Earlier this week, I arrived at Midwest Clay Project, where I pay a monthly fee to be a “member” because I don’t have a ceramics studio at home. Once I’d settled in, the studio assistant walked over to me and said, “Rachel, the studio manager wanted me to have a polite conversation with you about the drips on your mugs.” Oh crap, I thought to myself. I had indeed noticed the drips on the handles of my mugs, but now I knew it must be worse. “One of them dripped on to the kiln shelf,” she said. Dang! If the kiln shelf is damaged by glaze that runs off my pots I have to pay an extra fee. She continued, “Luckily, it popped right off when I scraped it.” Phew! I DID get lucky this time!
Both of these mugs had three dips of glaze at the top, which makes them so beautiful. And I made these as a special request from my sister – tall and skinny, with small round handles at the top. More typical mugs have bigger and longer handles where the glaze has a place to run, but these small round handles don’t have anywhere for all that hot runny glaze to melt to, so they drip. I’ve got another mug in the kiln as I write this, with only ONE layer of glaze, and I’m hoping that one doesn’t drip. Plus, I set that mug on a drip tray, which is an unglazed, flat piece of clay that can be used under items that have a possibility of dripping. I didn’t know drip trays were available until the studio assistant told me about them this week.
The first time I looked at these two mugs, I thought they were gorgeous, but ruined by the solid drip of glaze under each handle. But the drip grew on me, and now I think it looks kinda cool, plus it gives your finger something to rest on to when you hold the mug, providing a little better grip. I hope my sister enjoys lots of strong, hot coffee in her new mug!