A Letter about Mugs from our Executive Director

I drank tea out of a mug made by Sam Briegel for the first time today.

The first time I saw Sam’s mugs was in 2018 at the Winterfest Show at Baltimore Clayworks. Was it love at first sight? Probably. I’d never seen mugs like that before and  I’ve seen a lot of mugs. Sam’s mugs are not only beautiful, they are well balanced to my hand. I like a three-finger handle. I became obsessed.

But I didn’t buy one. I imagined bringing one home and the rest of my mugs giving it the dubious, judgmental side-eye. “What is SHE doing here?” (Kind of like if my husband one day brought home Rosie Perez and told me she was going to live with us and occasionally wear my clothes.) I wasn’t afraid of mug mutiny – I just didn’t want the rest of my mugs to feel unloved.

And then, the day of our “stay at home” directive, Sam Briegel gifted me a mug, and I brought it home.

I love all my mugs equally. Some of them are “what a meditative morning” mugs, and some are “drink your coffee and pull yourself together” mugs. Some mugs feel and look the way lapsang souchong tastes. Some mugs are for reading short articles, some mugs prefer long, existential novels, and some mugs fit perfectly on the side of the bathtub.

Today, I needed a cup of lemon ginger tea in a gorgeous mug, so I used my Sam Briegel mug for the first time. I also didn’t want the mug to feel like it wasn’t functional. We had a lovely afternoon together, feeling calm and useful.

What do you need right now? Does this situation have you feeling down and you need a “cheer up” mug? Have you started something new and exciting and you need a celebratory mug? Do you need a wide bottomed mug that your cat can’t knock over? Do you need a little guy because you’re trying to cut back on coffee? Or a big coffee mug because it’s hard to fully wake up these days?

May I suggest you visit our online shop? I don’t know if you need a new mug or not.  What I do know is that the artists represented in our shop could use the support right now. The perfect mug in the perfect moment is a recipe for pure joy.

Someday a good enough therapist will tell me whether or not it is sane to anthropomorphize mugs.

Until then, I hope you are all healthy and that your mugs are at least half full.

Cyndi Wish
Executive Director

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