I've been making a squared handmade mug as pictured above for over 20 years. the flat surface on the mug front provides great decorative opportunities.It seems that I never tire of the form, both to decorate, and to use in my home.
Here are two that are currently in my shop:
I recently read a New York Times article about the popularity of Handmade Mugs as objects of self-identity, and about the excitement generated by the mug "lines" of a few New York potters. I was happy to see that Handmade Mugs made it to the Style Section of the New York Times! Says the article, "during the pandemic, many ceramic artists have seen the kind of customer excitement more associated with clothing lines or concert tickets." These potters have been selling out their stock constantly, and can't keep up with the demand. I like to imagine that people who were isolated in their homes, derived comfort from caressing a handmade mug as they prepared for the next Zoom conference.
The world of New York ceramics is certainly different than mine. I could never dream of selling hundreds of mugs in an hour, but I do sell a fair amount at my studio sales. I share the love of mugs, and the pleasure of the special mug that is used daily. Mugs are indeed extraordinary and interact with us in our daily tasks. Many times I have heard people talk about their favorite mug, and I'm happy when it's one that I made. And I've also felt a real sadness when a beloved mug breaks.
Chris Staley describes his reverence for the form:
I would like to make a pitch for the mug as the iconic American pottery form, as the pot that is imbued with history, and signals the way we Americans live. A casual pot, used every day, a humble form. You know, brewing a pot of coffee sitting around a kitchen table and having those intimate conversations.
Here's a short video about cups that I like to look at from time to time. I've published this in a blog several years ago.