How are Mugs and Music CDs Similar?

How are you?  How am I?  My head seems to spin.  I am tired of hearing about the virus.  But, that seems so selfish on my part.  Many people are affected by Covid-19.  With my head spinning, I don’t seem to be able to read serious books.  What feels the best to me is taking beach walks and video calls with family and friends.  Are you tired of zoom calls?  I am thankful for the technology but tired of not seeing people in person.  Whine.  Whine.  Whine.

I did get into the studio this week.  Yeah!!  Yes, there are mugs, serving bowls, trays, and houses drying.

This morning, I woke thinking about my recent mug purchases from the St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour.  Usually, I visit my son and daughter-in-law and rent a car to visit this show.  The show was cancelled.  The potters scrambled to get images uploaded for online sales.  From what I could tell, most of the artists sold a lot of pots.  Such a wonderful thing to see.

Coincidentally, in my morning emails, I had a note from fellow potter, Vicki Hamilton.  She wrote eloquently about how purchasing pots can be like attending a concert hoping for your favorite songs.  Then, the musicians play only one set that you recognize.  But, you do enjoy yourself.  You purchase another CD because of seeing them perform.

Many of us purchase new mugs for the same reason – we LOVE the dance.  When the mug arrives in the mail, I have to inspect it.  I set it on the counter and look at it’s proportions.  I hold the mug up to my lips to see if it feels comfortable.  How does the handle feel in my hands?  How does the cup feel?  What does the bottom of the mug look like?  Is it light or heavy?  The new mug might become a favorite for morning coffee or afternoon tea.  It might be better for soup or ice cream.  It might sit in the cupboard until we have company.  When we do have visitors, it’s fun to let them go through the cupboard selecting a mug to use.  The discussion begins again – size, handle, weight, proportions, design and decoration.

Ryan Greenheckmug

Mug by Ryan Greenheck

Thinking about mugs, makes me think of my first night at a two week Tony Clennell workshop held at La Meridiana.  Each of the participants had to give a slide talk about their artwork. Talk about nerve-wracking!   Later, we discussed what we had shared.  Tony and I got into a discussion about what makes a “good” rim for drinking vessels.  He believes that it’s ok to make the user decide where to place his/her lips.  I had always been taught that your rim had to be inviting, feel wonderful, and not challenge you.  Clearly, the discussion has stuck with me.  Tony taught me that it is ok to be either.  But, the maker needs to be deliberate.

Tony Clennell Mug

Ellen Shankin Travel mug

But, back to evening discussions, morning news reports, articles and more. Is it ok for me to put my head in the sand? Can I do a few nice things for my community and call it good?  I want to see my children and grandchildren.  When will that be possible? My daughter is talking about when she will return to empty her Ann Arbor apartment, get her cat from my house, and return Vermont without being infected.  How much quarantining is necessary?  Who knows? It all feels like a roll of the dice.

Take care, C2.



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