March 11, 2013 § 2 Comments
I have been spending some time refining the shape of the handle of the mugs I have been making. It is important to get it right now, as I want to have them ready for the British Craft Trade Fair, which starts on Sunday 7th April. The first handle I tried was one achieved using a bent wire tool to cut the handle out of a rolled out slab of clay. This was fine except that I was asked to make a water jug (more to follow!) by my cousin for which I tried to pull a handle and for consistency’s sake, therefore, I felt that the handle of the mugs should be pulled, too.
Here’s the first cut-handled mug
And here the first with a pulled handle
The size of the mug itself is quite a bit bigger in the second mug and, I think, functions better as a result. The handle looks OK but I felt that it was too big, stuck out too much away from the mug. If I looked down upon the mug and measured the top of the handle from the lip of the mug to the edge of the curve before it comes back in again, it measured 5cm. There was too much negative space within the handle form and two fingers kind of got lost in there. The measurement across the top part of the handle that felt right, that gave the fingers a nice snug feel without being cramped, was 4cm.
So, my third attempt was the right hand mug of the two above – the left being the 5cm version, used for comparison. I’m really pleased with how it looks. I think there is a good proportion between the mug and the handle.
Here is an image of the handles attached at the lip, waiting for the join to be secure before attaching the handle to the bottom of the mug. I used a method I saw on youtube demonstrated by Hsinchuen Lin. It is an informative and clear video, and if you are interested in learning how to pull handles it’s worth watching. Having attached the top of the handle to the mug, he waits for 5 minutes or so to let the handle and mug bond – it’s a useful tip.
Here’s the join at the top…
And the bottom…
And a group shot…
I’ve been drinking tea out of the small cut-handled mugs that I made, which I then used to test the new glaze colours on. I like all the new colours but the one I’ve been most taken with is the black one – actually, it’s a lovely deep, very nearly black, chocolate brown. I look forward to glazing these mugs and sitting quietly with the kettle on and the teapot ready.