Tender’s coffee mug is hand thrown in England from natural red clay dug in England. It is slipped with natural white clay, and left unslipped and unglazed on the base, to reveal the original character of the mud. The white slip is hand engraved and glazed with coloured salts.
Sprig mugs are decorated with an applied raised design, pressed out of a hand carved ‘sprig’. Soft unfired clay is pushed into the sprig, which itself is made by the potter from unglazed, fired clay, then attached to the soft beaker, before being slipped, biscuit fired, glazed, and fired together.
Throwing pots by hand involves drawing the desired form up from a single solid spinning lump of clay. Tender’s potter works the clay directly with his bare hands, so each piece is unique and bears the marks of his fingers and thumbs. Rather than casting the handle from slip (watered down wet clay), which would enable uniform and quick mass-production, it is traditionally hung. This involves squeezing a lump of solid clay out into a strip which the potter allows to hang through his fingers, creating a naturally pleasant shape to hold. The ridges on the handle, formed by the creases in the craftsman’s fingers, make it easy and comfortable to grip. The handle is pressed onto the pot with a thumb dent at the base.
Please bear in mind that this hand-made pottery should be washed by hand, and is not suitable for microwaves, ovens, or dishwashers. Hand-engraved sgraffito mugs are available here.