Tender’s sgraffito coffee mugs are hand thrown in England from natural red clay dug in England. They are 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.
Throwing pots by hand involves drawing the desired form up from a single solid spinning lump of clay. Tender’s Master Potter works the clay directly with his bare hands, so each piece is unique and bears the marks of his fingers and thumbs.
Sgraffito mugs are hand-incised before being glazed, picking out the scratches through the slip to the darker red clay as black. This ancient technique was used by the Romans to create frescos. Each piece is engraved entirely by hand, using just a pointed wooden stylus, so is slightly different from the next. The Elephant illustration is taken from a 19th Century American advertisement encouraging prospectors to hurry to Nevada where they would find unparalleled wealth. This gold rush coincided with, and possibly caused, the development of jeans, and the Elephant with his magic boots is woven into Tender’s clothes labels. ‘Dekk’ mugs are taken from drawings originally drawn in 2010 especially for Tender by Dorrit Dekk (1917-2014), inspired by creatures in Jorge Luis Borges’ Book of Imaginary Beings. ‘Brunner’ illustrations are adapted from etchings made in 1729 by Christoph Brunner, originally drawn as extended ornamental flourishes to classical texts.
Please bear in mind that this hand-made pottery should be washed by hand, and is not suitable for microwaves, ovens, or dishwashers. Plain, unengraved mugs are available here.