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mug handles

updated tue 13 sep 11


Martin Howard on sun 27 jan 02

For a long time I believed the pottery law that you should NEVER hold a mug
or anything by its handle, until it is at least biscuit fired.

My experience of dipping mugs with handles into slip was that the weight of
the handle combined with the softened walls of the mugs caused the handle
and part of the wall to drop off onto the board, however much you waited for
the ware to come back to leather hard. Harder and the slip just cracked the

But rules are made to be broken!
My visitor from Holland, Cor Duynker, has made a lot of mugs, (amongst many
other projects) thicker than my ware, but according to the style of
Consentino in his book on Planning Projects. Cor, as an engineer very
accurately copies what Consentino says and photographs.

When I came back from a visit to London yesterday he had slipped all his
mugs, by holding the handles horizontally so that slip went in, round and up
to and covered the handle joins. He then took them out, wiped the bottoms
immediately on foam rubber and slipped the handles by brush.
They are perfect. The rims are perfect.
The handles are still there, not even a little distorted.
I'm gobsmacked!!

He tried it with a jug, but that was too heavy and the handle did come
Now he will be working on a way of slipping jugs in just one go.

It does mean that the rims are all even, with no drips or uneven lines
between double and single dipping, which you get when filling the inside
with slip first, emptying, then dipping the outside.

Rules? recycle them!

Martin Howard
Webbs Cottage Pottery
Woolpits Road, Great Saling
01371 850 423
Updated 20th January 2002

Gayle Bair on mon 12 sep 11

Hi Liz,

I so agree with you regarding the handles.
After spending years trying to make the perfect handle I came to realize
there isn't just one!
I'd have a dozen mugs on display with the same handle and the most oft
repeated customer question was "I love this mug BUT ..... could you make th=
handle (fill in the blank...smaller, larger, narrower, wider)?
So now I vary the handles and people really respond well when telling them
to find the one that fits their hand best. Even though my sgraffito designs
vary I haven't lost a sale.
And it also gives me the opportunity to keep searching for my personal
ultimate handle!
What better success story than having customers come to my booth and tell m=
they use my mug everyday and their pleasure in this simple act is written o=
their faces!
That sure makes my day!

Gayle Bair - yep... I get strangled by car seat belts but that is a trade
off which might allow me more time to ride life without one!!

On Mon, Sep 12, 2011 at 8:33 AM, Liz Gowen 1 wrote
I guess I was always surprised when I first went out west ( USA) to
see cliffs whithout guard rails or fences where in the east they seem to be
obsessed with protecting the mentally challanged. The west basically seems
to say if you are so stupid go ahead and jump, where in the east ohhhhh but
they may sue. I think we have to find a happy medium or we will be too
scared to make our work. As far as the one size fits all mug handle that
Lily suggested, I can't agree. I don't want an extra large handle for my
personal mugs. I have a small hand and prefer it fit me. Does that mean my
6ft+ cousins will have a hard time with it perhaps. I live with one size
fits all in many things especially car seats and seat belts that strangle m=
around the neck. But it does work well for the Marboro man. That is why
there is more than 1 way to make a mug. Need to get back to some clay...Liz