greenware coffee cups drying
The last job to be done on a coffee cup before letting it dry prior to biscuit firing is applying the slip colour to the foot. It’s one of those jobs that is tempting to think will take no time at all and in fact ends up taking most of the morning …
I always enjoy seeing them lined up on the shelves afterwards though. No more wrapping up in plastic to stop them drying out; now the work of a few days can be seen at last.
This is the next attempt at developing a half-glazed/half unglazed design of mug. It follows on from the espresso mug I did a post about on Dec. 4th of last year. When we talk about the design between ourselves we refer to this sort of mug as being “donkeyfied” as in a “donkey jacket”. It is an idea I borrowed from a range of bags that Ally Capellino produces (I gave one to Tilla as a tenth wedding anniversary present).
What’s different this time? It is dipped in a paler, lower contrast slip; dipped less deep; black foot.
Tilla still isn’t convinced by this mug. I quite like it. Not enough though – something else needs to happen.
James 3rd February 2014
Our 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