Mugs are one of those things that tend to pile up in your cupboard. You get one from a gift shop at a National Park, another at a holiday gift exchange, another at a craft fair. Like your stuffed animals when you were a kid, you take turns using each one cuz you kinda feel bad for them. Until this one came along. This is the mug that you'll want to use every single day. Trust us. Live with others? Get a few. They'll want to use it, too.
"The East Fork Pottery Mug is literal perfection. Coffee is the base of my food pyramid, so trust me on this one." - @andrea_elyse
"Feels great in my hand, especially when cupping from the bottom. Every sip is special, like a mini meditation."
How We Make the Mug
Step 1: The Making of The Mug Body
First, we run our iron-rich regional clay through a pug machine to squeeze out air bubbles. It’s then carefully measured into precise little lumps, and pressed into a plaster mold. This crucial step ensures each vessels overall consistency and strength. Once in the mold, The Mug body is formed on the vertical pull-down jigger and dried overnight. In the morning, when our baby mug is still wet, but not as easily dimpled or dinged, we pop it out. Scrappy and unfinessed, these new mugs now need the soft touch of a skilled hand. Using trimming wires, hooks, and hand tools, we polish off the edges and crevices to get them looking smooth and refined. It’s this pre-step that really preps the Mugs for successful glaze application.
Step 2: The Handle Attachment
This fresh, greenware body is now primed and ready for next steps, like attaching the perfect handle. At this stage, we fire up the ram press, which uses hydraulic pressure and a “die” to press out smooth and strong handles; three at a time. Once formed, we stick them in a box and let them reach a dryness equivalent to the body for seamless affixing. For a strong bond, we score the body and the handle where they will meet in an everlasting union.
Step 3: The Stamp
After the handle is affixed, each pot made at East Fork gets kissed on the bottom with our maker’s mark. We use brass stamps to lovingly press each one by hand. Once they’re stamped, they’ll dry out on the racks a bit more before they get stacked into a bisque kiln, prior to being glazed.
Step 4: The Glaze Dip
The bottom of our mug is unglazed, a space just big enough for an index finger and thumb to grip. We hand dip each mug in its proper glaze bucket, and then wipe off the lip with a sponge for that signature, raw clay rim.
Step 5: The Final Firing
After all that prepping, pressing, assembling, cleaning, bisquing, and glazing, it’s time for the last firing in our high temperature kiln. Not only does this step create a chemical reaction, binding the glaze to the porous clay, but it produces the strong, chip-resistant vessel you know and love. Every carefully considered mug gets sanded for smooth edges and carefully inspected before making its way to live happily every after in your kitchen cupboard.