mug epitaph

mug epitaphOur eldest daughter, Mary broke this mug on Friday. She’s thirteen and I gather that teenagers have a reputation for clumsiness. Now, whilst it is true that there are “plenty more where that one came from” I was particularly sorry to see this one go. It was historic – one of the first mugs we made here (so old that it had no makers mark – we hadn’t come up with one then) and hadn’t started playing with colours and decoration so it was unusually plain (for us) but  nonetheless beautiful and felt lovely to use.

I know that people often hesitate at buying our mugs for fear of breakages. One of the things I love about ceramics is the combination of durability with fragility. This is perhaps particularly true of our work being finely thrown but high fired.  A mug could last five minutes or thousands of years depending on what happens to it. I suspect badly packed dishwashers kill plenty of mugs – they must not be allowed to rattle against each other. We don’t have a dishwasher, most of our breakages have been done by helpful guests washing up after too much wine.

Our children have actually broken remarkably few pots. They have always used our pots – we didn’t buy them special plastic plates or mugs when they were little. They soon learnt that if they threw their bowl on the floor it would break. They also soon had favourite pots and learnt to be careful with them. Everyone breaks things occasionally but being able to be careful with fragile things is part of valuing and enjoying special objects, and the older they get the more special they feel.

Tilla   27th Jan 2014

One thought on “mug epitaph”

  1. Pingback: The Perfectionist Problem - james & tilla waters

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