Well, I have a lot to share with you here... My Mug of the Month collection went on hiatus after my fiance lost his job last spring. Apparently when you're battling for unemployment, a handmade mug collection isn't high on the priority list. Go figure!
But not to worry, things began looking up as soon as we both started school full time again in August. A little more financial security (due in large to an awesome amount of grant money) meant I got to play catch up with my mug collection last month. I went a little nuts and decided to order five mugs from artists that I've been lusting after for a while. Remember, I'm making up for five months of hiatus here.
Two mugs were ordered from Etsy, as usual. By the way, I have a great collection of ceramists going on my Etsy Favorites which you can find on the lower right side of this blog. I highly recommend checking it out. And let me know if you think you ought to be added to the list.
First a gigantic number, I present my mug from Keith Phillips of Mudstuffing fame. I'm very impressed by his wood and soda fired work and especially am titillated by his shino pieces. When I found such an elegant and quirky shino mug I knew it had to be mine. I also thought this mug would make my honey very happy as most the mugs I have now are on the smaller side. When it arrived it was huge! Perfect. And sure enough, my honey claimed it for his own, immediately. He loves the glazing, size, and witty decals almost more than I do.
Next was a darling little beauty from Jenni Brant. I love her attention to detail and the delicacy of her work. Brant's pieces are so cute and whimsical. I was pleasantly surprised upon opening this package to find even more detail in the glazing work and that the cup was much more elegant than cute. This is my new morning coffee cup. It feels like sipping from a Willy Wonka candy blossom-- so sweet.
I then decided to try something I haven't before. I ordered from a gallery. My favorite gallery, my hometown gallery, Red Lodge Clay Center! It was great and I'll definitely order from a gallery again.
My first choice was Martha Grover. I love her work more than anything in the world. I cannot get over the glazing techniques she uses and her organic shapes. The mug I ordered, as usual, came to me much more beautiful than I had anticipated. The green interior is so cool and the size is more than adequate. A large mug is very important for tea, especially when it looks like a giant foxglove blossom.
For something a little more reminiscent of home on the range, I picked out a Sue Tirrell mug. Tirrell's work is so very western, but in a very modern way. Her shapes are solid and comfortingly round. And her colors are simple but bold. It's a shame you can't see the fantastic sgrafitto work, Tirell carves the characters on her work; it is a remarkable detail that photos just can't do justice to.
And lastly but definitely not leastly, a Kristin Pavelka mug to make nine in the collection so far. One of my favorite artists working in earthenware. The mug fits wonderfully in your hand and the glazing has so much depth it's a real treat to look at. I didn't realize but Pavelka also sgrafittos part of her design onto the cups and then finishes the patterns off with some extra details in glaze. This baby is also a very good size, and I think the flowers will bring me a lot of tea-filled cheer over the cold, dreary winter that's heading our way this year.
So there we are-- May, June, July, August, and September. I am so pleased with the collection so far. Together they look like such a great little series. I have only three more to go until this collection is complete. Then I have to start thinking what I'm going to collect next! :)