We're not a trend spotter, or at least not paid to be, but we believe the average size and shape of handmade mugs are shrinking and less fussy.
We think it's because so many of us are working from home and figuring out what size mug works with our lifestyle. Could be we're finding we function better with one or two great cups of coffee versus half the pot. Like many, we're also into decluttering, using only what we need. Bottom line, we found large mugs take up more space, are too heavy to hold and the coffee is always cold before we get half way through.
After months searching for a New England potter, we found Art Emerson of English Field Pottery in Addison, Maine. (Check out his "Couch Bowls.") Addison is about an hour north of Acadia National Park. We know, it's a good six hours from the inn but Art understood the desired 12-14 ounce size with straight sides and slight flare at the lip. He understood we wanted the logo to be subtle, not a mini billboard.
Here's how we found Art...
Art lives back in the woods on 100 acres with his wife Donna. About three years ago, Art retired, dusted off his ceramics degree that he'd never professionally used, sat down at the wheel and began throwing bowls, vases and mugs to sell at craft fairs. That's how our daughter Megs, who lives nearby, found him. She bought some pieces and asked if he offered classes. One thing led to another and now it's her zen, where she centers, throws, trims and glazes her bowls when she's not working.
Thank you Art. Look forward to picking up the next batch.
Here's our mug journey...
Over the last 10 years, we've had (now) five different designs. In 2012, we found a potter in the back hills of East Tennessee, of all places, who understood what we envisioned. Not too rustic, but with personality.
We loved this potter and his mugs. They were large, enough to serve soup. But when we went to reorder the third time, we found he'd had a terrible motorcycle accident that forced him to shut down his wheel.
Our next potter lived in Vermont. We loved the mugs she created, a little smaller, less clunky...and then, she got pregnant and couldn't keep up with our need for more mugs.
And then came Kate Butt of KB Ceramics. Her mugs were beautiful, a little thinner, more streamlined. But, like any small business, she chose to go in a different direction and not make custom mugs.
During the early months of the pandemic, we found Blue Moon Pottery, out in the woods, in the middle of Vermont. This was a beautiful mug but very large and we were looking for a smaller mug..., which led us to Art.
Our new mugs sell for $30 each or two fro $50. They're microwave and dishwasher safe. Call us if you'd like to order a couple or set for a gift.