I threw these mugs last Wednesday. That night we had an enormous storm, freezing temperatures and the second fall of snow this winter. All of this was fine… to be expected in this neck of the woods. What put me off my stride was the two-day power cut. It was mildly entertaining for the first day – not so much for the night – and even less so the following day. Luckily we have a wood burning stove that we can cook on and use to keep warm. As a result I didn’t manage to turn the bases until Sunday.
There are so many things that have to be considered when making pots. I love the evolution… the way that each piece you throw becomes a little more refined… closer to your goal. I’ve been working on these breakfast cups for months now. Slowly altering their shape and proportions until I reach what I have in mind. But it’s not just the shape of the body of the cup, but how the base looks, the shape of the handle…
I have been dithering over whether or not to have turned bottoms to my pieces. Many potters just throw the bases finely, and make a small undercut to the edge which is then smoothed quickly at the leather hard stage. This can be a great time saver, however I really like the way these cups seem to ‘float’ above the surface they are sitting on because of the turned foot. I also like the shadow that is created so I’m going to stick with this for the time being. I may come to regret this decision when I have to make lots.
Then there’s the thickness of the turned foot. The cup furthest to the left (above) is my favourite so far, but I think I’d like to make the foot finer still.
Next there’s the handle… shape… thickness… attachment. I’ve been playing with handles a lot over the months – endless sketches, research, trials etc. Different handles suit different purposes – expresso cup, tea cup, coffee mug, breakfast cup, beer stein. Then there’s how it’s made – pulled, rolled, extruded or cut with a shaped wire – I like hand pulled best. The cups above are the closest yet to what I have in mind. The test will be in using them. Here’s hoping they survive their firings.