideal is great.
Over the 20 years of making pots, I have made three coffee mugs for myself. The first and second, bit the dust over time, leading to my number three. It was a large and generous beast of lobed form with a good handle and decorated in a Shaner yellow glaze with an over glaze of black rain pattern. It suited me fine. Well, it was being hand washed when, four feet to the ground it fell and bounced off it’s lip all in what seemed like slow motion. I retrieved it and to my relief, no chips and no cracks. Given a rinse, it was put into the dish rack without another thought.
In less than a moments time though, the undeniable shrill moan of a pot cracking was everywhere. I picked up the mug and watched as the crack ran from lip down in a semi-circle around the handles base. It was done for. It had served me well for 8 years and in an instant it was gone. Gone, but not forgotten. I am using a temporary replacement, but I am in the midst of redesigning a new mug, one that will hopefully serve me as faithfully and honestly as the last without any moaning or groaning.