Mug 34: Heron and Bear
Please keep in mind that all handmade ceramic pieces are at risk of thermal shock and cracking if their temperature changes too quickly. To keep your mug in good shape, avoid pouring in boiling water, do not microwave and ensure your mug is not cold when adding hot liquids. Freshly made hot coffee in a room temperature mug is fine!
I mix my clay from raw materials and cast the body of each mug in molds I made from a positive that I originally threw on the potter's wheel. Once the piece is cast, I put it back on the wheel and throw the lip because one of my favorite things about handmade mugs is the feeling of a well thrown lip!
I slip cast my handles separately and attach them using sprigs (finely detailed ornamental pieces of clay) to anchor or frame the handle. I then use sprigs to create patterned panels that frame spaces around my mugs for imagery.
The overlaid images are originally drawn in pen and ink on paper and then scanned and printed in glaze. The image transfer (decal) is then applied to a glaze fired mug and is re-fired for a third time, causing the imagery to melt into the surface of the glaze. The image will not wear away through use and the mug is both food safe and dishwasher safe. During this final firing, small copper crystals will often begin to grow in the glaze, creating beautiful glittering patches of copper and splashes of orange randomly throughout the glaze!
Dimensions: 3.5" wide x 4.25" tall
Materials: Iron Rich Stoneware, Cone 6 Electric Glaze, CMYK Decals
The meaning of the heron varies from culture to culture but generally represents the importance of stillness, living in the moment, determination and precision in your work.
The Lunar Hare:
The lore of the Hare is rich in many cultures. The hare is often seen as a servant of the gods in mythology and acts as a messenger from the gods to mankind, traveling by moonlight to instruct and guide us. In the West, we speak of the 'Man in the moon' when looking at the moon's markings. In the East, generations have passed down the story of the 'Hare in the moon' who can be seen here, bent over her cauldron, creating the elixir of life for the lunar goddess.
This young girl leading her horse is based on my friendship with my first miniature horse, Benji. At the age of 5, riding Benji taught me a lot about life, friendship and grit. Every time that roly-poly pony would buck me off, I got right back on – a hard lesson that every horse lover values in and out of the saddle.
This little girl swinging and blowing bubbles stands, not only as a reminder of the beauty of innocence, but also of the beauty of this world if we are able and willing to see it with innocent eyes.
Leap of Faith:
This card shows a woman stepping confidently over the edge of a Rococo scrollwork cliff with a handful of balloons. I drew this in response to a poem I mis-memorized as a small child that has stuck with me as a reminder to head into the unknown with confidence and excitement. “When you come to the edge of all the light you know and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: either there will be something solid on which to stand, or you will learn to fly.” The original version of this inspiring quote was written by Patrick Overton.
The black bear is often seen as a symbol of power. However, the bear also carries a more subtle message: a reminder of the importance of respecting our seasons- resting, playing and working in a balanced cycle regardless of where others around us are in their cycles. You may be in your 'winter', watching anxiously as someone in their 'spring' is surging ahead in life, wondering why that isn't happening for you too. The bear reminds us to take that time to hibernate, look within and rest so that we too can surge forward when the time is right.