Benefits of using handmade ceramic mugs
Using a handmade ceramic mug comes with a lot of benefits. Firstly, it adds a personal touch to your coffee experience. Unlike mass-produced mugs, handmade ones are unique and convey a sense of individuality. Each mug is made by hand, which means that no two mugs are the same. This uniqueness makes the experience of using a handmade ceramic mug that much more special.
Secondly, handmade ceramic mugs are often made from high-quality materials and are designed to last. Ceramic is a durable material that can withstand high temperatures, making it ideal for use with hot beverages like coffee or tea. Handmade ceramic mugs are also less likely to chip or crack, ensuring that they remain functional and aesthetically pleasing for years to come.
Lastly, by using a handmade ceramic mug, you are supporting small businesses and independent artists. Many ceramic artists rely on the sale of their handmade mugs to make a living. By purchasing a handmade mug, you are directly supporting their craft and helping to keep traditional techniques and skills alive.
History of ceramic mugs
Ceramic mugs have been around for centuries and have played a significant role in the history of coffee. The first ceramic mugs date back to the early 16th century and were made in China. These mugs were often adorned with intricate designs and patterns and were highly valued for their beauty and craftsmanship. As it happens, I travelled to in Jingdezhen, the “Porcelain Capital” in southern China in 2016 and took part in a ceramic workshop This brought about my own renewed interest and appreciation for the ancient art form.
As coffee began to gain popularity in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, ceramic mugs became more common. These mugs were often decorated with intricate designs and patterns and were considered a status symbol. In the 19th century, ceramic mugs became more mass-produced and were no longer considered a luxury item. Today, ceramic mugs are available in a wide range of styles and designs, and handmade ceramic mugs have become increasingly popular among coffee lovers. At Cre Ceramics we value neutral, functional and minimal designs. But of course, you can find something for everyone's taste, which I'll share more about shortly!
Types of handmade ceramic mugs
Handmade ceramic mugs come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. Here are some of the most popular types of handmade ceramic mugs:
This is the most common type of handmade ceramic mug. It has a cylindrical shape and a handle and is perfect for everyday use in the home, for coffee, tea or anything you choose. See ours here
Travel mugs are designed to be taken on the go. As we're talking ceramics here, be advised these will not be insulated to keep your coffee hot for longer. However, you can certainly source a lid to prevent spills and thus make it easier to enjoy the brew while walking or driving.
Espresso cups are smaller than traditional coffee mugs and are designed to hold a shot of espresso. They often have a unique shape and are perfect for espresso lovers. We've experimented for example with little handles you grasp rather than feed your finger through.
Soup mugs are larger than traditional coffee mugs and are designed to hold soup or other hot liquids. They often have a wider opening and a handle for easy carrying. Honestly, some tea fans want a large container so the soup mug category will serve multiple purposes in your home :)
Decorative mugs are designed to be more visually appealing than functional. They often have intricate designs and patterns and are perfect for display.
While strictly not a "mug", this vessel is a popular choice for coffee lovers. Given it has no handle, it wouldn't be advised for hot tea. However if you drink a white coffee (like a flat white), tumblers are perfect. Personally we hand our ceramic tumblers across most barista counters and they often enjoy the pour as much as we enjoy the sip! Take a look at our wavy tumblers here, we'll be customising them with coffee bean designs very soon too, stay tuned.
How to choose the perfect handmade ceramic mug
Let's face it, choosing the perfect handmade ceramic mug isn't exactly a daunting task. That said, we've seen many people at our market stalls deliberating for a while, shadow sipping from a few (drinking air!), and returning an hour later to make their choice. We love this! Once you find the style, shape and feel for you, it's a match made in heaven. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a handmade ceramic mug:
Size: Consider the size of the mug and whether it will hold the amount of coffee or tea that you typically drink.
Shape: Consider the shape of the mug and whether it is comfortable to hold and drink from.
Design: Consider the design of the mug and whether it fits your personal style and aesthetic.
Material: Consider the type of ceramic used to make the mug and whether it is durable and long-lasting. We use stoneware for all our work.
Artist: Consider the artist who made the mug and whether you want to support their craft.
Caring for your handmade ceramic mug
Caring for your handmade ceramic mug is essential to ensure that it remains in good condition. Here are some tips for caring for your handmade ceramic mug:
Hand wash: Hand wash your handmade ceramic mug with warm water and mild soap. Avoid using abrasive sponges or harsh chemicals that can damage the mug's surface.
Dry thoroughly: Dry your handmade ceramic mug thoroughly after washing to prevent moisture from accumulating and causing damage.
Avoid extreme temperatures: Avoid exposing your handmade ceramic mug to extreme temperatures, as this can cause it to crack or break.
Store carefully: Store your handmade ceramic mug carefully to prevent it from being knocked over or damaged.
Where to buy handmade ceramic mugs
There are many places to buy handmade ceramic mugs, both online and in-person. Here are some of the best places to buy handmade ceramic mugs:
Art fairs and markets
Many ceramic artists sell their handmade mugs at art fairs and markets. Attending these events is a great way to meet artists and see their work in person. You can learn more about events we attend here.
Local pottery studios
Many local pottery studios offer handmade ceramic mugs for sale. Check out your local pottery studio to see what they have to offer. Some favourites near us in South Melbourne include Ceramiques, Cones Studio and The Pot Dispensary.
Local homeware gift shops
These are a perfect place to find ceramics by local makers, often curated in a beautiful space to give you inspiration on how what might look best in your own home. Two of our favourites are Studio 309 and Merrick's General Store.
Handmade ceramic mug artists to follow on social media
There are many talented ceramic artists on social media who create beautiful handmade mugs. Here are some artists to follow on Instagram:
@kristinolds: Slow Crafted Ceramics. Living, learning and creating on Wurundjeri Land.
@studio__billie: Soy & Beeswax Candles | Linen | Glassware
@takeawei: Teaches fun Ceramics Classes and Courses, pottery wheel, hand building & private group sessions. Wathaurong lands, Torquay, Victoria
Using a handmade ceramic mug is a great way to elevate your coffee experience. Handmade ceramic mugs are unique, durable, and support small businesses and independent artists. When choosing a handmade ceramic mug, consider factors such as size, shape, design, material, and artist. Why settle for a boring and generic mug when you can sip in style with a handmade ceramic one? Share your favourite mug with us on social media if you found this useful :)