Yes, January and February consisted of mugs...lots of mugs. I had this wonderful opportunity to take a couple of short but intense classes from two incredibly talented potters that we have here in Eugene; Joe Davis and Lee Dwyer. Both classes were on mugs and handles. We discussed and learned about different forms, different techniques, textures, style, etc. It was a bit overwhelming, but so incredibly fun! Of course, I had to spend hours practicing, exploring, and adding my own flair through my glazing. I learned several new techniques on how to make handles through "pulling", plus some options through extrusion and slab building. Handles have always been my nemesis. They can be so futzy. I still have a lot to learn, but I feel that I now have at least a reasonably good baseline to work from and from there it is all about practice, explore, practice.
I also started exploring working with a different clay body. I love the super dark brown clay that I have been using now for several months and it remains my "go to" clay, but I wanted a lighter color that I like to use as much as the dark one. I have tried a few, but I think I have settled on two...one is a porcelain like stoneware that fires to a beautiful rich white. The other is a clay I found at our local "Georgies" (a pottery supply company here in Oregon) that fires to a truly lovely oatmeal. It doesn't have the iron and manganese that my dark brown clay does, so the glazes behave differently...but I have really enjoyed playing with it over the last two months. I just purchased another 100 lbs of it, so I will be using it for a couple of months at least. I still need to order another 100 lbs of the dark brown as well, but first...I need to get my hand working again as that is slowing down the entire process!
I made a few stemless wine goblets, a mitten-mug for my niece, a 12-oz travel mug for a friend (complete with silicone lid) - all of which were new forms for me. I think they all turned out reasonably well, but I can already see areas to be improved.
So yes, the first part of 2020 has been an exercise of Mug Madness. I look forward to seeing what the rest of the year brings!