A lot goes into making a mug. You might think that the mug you just bought at Walmart or Target for five bucks is just a cheap vessel for your morning coffee or tea but a handmade mug has a lot of steps to get you to that morning drink.
Herb has been practicing his lighting and recently decided to photograph some of the steps of my recent mugs. Below is the gallery of those photos.
A mug starts out as a simple cylinder thrown on the wheel with these steps adding to that process:
- the foot of the cylinder is trimmed to finish the bottom of the mug. I have been adding an additional step to that process and carving a “petal” shape into the foot ring. I divide the ring into six equal sections and carve a “V” into those divisions. The I smooth the petals to form a nice sculptural foot on the cylinder.
- Next a handle is made for the cylinder. This is a process called “pulling a handle” where a lump of clay is stretched with water to create a smooth slender handle shape. These are left to dry out some so that they can be attached to the cylinder in a nice curve adding to the curve of the side of the cylinder that has been trimmed.
- Decoration is then added to the sides of the mug. I am doing this batch with a white slip over the brown clay body but at this point you can carve the cylinder, add an underglaze painted on the side or leave it plain and plan to add a pretty glaze after the mug is bisque fired
- And of course, these mugs are getting a frog attachment. You’ll just have to wait and see the final product but Herb has done an awesome job of capturing the trimming and carving process.