Monday, May 21, 2012

mug madness

The past few months have been full of mug-making. I have to admit, not my favorite past-time. Mostly because of the handles, they are just a pain in the you know what. Here is how I make mine:
1. pour a slab of porcelain
2. cut the slab into 1"-wide ribbons, trim to the correct length
3. drape the ribbons over upside down wee teas (they have a nicely shaped bottom)
4. let them set up, covered in plastic, for a day
5. the next day attach the handles to the cylinders
6. cover again in plastic, and let them hang out for another day: this is to balance out the moisture level in the relatively thin handle with the thicker cylinder
7. wipe off all the extra drips and bumps
8. cover again to dry very slowly over the next few days. if the mugs dry too fast, my handles tend to unbend and crack. yeah, a big bummer:

And then I wonder how can Ikea sell their mugs for a few dollars each? Well, yes, their handles come out of lots and lots of molds, but someone has to attach them, after all.

So, the last few months involved more than one hundred and fifty mugs. Here are some of them, customized for Lippicott with the home cities of the company’s employees (love this idea!):