The Mug of Life Sojourns

The adventures of the Mug of Life reached a milestone at the end of 2016. I gifted it to my brother on his 54th year, at a birthday celebration that included old and new friends, and many family members. Of course after any level of gifting there’s always the chance that a gift can go quietly to the shelf, hardly ever to be touched again; so for this event I felt the need to communicate a little background of the hand-crafted piece before any time flowed elsewhere.


Here is a more complete storyline of the Mug of Life:

Mother Earth created clay through eons. At some point nearer this date a portion of the clay came through the hands of a gatherer, a processor, a seller and a buyer.

In the year 2016 the clay was picked up by my hands and formed on a Potter’s Wheel to become a mug.

The mug was created by me, as with all of my pieces, with the senses of Love. Even if simply the word LOVE was a thought in it’s creation, or if several forms of Love’s facets were expressed or experienced through to it’s recent milestone, the resonation of LOVE was echoed through its journeys.

An opportunity to revel in life’s dynamics came early in the mug’s existence when while trimming the clay I accidentally spun the Potter’s Wheel too quickly. This resulted in an altered mug. I looked upon the altered mug with a fresh perspective and relished the chance to ‘just go with it’. Soon enough a handle with a button thumb-rest was fashioned to the mug and then rested. It rested right through to the time of bisquing.

I knew the mug was created with the chance of being fired in a wood kiln. Anything fired in a wood kiln can produce some very cool results – and the mystery of the interplay of the elements is a huge draw. While the elements are known: the clay, the wood, the fire, the glaze if any, the wadding, the temperature, the duration, the ash, and the cooling – what is a big variable is the location of the piece in the kiln in relation to those elements.  It’s all so very very cool to see how the pieces come out.



So before this Mug of Life came out of the wood-fired kiln, I knew there was a chance that the mug would have characteristics that may or may not be pleasing to the eye.


But that was okay. That’s life. Accepting what may or may not happen, is probably one of the largest life lessons one can hope to learn. It is what it is.

The mug came home with me. As part of my typical process, I took the mug to my 9 to 5 to try it out. I test the handle comfortability, the weight, the balance, the handling, the drinkability of coffee. I tried out the mug over several weeks and learned more about it than I’ve would have hoped or expected.  While the outside of the mug didn’t have smooth lines, curves or symmetry, it definitely had character in all of its senses.

When my brother’s birthday arrived I knew this mug was going to be his. Perhaps it was created to be his, from the get-go. That’s kinda cool to think about.

As I told my brother at his birthday party, while the mug may have dings, bumps, and “character”, its what he puts inside that counts.

That cute little mug, the Mug of Life, continues to teach me that even though life has ups and downs, ins and outs, and provides us with character through it all, ultimately its what we put inside (inside our heart, mind, body and soul) that counts – for our own soul growth and development.  So thank you little mug. Thank you for sharing your love and life, with my brother.  Amen.


The “Mug of Life” Birthday Present to my Brother, December 2016

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