This prize has a strange story attached. You see, even though I just do low-fire pottery, **out of a mold**, which is considered something like a cross between kindergarten art and cheating in the wider ceramic world, I do read a ceramics list where the real potters post. The gals and guys who make their own glazes, and raku fire, and talk with knowledge of bentonite and manganese. And I struck up an email friendship with one gal. Or at least I thought it was a gal.
Generally (she says with a slightly Victorian air) I am not in the habit of striking up conversations with men on the internet. It's just easier all around. There are plenty of women out there with like interests. And I don't have to worry if Hubby is looking through my email, that he will come across some guys name and pause to wonder.
So, I thought that I was speaking with a woman. A very strong and interesting woman, who has led an adventuresome life... but the name was Marcy. Marcy, you know. Silly me. After a while, enough information came through that I began to second guess either my sanity or the gender of the person at the other end. Finally, I found out that Marcy was a guy (old family name, third in the line as I remember) and he was a military man who does pottery on the side. So, we will go by his nickname, Tig. But I just wanted you to understand the cognative dissonance of the beginning.
Tig and I talked about porcelain... he throws porcelain on the wheel. Up in the Northwest. We decided to do a run of mugs together. I made a press mold of Otto's head... it was the strangest mold. It was curved. If you don't think *that* was tough!! It had to be curved because porcelain doesn't stretch well, so if you are going to apply it to a curved surface, making it curved in the first place is useful. Then, Tig threw the mugs on the wheel, applied the pressed heads, and glazed them. He did me a huge number of test mugs, but all of them have various problems... like me, he doesn't waste flawed pieces. But the winner of this piece can, if she likes, trade this good solid regular production mug for a slightly flawed test. I picked two colors for production... amber and green. We sold quite a few. Tig was ecstatic... he had never sold as many pieces at once. He made me another shipment, more than I had orders for. So I've used some of the last ones for prizes at shows and gifts to friends, and they have come in handy. People write and mention that the mug design is very sturdy and nice.
You bet it is. I told Tig that I wanted a good, big handle. Not some wimpy handle that you can only put three fingers in. I wanted a handle that I could stick my whole hand into, knuckle to knuckle, and I don't have delicate hands. And that's just what he did. With a little doohickey for your thumb, for a even sturdier grip. Military guy... what can I say?
A bit of trivia... these mugs come in left handed or right handed versions. Seriously!
The winner of the nice, sturdy, limited edition green Tig mug is.... Liz Strauss! YAY Liz!