David Larkins Lecture June 27th at the AIE, "The Inspiration and Story Behind the Paintings"
July 28, 2014
Best Mug Ever
June 2, 2014
This is the best coffee cup in the world. I have many coffee cups but when I come downstairs in the morning super tired and I know I have a long day ahead of me, and lots of tasks to do like getting started on making my kids homemade organic breakfast and lunches. When I open the cupboard and see this cup clean and sitting on the shelf waiting for me I feel happy.
I am a spiritual woman; I don’t put a lot of fixation on belongings. Most of my belongings have a reason and a purpose. And this cup serves both. Inside of the cup is a nice steamy homemade cup of fair trade, rich smooth espresso with steamed grass fed organic milk, and sweetened with a spoonful of organic coconut sugar. I love starting my day with such a wonderful beverage, but pairing it with this mug makes it even better.
This is one of my homemade mugs, so some might think that is why I am so partial to it. But I do have many mugs, being a potter I have made all sorts of mugs over the years. So why is this one my favorite? Some if it may be the shape of the mug how it tapers at the bottom it fits nicely into my palm. Or maybe it’s the ridges that provide a thickness to the base and keep the hot, hot coffee from burning my hands. Or maybe it’s the shape of the handle. It has a beautiful curve to it and it fits so nicely in my hand there is no pressure in my wrist. But the handle is also far enough from the mug so I can fit my whole hand into it and cradle the outside of the mug while the handle wraps around the outer edge of my hand. Or maybe I love the glaze.
Now, maybe all of these reasons are why this mug is my favorite. But they are really just a sliver of an advantage. Because in truth, I feel happy so see so many of my mugs sitting on my shelf ever morning. Because these mugs are more than the average mug, I made them. In my own studio, in the house I love to live in with my beautiful family. And every day I get to walk down my stairs and turn on the lights of my studio, I can smell the clay in the air. And as the lights brighten up the room I either see a clean studio full of potential, or I see a studio full of work, that I loved every minute I spent sculpting and throwing every piece.
This mug wasn’t just made in a factory somewhere, possibly by workers who are being exploited. And being a clean organic minded person, I make sure my mugs, bowls, trays, and platters that are meant for food are made with completely food safe products. I also try my hardest to find products that are made in America.
So this mug had a beginning first at my computer where I researched where to purchase the best clays and glazes. Then on my potter’s wheel, where I feel always completely blesses that I have such a wonderful job, I get to work with my hands every day and be creative. Then I walk it over to my table where I sculpt the perfect handle for it, and then caringly into a bag to keep it safe for a day or two. Then I go over it with sponge or a coarse pad to refine it. It’s then set on my shelves to dry slowly and be admired, until it’s time to go off to the kiln. After the first firing I choose the glazing and I rarely just dunk my work in one glaze, usually there’s a little love put into that process too. Then after cleaning all the extra glaze from the base, it’s time for its final firing. And a day later it emerges from my kiln a beautiful mug of happiness, created in happiness, and ready to greet its new owner every morning.