Monday, June 23, 2008

hand thrown

When Gwen posted a watercolor ode to her hand thrown mug made by a potter friend, I remembered the feel of bygone hand thrown mugs wistfully.

But oh! We have a hand thrown earthen mug in our very own home that has never been filled with anything but pens. With mixed shame and pleasure, I rescued it from a little seen alcove table in the sewing/treadmill room. Lesley had bought this beautiful piece of craft from a fellow art student named Rochel and given it to Don, but the handle-less vessel didn't call to his hand, or to mine at the time.

I abandoned my factory made snowman mug, also given to Don, by one of his students, and poured hot coffee into the earthen mug.

How had I settled for the straight, smooth factory ceramic when I could have felt the slight curve and the subtle striations in my hand and the slightly thicker glossy glazed lip on my lips, and looked at the artistic Rothko squares instead of a cartoon snowman?

And I never hold a mug by the handle anyway.


Anonymous said...

There's nothing like hand thrown pottery. It is so satisfying to handle and use. The problem is knowing when to stop collecting it!

Gwen Buchanan said...

"Perfecto!!! Love it.. Thanks Ruth.. You are a soul after my own heart... Love the simplicity of your mug.. and except for my mug with the very large handle... I usually wrap my hands around the mug itself too and soak up some of that heat on a cool morning...

Anet said...

Lovely mug... I like that it's not prefect in shape. But you have to love snowman teacher mugs, I have several myself!:) It seems like those things never break!!!

Ruth said...

Anon., heh, that can be a problem, it's true! But it's such a great thing to look for on travels. I love the pieces we've gotten on family vacations.

You could always rotate!

<3 <3 <3

Gwen, thank YOU. Hugging a mug in the morning is a pleasure I can't give up.

<3 <3 <3

Anet, well you're right, of course, so many sweet gifts from kids. And the snowman really is cute, and I've loved using it for some time. But now it just doesn't satisfy like the earthen one.

Sharon said...

It's really beautiful. I particularly like the patchwork glaze. Come see me tomorrow and I'll embrace the human tendency toward herd mentality and continue this thread!

Ruth said...

Sharon, oh goody. As long as we keep herding and following good leads like Gwen's and Anet's creative endeavors (and yours too for that matter) then I'm fine with herding.

Rauf said...

This is a product of meditation Ruth. Meditation is not just sitting crosslegged chanting some mantras. This is spiritually rewarding.
Sorry wrong words Ruth.
Spritually ?
i am still trying to understand the word spiritual.
i am using the word because others are using it.
what i am trying to say is what ?
yes, This mug is enlightenment.
oh dear! another word.
Ruth, its 3 in the morning

Heather said...

Oh, what a beautiful cup. I use a crappy machine made mug and now I want a beautiful one like that. Thanks for the morning inspiration.

Sandy said...

Wow, I like Rauf's take on it, the mug is enlightenment... Cool...

I would translate that to mean whenever I pick up a mug of coffee, I can't help but relax and contemplate possibly in the process there is a little enlightenment going on....or not...

Cool post Ruth and warm mug. I'm so glad Rauf is back...

freefalling said...

Now, come on.
This is just getting redicoless!
On Sunday, I was frequenting my local op shop - as is my want - and I came across a hand made pottery cup.
Now, I don't think I've ever bought or been attracted to a pottery mug in my life - but this one just took my fancy.
And so it came home to live with me.

You're freakin' me out, man!

Ruth said...

rauf, how sympathetic of you to post your comment at 3 in the morning, since I posted the post at 3 in the morning.

I know how you feel about those religious words, so coming from you they are infused with something else. Thank you.

<3 <3 <3

Auntie Sandy, thank goodness rauf is back with his unique point of view, we need him.

Your eulogy to George Carlan was perfect, I'm sorry I never had a chance to see him in person. I think I'll queue something of his . . .

<3 <3 <3

Ok, Letty, I'm thinkin there's a line that goes straight through the earth between us, an open channel of energy. Crazy!!!

Ruth said...

Heather, I am loving the ripples of Gwen's post, the inspiration, the love and desire for human craft that connects with the earth, and keeps connecting us every time we use it. I love it!

See you tonight. Yay!

VioletSky said...

I love that line: the handle-less vessel didn't call to his hand!
I have a variety of mugs, in all shapes, sizes and materials. Every cup of coffee or tea or hot chocolate is poured into the mug that warms my soul on that particular day.

Bob Johnson said...

Ruth there is nothing better then putting your hands around a hot mug when it's -40c outside, which happens here more then I wish to remember. I love the fact that it is curved in the middle ads originality to it, neat how you got the idea to do this post.

Ruth said...

VioletSky, your own 'today's mug' joy, that's so nice. I like how that recognizes that inner you being aware.

<3 <3 <3

Bob, I confess I've never seen -40C (I don't think, I'm bad at converting), but I have noticed more than once that you in Saskatoon and we in MI have had the same temps. Yep, I really love this mug.

Cloudscome said...

Beautiful!That is a lovely mug and it really fits your hand. I have a hand thrown mug my oldest son brought me home from Germany. I drink my coffee from it every morning. I have another one he brought me from New Orleans for my afternoon tea. Little pleasures!

Ruth said...

Cloudscome, now that's a good idea, two different mugs for morning coffee and afternoon tea. Times for you to connect with your son as well as get centered in your own self.

Ginnie said...

Don't you just love it when you suddenly see something with new eyes, Ruth! :)

lesleyanne said...

i'm so glad that you found this mug again, even if it was years after i gave it to papa.
i don't think the mug minded holding pens. but i think it is much happier now being held by you.

Ruth said...

Yes, Boots, especially when it's not too late!

<3 <3 <3

Wesrey! How nice to see you. That's a sweet thing to say. And I hadn't thought about the mug being happy. Thank you for that.

Anonymous said...