So I have just finished my first week at CSM. Wow what a whirlwind!

Day One involved among other things creating a 21 person long clay sculpture, on the theme of “Where are you From?” I confess I got a bit sidetracked into “What is your background?” modeling Scandanavian jugs, my family and a human ear … but it was just fantastic to get my hands muddy again, and to learn a bit about the roots of my fellow students.

Where are you From

Where are you from?  My contribution to the Great Wall of Ceramic Design Stage 1.

Mugged Up

Our first project is a 7 week investigation into Mugs. First up we learned how to use a lathe to sculpt a body of a mug out of plaster of Paris.  Mine went slightly hors piste, in terms of the curves of the form, as I forgot to bring my spectacles into the studio, and got my measurements wrong. However, the final shape looks quite refined, and as one of my fellow students said “It is ladylike!”

My First Mug

We then made a plaster caste of that mug body, which will be used to slip cast our mugs in a few weeks time.

This weekend’s homework is to develop a design for a handle to go on the mug. I have decided that mine must be be able to accommodate 3 fingers, so be lovely and comfy, and suggest an ear shape. I am thinking that this will allow me to do some fun graphic interventions in the coming weeks to play with the face or mug of the mug.

What’s makes a good mug for you? Comments below please!


  1. Great blog Jo. Brilliant idea to do this. I will watch your progress with interest. For me, a mug is someone who is very gullible. Otherwise I like something which is sturdy not flimsy and, as you suggest, a handle big enough to grip properly. And I notice that I tend to use the mugs that are light coloured and have uplifting images, words or patterns on more than the plain, dull dark ones in my drawer.


  2. Oh yes the handle is so important, remember those teatime invitations from Hyacinth Bucket to long-suffering neighbour Elizabeth in Keeping Up Appearances? That’s how I feel when trying to sip coffee from trendy cups with minute, hole-less handles, ever drunk from one of those?
    Lovely blog Jo, may the mud whispering be with you!


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