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I like to begin each morning with coffee in a handmade pottery mug, this has been a part of my morning ritual since I was in middle school. I had the good fortune to grow up with handmade pottery, my parents were potters and so we did not have factory made mugs in the house.

We had a wall with several dozen mugs hanging on it. Each day I would ponder those mugs from potters around the country. I took time to consider which of those mugs fit my mood. I had favorites for sure, the way it felt in my hand, or how the rim met my lip when I sipped the hot coffee.

I enjoyed inviting guests to choose a mug. Most delighted in the task and for many it was a new adventure. I loved seeing the expressions on their faces as they considered the options.

These days I am more likely to be attached to a particular mug. When Brandy and I were traveling in NZ years ago I came across a mug that I had to have. Once we got home it became the only mug I drank from until it cracked 6 years later. Now that mug has a place of honor high up on a shelf. I drifted from mug to mug for several years until my new favorite mug came out of a recent firing.

I get a deep sense of well being when I use handmade items. I love seeing the evidence of workmanship, finger marks etc. I have no interest in perfection, for me the beauty is in the flaws. I become evangelical about the need for hand worked items in our lives, we are surrounded by clean, sleek lines (think iPhone) perfectly identical replications. I don’t identify with these ……. Instead I seek out handcrafted items that mirror the uniqueness in each of us. The evidence of human touch connects me to the maker.

I yearn to create connections like that in my own work. I feel that act of sending pottery out in the world is especially rewarding when it is put to use on a daily basis.

-Arthur