Archive for the ‘ceramics’ Category

Mini Mugs

Monday, October 24th, 2011

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collection of pottery espresso mugs hand thrown, glazed and decorated by Damian Keefe

Following on from all the wonderful stuff in our recent Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair blog post, here’s some more hand crafted loveliness!

pottery espresso mug hand thrown, glazed and decorated by Damian Keefe pottery espresso mug hand thrown, glazed and decorated by Damian Keefe

Justin’s brother, Damian is a very skilled potter and he dropped off some of his new designs on a recent visit.

pottery espresso mug hand thrown, glazed and decorated by Damian Keefe pottery espresso mug hand thrown, glazed and decorated by Damian Keefe

Amongst them were these sweet espresso coffee mugs.

pottery espresso mug hand thrown, glazed and decorated by Damian Keefe pottery espresso mug hand thrown, glazed and decorated by Damian Keefe

We love the tall narrow shape which still fits under most coffee machines and retains the heat of a small espresso very well.

He’s experimented with a few different glazes – various colours & textures – and they feel really good in the hand.

pottery espresso mug hand thrown, glazed and decorated by Damian Keefe pottery espresso mug hand thrown, glazed and decorated by Damian Keefe

 Small certainly is beautiful!

If you’ve got any favourites or feedback please leave a comment here. We’ll be sure to pass them on – Damian’s always interested to hear what people think – especially about new ideas!

Mug Shots

Friday, May 27th, 2011

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collection of vintage Hornsea Pottery mugs

We posted a blog recently featuring the ‘love mug’ series produced by Hornsea Pottery in the 1970s.

The company is famous for their mugs – so we photographed a few more examples whilst we were sorting through our ‘Hornsea box’.

vintage Hornsea Pottery mug with newsprint toucans vintage Hornsea Pottery Libra mug

They feature a vast array of designs and commemorate all manner of events.

vintage Hornsea Pottery mug with buildings vintage Hornsea Pottery World's Greatest Fisherman mug

The love mugs were the work of Kenneth Townsend, but the main name associated with Hornsea Pottery is John Clappison. He’s certainly the name that collectors look out for.

vintage Hornsea Pottery mug vintage Hornsea Pottery mug with fish

Some examples are quite rare and attract strong prices.

vintage Hornsea Pottery mug of knight with shield vintage Hornsea Pottery mug with witches

They’re now often kept safe as display pieces and you can understand why. The company has long since closed down, so the number of surviving pieces can only decrease.

You have to be quite brave to use them for your everyday brew…

vintage Hornsea Pottery mug with newsprint owls vintage Hornsea mug with owls

…but if you do, they’re sure to give you a bit of pleasure with every sip.

vintage Hornsea Aries mug

Justin has his Aries star sign mug. He doesn’t take any notice of his horoscope, but he loves this fabulous design… and being reminded of all of his positive traits at the start of each day!!



It’s a date!

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

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detail from a 1979 Arabia Kalevala date plate designed by Raija Uosikkinen

Any of you vintage fans born in 1979?  This could be the perfect thing for you.

detail from a 1979 Arabia Kalevala date plate designed by Raija Uosikkinen

It’s one of a series of ceramic date plates produced annually by Arabia of Finland.

detail from a 1979 Arabia Kalevala date plate designed by Raija Uosikkinen

Designed by Raija Uosikkinen, they take their inspiration from the Kalevala – the epic national saga of Finland.

Here’s an extract from the English translation of Rune 33 from which this plate draws its reference:

From a tree the raven answered:
“O thou little silver buckle,
Only son of old Kalervo,
Why art thou in evil humor,
Wherefore sad in thy demeanor?
Take a young shoot from the thicket,
Take a birch-rod from the valley,
Drive thy herd across the lowlands,
Through the quicksands of the marshes;
To the wolves let one half wander,
To the bear-dens, lead the other;
Sing the forest wolves together,
Sing the bears down from the mountains,
Call the wolves thy little children,
And the bears thy standard-bearers;
Drive them like a cow-herd homeward,
Drive them home like spotted cattle,
Drive them to thy master’s milk-yards;
Thus thou wilt repay the hostess
For her malice and derision.”

detail from a 1979 Arabia Kalevala date plate designed by Raija Uosikkinen

You don’t have to be born in 1979… they were made from the mid 1970s to the late 1990s. That gives a good span of potentially significant years – birthdays, anniversaries etc.

And don’t mind if there isn’t a special date to be marked… the artwork is so fabulous, they’re covetable for the patterns alone.

1979 Arabia Kalevala date plate designed by Raija Uosikkinen

Having said that, there’s sure to be a few completists out there who are just going to have to have the full set – and we wouldn’t blame you!!

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