How Making Mugs Makes Me Present

“A mug is formed of clay but it’s usefulness lies in the empty center.”  -Lao Tzu

mercedes rodgers mugI am starting to think it is the emptiness that houses the present, that emptiness the reason I am drawn to making mugs. Looking back, I believe I came to clay a mug maker. The malleable quality of the clay intrigue me from the beginning. The ability to form it into something so rigid and permanent captivated me. The first day of my first real pottery class I charged in with my desire to make drinking vessels, no yet understanding the complexity of the from. It took a few years to develop the skills need to create anything truly functional.

In the early years it was coffee that fueled my desire to make mugs. Like most I enjoy nothing more than the daily ritual of creating that little magic potion that transforms me into a functional human being each morning. Adding to that a mug I crafted or some other artist created adds another level of joy to that ritual. My love affair with coffee and adoration of clay grew up together and as it grew so did my desire to create mugs.

Sometimes when I’m sipping coffee or tea  I’m inspired to create a certain kind of mug with the specific shape, theme or image on it. Once the idea seeds in my mind I am excited to manifest the form into reality so that I can drink out of it. The whole experience is pure magic!

Creating these vessels for myself and others centers me! I love the idea of creating a drinking vessel that will be filled with the users favorite beverage and used time and time again. It is the little things, the belly of the mug or the way your hand fits in the handle just so, your lip on the rim of the mug sipping warm tea, that brings the user into the moment. This is why I make mugs, this is why share them and trade them and sell them. This is why I became a potter, to be present and to share the moment with others.

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