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The Perfect Mug

Oct 29, 2013

by Lisa Butterworth handmade and vintage goods

Fall might as well be called curl-up-on-the-couch-with-a-mug-of-something-warm season, because that’s all we want to do once the temperature dips and the days get shorter. Here at Etsy, we recommend breaking out the ceramics — pottery is having a serious heyday and there is nothing more satisfying to get cozy with. But what makes the perfect mug? In honor of our favorite cold-weather activity, we asked some of Etsy’s mug makers about the most important elements of their ideal vessel, and of course, what they like to put in it.

The one-of-a-kind characteristics of ceramic pieces are a large part of what makes them so appealing. “Each firing is different, so opening the kiln is like opening a giant birthday present every time,” says Liz Aldag, who makes simple, earthy stoneware in Durham, North Carolina, for her shop The Lulu Bird. “It never gets old!” And just as each handmade mug is unique, so is what makes someone fall in love with it. “I prefer a rounded shape so I can cup it nicely in my hands,” says Aldag. “And I like to see the raw clay somewhere on the piece.”

Letting the natural beauty of the original material shine is also important to Decatur, Georgia-based Anna Cole of Little Goats Play. Cole’s work features muted colors and she uses her fingers to create texture, an element she greatly appreciates when choosing her own vessel. “My perfect mug is one that lets me feel the warmth of the drink through the raw clay in my hands, yet find the smooth silky touch of glaze against my lips as I drink,” she says.

And of course, volume is important as well. For Lahla Deakins, the ceramicist behind Burning Fork Studio in Knoxville, Tennessee, it’s a crucial part of functionality: “[My mug] has to be the right size — a little smallish — to hold just enough coffee for me to finish before it gets too cold.” Deakins presses slabs of clay with lace before shaping her pieces and glazing them with vibrant colors; her mugs’ two-finger handles are another signature element.

Oli’s Cupboard creator Oli Divisova, a ceramicist in the Czech Republic whose work has an air of whimsy, makes note of the intangible element that might make you reach for the same mug over and over again. “It has to be really enjoyable to drink from — slightly thin edge, comfortable handle and full of good memories,” she says. “Once the mug becomes your favorite, it’s love forever.”

Hadley Sedgwick, who makes sculptures you can drink from for her Savannah Beach, Georgia-based shop Hadley Clay Studio, highlights how individual each person’s pick is going to be: “Much like art, you make a choice about what speaks to you,” she says. “Is it the image on the mug, the shape, size, color, weight? These are very personal decisions.”

So are the delicious things people decide to fill their favorite mugs with. For Divisova it’s hot wine that she enjoys in front of the fireplace; Deakins sips coffee with lots of cream while reading; Sedgwick sits fireside with her husband and some hot tea. As Cole mentions, a whole ritual can be built around a simple moment with a favorite mug: “I love to wake up early, before the sunrise, and pour a nice steamy cup of Earl Grey as I settle down into my comfy, overstuffed velvet armchair with my fluffy cat Lionel in my lap.”

Though Aldag likes to curl up on her flannel sheets with her laptop and tea or coffee, she points out that most moments can be made special: “A warm mug is just a home run on the comfort meter,” she says. “That’s one reason they make such good gifts — you can give someone a little bit of calm. Even a terrible day can be made better with a lovely cup of something warm!”

What makes your favorite mug special?

3 Featured Comments

  • jizbasusan

    Susan Jizba from TheWeaverOfWords said 6 years ago Featured

    For me the perfect mug is a really large one. I mean big. 20 oz is “too small”. So I can sip my vanilla cinnamon tea for a long lingering while, as the scent fills the air in my office. There’s nothing better than a wonderfully crafted handmade mug, unique and original with the characteristics of the potter. That’s the Good Stuff of Life!

  • ecarnellpotter

    Elisabeth Carnell from ecarnellpotter said 6 years ago Featured

    Drinking hot, spiced wine while I watch brightly colored leaves dancing in the evening wind is one of my favorite things about fall. Mugs are one of the most personal things in the kitchen, I think - a certain rim, size, shape, handle, or heft (not to mention texture, color, and decoration!) is necessary to make the mug *truly* ours... it's the piece/s we spend the most time with, day to day.

  • melissamayapottery

    Maya Rumsey from MelissaMayaPottery said 6 years ago Featured

    I feel so lucky to be included in this group of wonderful mugs! The thing I love about these Wandering Line mugs is the way the curve fits right into your hand. To me a perfect mug should fit like a glove, you never want to put it down. I absolutely love making mugs because while they're simple and everyday they are also an intimate object we become so attached to! Like you see in all these comments! Hooray for the tea/coffee/hot chocolate season coming up!


  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 6 years ago

    I love every single one of these mugs! My personal collection is amazing and I'm always looking for new mugs to continue its growth. These picks are beautiful!

  • PennyBirchWilliams

    Penny Birch-Williams from PennyBirchWilliams said 6 years ago

    Some terrific examples of the beautiful ceramics here on etsy. Such a wide range of shapes, colors, thicknesses, designs....something for everyone and anyone. I have always likes a somewhat rustic mug for hot cocoa, while for tea I like a more delicate feeling. I also have a large mug I love for soup. Makes me wish cold weather would arrive here (Florida) so hot beverages would be more appealing! I have given mugs as gifts in the past because they are so useful and lovely....I think maybe I'll look at putting them on my shopping list this holiday season :)

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage said 6 years ago

    I don't have a favorite mug yet, but one of these would do just fine! Great picks!

  • pretentiousAnne

    pretentiousAnne from pretentiousAnne said 6 years ago

    I love mugs that have a wide girth and smaller, tapered opening up top - like the Belly Tree Mug by FringeandFettle! The best for keeping warm winter drinks toasty longer!

  • cottonbirddesigns

    Angela Cotton from CottonBirdDesigns said 6 years ago

    Gorgeous collection of mugs!

  • littleshopofphotos

    Michele Iljazi from OneDecember said 6 years ago

    I love this post!!! I absolutely adore mugs, have quite the collection, and am always on the lookout for more special pieces to collect. All of these picks are so lovely and beautiful. My husband often makes fun of me because he says I "have a problem" with mugs! Ha! I am always finding new, fabulous mugs to bring home. :) Awesome segment - one of my favorites! There are so many beautiful and unique mugs here on Etsy. I enjoy a nice, big, uniquely-shaped mug with a large handle. Looks like I've discovered a few new favorites through this post!

  • magiczipzap

    MagicZipZap from MagicZipZap said 6 years ago

    I love these mugs. Awesome!

  • HansHolzkopf

    Natalie from HansHolzkopf said 6 years ago

    Beautiful mugs!!! I like a big mugs:) ! Love the Belly Tree Mug!

  • pretentiousAnne

    pretentiousAnne from pretentiousAnne said 6 years ago

    A mug as a gift for the holidays made by one of these artists would sure be more impressive than any old mug! Beautiful creations!

  • pretentiousAnne

    pretentiousAnne from pretentiousAnne said 6 years ago

    @Nataliya I agree about the Belly Tree Mug

  • jizbasusan

    Susan Jizba from TheWeaverOfWords said 6 years ago Featured

    For me the perfect mug is a really large one. I mean big. 20 oz is “too small”. So I can sip my vanilla cinnamon tea for a long lingering while, as the scent fills the air in my office. There’s nothing better than a wonderfully crafted handmade mug, unique and original with the characteristics of the potter. That’s the Good Stuff of Life!

  • beadyiz

    WS Carmichael said 6 years ago

    Love this post -- I thought I was the only one seeking out the perfect mug! Isn't wonderful that perfection comes in so many different forms?!?

  • pumpkiandmo

    Kathi from PumpkiAndMo said 6 years ago

    Wow, it's hard to make a choice which one to choose if I'd have to :) Beautiful insight!

  • dorothydomingo

    Dorothy Domingo from dorothydomingo said 6 years ago

    I like larger mugs that can hold at least 15 ounces of coffee, but shape and surface decoration are important as well as the placement of the handle. I collect and use other potters' mugs; using only my work is like only talking to myself! Drinking from another artist's cup is like having a conversation with them.

  • EdelweissPost

    Patrick from EdelweissPost said 6 years ago

    Mugs are the big cumfy couches of the tea-cup world. They make it good to be inside and out of the cold.

  • callunamuse

    Heather from CallunaMuse said 6 years ago

    Oh these are the cutest mugs! I couldn't pick just one for sure! Beautifully handmade mugs filled with coffee (or espresso if it's a tough morning ;) )make the perfect mug for me!

  • FireIslandSoap

    Billy Bubbles from FireIslandSoap said 6 years ago

    Oh that's awesome! I took some pottery classes in college and I loved it - keep up the great work, best wishes!

  • babaluccia1

    Babaluccia-FATTO con AMOre from Babaluccia said 6 years ago

    I love to drink tea in the cup for me she should be velvety to the touch and a rounded shape to wrap your hands on it the color should be romantic...!!!

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat said 6 years ago

    For me, a mug has to have a thin rim to drink from & a big enough handle for at least 3 fingers, & I prefer straight, parallel sides to tapered or rounded. It also helps if it's totally unbreakable, as I get absolutely devastated when I break my favourite mug! I actually have favourite mug/spoon combinations, so the spoon in question measures out exactly the right amount of whatever I'm drinking in that particular mug. In winter weather there's nothing quite like hot chocolate with marshmallows to make the world seem a little kinder...

  • FluffyFlowers

    FluffyFlowers from FluffyFlowers said 6 years ago

    Yes, the perfect mug is required for my morning coffee. I have only one that works perfectly featuring a super cute monster. It was made by one of my fellow Plush Team members and I can't have my morning coffee without it. In fact, I'm notorious for leaving my coffee cup in the strangest of places so that I'm forced to hunt all over hell's half acre looking for it in the morning. Odd places I've found it over the years: in my shower, in my car, outside on a garden bench. I love my mug! :)

  • kgpaintings

    Kirsten Gilmore from PaintingsByKEGilmore said 6 years ago

    My favorite mug by far is one with cocoa and large, half-melted marshmallows inside. ;)

  • whichgoose

    Emily Suidikas from whichgoose said 6 years ago

    Love these little insights from the designers!!! I have much respect for ceramicists (btw -- I never knew that was the proper word for a potter!)

  • chARiTyelise

    Charity Hofert from chARiTyelise said 6 years ago

    wow-- i love to talk mugs :o) All of these mugs that are featured are just exquisite!! i love them all! i sure would love to see some more color here though.... Showcasing beautiful mugs would be a great time to throw in some color, don't you think?

  • landdelements

    Kelly from LANDDelements said 6 years ago

    its hard to find a good mug. I love these

  • TreadleLady

    Donna Kohler from TreadleLady said 6 years ago

    We do have favorite mugs and for different reasons! I also like a smooth edge for the lips, smallish mug so morning coffee doesn't get cold too quickly and I like a white matt finish. We've had a set of white mugs for years and when we bought a new set of dishes I realized I couldn't give up my favorite white mugs.

  • SusanFaye

    Susan Faye from SusanFayePetProjects said 6 years ago

    Great picks! There's nothing like a beautifully crafted stoneware mug to sip a warm beverage from! I always look for a handle that is a perfect, comfortable fit for my hand, and those with a thumb rest get extra brownie points. Most important are the glazes and surface decoration... I lean toward matte glazes and speckles. Bring on the hot cocoa!

  • LittleTinyChef

    TinyCookies from TinyCookies said 6 years ago

    Cute mugs!

  • JNpottery

    Judy Nevius from JNpottery said 6 years ago

    Charity, I agree. As nice as neutral tones can be, without some color, life is dull! I love my mug collection, both those I have made and those I have gotten from other potters.

  • DesignerPillowShop

    Samantha from DesignerPillowShop said 6 years ago

    Hot wine?? Don't think I could do that one, but a hot cup of coffee (what I live on) or a hot cup of cocoa... Mmmm yum!

  • Splendere

    Pearlie from Splendere said 6 years ago

    My mug has been with me for almost two decades now. It lasted because somehow I always take special care when washing it. I bought it from a charity fair and it's hand-painted!

  • ecarnellpotter

    Elisabeth Carnell from ecarnellpotter said 6 years ago Featured

    Drinking hot, spiced wine while I watch brightly colored leaves dancing in the evening wind is one of my favorite things about fall. Mugs are one of the most personal things in the kitchen, I think - a certain rim, size, shape, handle, or heft (not to mention texture, color, and decoration!) is necessary to make the mug *truly* ours... it's the piece/s we spend the most time with, day to day.

  • kararane

    Kara Rane from kararane said 6 years ago

    Color !! touch, shape, friendship..memories.. and of course handmade love.

  • valeriephoto

    Valerie from valeriestitchery said 6 years ago

    My best friend is a potter. I have one of her mugs that she made when we were just out of college and it's interesting to see how much better her mugs have gotten over the years. Thumb placement is key! I need a place to put my thumb and fingers so I don't burn myself on the mug. She's solved that problem.

  • Iammie

    iammie from iammie said 6 years ago

    Love them!

  • realfaery

    realfaery from realfaery said 6 years ago

    I am really a mug fun. But I have only one at the time. The latest I have for a few years, from a very good potter. I just can't leave it behind, it travels with me though Europe. I think it has to break for me to buy another one, but it will be definitely from Etsy.

  • flowerandpearlstudio

    Peggy Hamlin from FlowerandPearlStudio said 6 years ago

    I think the perfect mug for me is kind of rounded with and interesting smooth undulating suface. Also, I love it when a potter uses glaze effects that causes interesting patterns. It is like drinking out of a little piece of abstract art.

  • debvasbinder

    Deb Vasbinder from BabyCuteBaby said 6 years ago

    Great Mugs!

  • BrendaWattsWoodwork

    Brenda Watts from CattailsWoodwork said 6 years ago

    Another lover of the bare clay showing...I have a few favorites I have received from Etsy potters..not too big, wonderful to hold, beautiful to look at.

  • hadleyclay

    Hadley Sedgwick from hadleyclay said 6 years ago

    Great story, Lisa! Thank you so much for including my shop among such amazing talent. This story is perfect this time of year! I love reading everyone's personal relationships with their mugs!

  • patspottery

    Pat Parker from PatsPottery said 6 years ago

    I make so many mugs, I could do them in my sleep:>) My personalized mugs have some bare clay showing, but the rest are completely glazed. Tried some new ones, with the saucer attached and my customers seem to love them♥ Love the one that are shown here too!!

  • BeadingTimes

    Zeynep from ZeyJewel said 6 years ago

    georgeous collection!! love it!!

  • islandgirlpottery

    Jacqueline Allard from IslandGirlPottery said 6 years ago

    Great picks all. Hadleys is so stinking cute!

  • BTSoulArt

    Brian at RetroAesthetic from RetroAesthetic said 6 years ago

    I've got to agree... Hadley's is absolutely adorable. A raccoon you can get close to! ;)

  • melissamayapottery

    Maya Rumsey from MelissaMayaPottery said 6 years ago Featured

    I feel so lucky to be included in this group of wonderful mugs! The thing I love about these Wandering Line mugs is the way the curve fits right into your hand. To me a perfect mug should fit like a glove, you never want to put it down. I absolutely love making mugs because while they're simple and everyday they are also an intimate object we become so attached to! Like you see in all these comments! Hooray for the tea/coffee/hot chocolate season coming up!

  • fineartstoneware

    fineartstoneware from fineartstoneware said 6 years ago

    Great collection of mugs here!

  • rosannaburford

    Rosanna Burford from RosannaBurford said 6 years ago

    What a wonderful collection of mugs! I have a great collection myself and find so much joy in using 'the mug of my choice' for every cup of tea :)

  • fourbabyzzzz

    Janice-Lynne Varner from FourBabyzzzz said 6 years ago

    Great collection of mugs. Love the lace print one. Need to go get a mug of coffee now...

  • fancy4u

    fancy4u from BrushAndFeather said 6 years ago

    i'm ready to throw out all my coffee mugs and go shopping here, these are so great!

  • xZOUix

    Zoui from XZOUIX said 6 years ago

    i've been lookin' for THE right coffee mug for quite a while now...♥ thank you so very much for posting this article! ;---)

  • gardenmis

    Priscilla from Gardenmis said 6 years ago

    The perfect mug is truly a treasure!

  • PaperSynthesis

    Lisa McGarry from PaperSynthesis said 6 years ago

    I can truly relate to this wonderful post (lots of nods of agreement as I read through). I choose my cup/mug according to what I'm drinking - something chunkier for coffee or hot chocolate, and thinner/finer for tea. But really it matters also on the mood I'm in or the time of day - or what I might be eating alongside my hot drink. In picking out a new cup to buy, I will consider the color, the shape, the size & the general proportions; it's the right combination of all these factors that determines which I choose...more of an instinctual thing in the end. I think my favorites are a set of four made by a local artist: brown with a glaze of cream/pale lavender around the edges (and of course each is a little different from the other). Happy drinking to all of those passionate about what they drink from!

  • jillatay

    Jill from jillatay said 6 years ago

    The EtsyMudTeam is having its annual mug swap this month, I always get 2 or 3 new mugs that way, some I love so much I'm afraid to use them so they sit proudly on my special shelf. Of course all potters feel this way but stoneware and porcelain are magical materials that sing when you touch them. Hadley, your mug is so adorable.

  • Misspottery

    Melissa from MissPottery said 6 years ago

    As you can see from my avatar, I am also a mug maker. Love to make them and love to collect them too. It's nice to see a big write up about all the handmade pottery available here on Etsy. There is something for everyone.

  • ThomasHouhaDesigns

    Tom and Patty Houha from ThomasHouhaDesigns said 6 years ago

    Very nice collection. Thanks for sharing.

  • LomaPrietaPottery

    Terry Parker from LomaPrietaPottery said 6 years ago

    I love mugs - both having and using a variety and making them! I always have a favorite mug that I use daily -- although the specific mug changes when I find a new favorite. And I am very picky about handles -- they need to both look and feel good relative to the mug they are attached to. I can usually tell by looking if the handle is going to feel good! Terrific collection of mugs in this post.

  • richdon1

    Rich and Dona from TheCottageMouse said 6 years ago

    I myself prefer a small mug, however I love all the wonderful picks you have above. I use my large clay mugs for decoration. Love this post. Thanks.

  • NatureCity

    Brandt from NatureCity said 6 years ago

    Great article! I own hadleyclay's bear mug and am coo-coo for it! It holds the fire in my work space while I'm away. :)

  • genisepark

    Genise Park from genisepark said 6 years ago

    I love a good mug!! Great post.

  • EarthElements

    Kathi from EarthElements said 6 years ago

    Gotta love a handmade mug. ........ Looking forward to the etsy mudt teams mug swap coming up in another week too.

  • brucepark

    Bruce Park from BruceParkArts said 6 years ago

    Nothing better than a hot cup of tea in my favorite mug. These are some awesome replacements! Great article.

  • lovelygifts

    Linda from lovelygifts said 6 years ago

    Nothing like a favorite mug! Love them!

  • lisaleonhardt

    Lisa Leonhardt from leonhardtceramics said 6 years ago

    Handmade mugs=best mugs ever!

  • BirdEnergy

    Genise Park from GeniseParkArts said 6 years ago

    Love this a good mug.

  • jennyblasenpottery

    Jenny from jennyblasenpottery said 6 years ago

    My cupboards are overflowing with mugs! I try to collect them from other potters I meet at art fairs. Have a few favorites right now, one from Jean's Clay Studio here on Etsy and one from a local potter here in Madison.

  • agebo

    Ann Cosgrove from acbcDesign said 6 years ago

    Beautiful finds - think I might have to add one to my christmas wish list!

  • lanieves

    Leslie Nieves from TamarackStoneware said 6 years ago

    From this blog post and the usual grey and beige fare on the Front Page, one would never guess that there are absolutely gorgeous and colorful mugs available on Etsy. Keep looking and you'll be rewarded.

  • ejaejovna

    Nyuta Orlova from EjaEjovna said 6 years ago

    So beautiful finds! Love them all!

  • ikabags

    IKA PARIS from ikabags said 6 years ago

    Mugs great for us , great with friends :) Mugs means a lot :)

  • GeorgieGirlLLC

    D George from GeorgieGirlLLC said 6 years ago

    Awesome choices! Thanks for sharing!

  • anamariah

    Ana Maria from TimelessBeautyVtg said 6 years ago


  • BarkingSandsVintage

    Jeni Sandberg from BarkingSandsVintage said 6 years ago

    I bought one of my favorite mugs from Jennifer Hill, a ceramic artist I found here on Etsy (mikioiceramics). I was headed to Kauai on vacation and did a local search to see what sorts of Etsy sellers I might come across while I was there. I was in touch with Jennifer before my trip and she custom designed a b-i-g coffee cup for me, similar to the smaller sake cups she had listed. Each side is incised with a rooster--appropriate for that morning wake up, and if you've ever been to Kauai, you know that chickens are everywhere! I picked up the mug from Jennifer in her Kauai studio--more than 5,000 miles from home!--and have enjoyed using my one-of-a-kind mug ever since.

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage from accentonvintage said 6 years ago

    Great finds!

  • potsnpurses

    nelle from nelledesign said 6 years ago

    absolutely gorgeous selections. I want them ALL!!!

  • amysfunkyfibers

    Amy Gunderson from amysfunkyfibers said 6 years ago

    Our local art's center had a fundraiser for the soup kitchen. The soup was served in bowls and mugs made and donated by artists- great idea!

  • dovies

    Lindsay Finch-Field from DOVIESlovingKNITS said 6 years ago

    I am a huge coffee drinker, i love these mugs. \the top one is my favorite and then the cushion ones. WOW

  • keep04605

    Betsy Keep from Betsysbijoux said 6 years ago

    Great mugs but you left out the perfect for a guy, mega mug with the oversized handle for a fellow to really muckle onto!

  • spinningstarstudio

    Jennifer Hanson from spinningstarstudio said 6 years ago

    I love making mugs with cat and dog faces on them. I paint on the faces with wax resist so each one is a little different. It's especially fun when they are all lined up on the table waiting to be glazed. I always want my mugs to be the favorite one that gets used every morning!

  • slathered

    Sharon Moores from slathered said 6 years ago

    Thank you for this post! I love handmade mugs, so it's wonderful to hear the makers talk about what's crucial to them. I have a zillion mugs, but there's just 2 or 3 I gravitate to most of the time. Nothing beats hot cocoa warming your hands in your favorite mug.

  • superveshmashina

    Monika from MozakNaPasiCeramics said 6 years ago

    Great mug collection! I can imagine having each one in my cupboard! Since I've started working with clay, I begun to apreciate hand made mugs, and as a part of the Etsy Mud Team, I see my colleague potters make beautiful ones, a state of art. Thank you for this post, it really inspires!

  • carnevaleclay

    carnevaleclay from carnevaleclay said 6 years ago

    honored to be among these potters! thank you so much!

  • FoxyGloves23

    Marie Cashin from MEmbroideries said 6 years ago

    Love the imaginativeness in this collection!

  • ecarnellpotter

    Elisabeth Carnell from ecarnellpotter said 6 years ago

    I have a set of those listed, Betsy Keep! :) Dainty, they're not!

  • ClayLickCreekPottery

    Karen Fiorino from ClayLickCreekPottery said 6 years ago

    Very beautiful mugs picked and shown--Hadley's raccoon is a sweetie. I understand the grey theme for this collection, but personally, I like a splash of color on my mugs. Check out the Etsy Mud Team's potters and the big selection of mugs in all sorts of colors available!

  • creativeclassics

    creativeclassics from creativeclassics said 6 years ago

    My favourite mug is one that I was given as a Christmas present many years ago. It has blue and white hoops and "Queens Park Rangers" in red lettering. Yes, it's a football mug, but it's been with me through university, moving back home and now it's in London with me in my flat. I hope it's still around when I'm ready to move into my own house :D It's been with me so long I know I'll cry when it inevitably breaks.

  • Nikifashion

    Natalia from Nikifashion said 6 years ago

    Very nice cups!

  • BHBKidstyle

    BHBKidstyle from BHBKidstyle said 6 years ago

    Wonderful mugs! They are essential in my life! :)

  • Agasart

    Aga from AgasJourney said 6 years ago

    Gorgeous selection. Perfect for winter time and not only.

  • tammi885

    Tammi Young from FrenchRobinDesigns said 6 years ago

    Beautiful work. Hard to pick a favorite. I especially love the descriptions from the artists. I may select a few for Christmas gifts. Thanks for sharing!

  • needleyou

    Leslie Richardson Dryg from NeedleYou said 6 years ago

    Lovely to read! Just got into pottery and mastering an awesome mug for me is high on the wheel spinning list. : D

  • MakeMeUnique

    Tara from CrowdCapture said 6 years ago

    Great mugs! Mugs tend to be very special. Especially individual designed ones. My brother bought a mug for my mums birthday with a childhood picture of me and my brother on with love hearts going all the way round it. She loved it so much and its now placed on the kitchen window ledge.

  • Themissingtagvintage

    Caroline and Brandon Matey from TheMissingTagVintage said 6 years ago

    Incredible finds! I'm so into handmade ceramic mugs. I have a couple handful of favorites I need to decide on buying soon for our home. :)

  • jesusochando

    Jesús Ochando from JesusOchando said 6 years ago

    You do a fantastic job Lisa I love taking my hot coffee while working in the studio. All the best

  • biscuitcuit

    Neus Batllori Bas from BiscuitCuit said 6 years ago

    I am so very happy to see my mugs here! What can I say? I love using mugs. I have my favorite one for tea, the one for morning coffee, the perfect one for hot chocolate, and even one for ice cream. : )

  • riskybeads

    Lori from riskybeads said 6 years ago

    I like mine big enough for a huge bowl of soup!

  • MintEDesigns

    Mint Evans said 6 years ago

    I love the unusual raccoon mug made by Hadley Sedgwick. I’ve been a fan of her work for a very long time and her creativity never fails her audience.

  • StylishKiddies

    StylishKiddies from StylishKiddies said 6 years ago

    Just Beautiful love those mugs

  • thelulubird

    Liz Aldag from TheLuluBird said 6 years ago

    I'm so honored to be featured among these great potters!

  • firenflux1

    Emily Adams and Dana Paredes from firenfluxhandmade said 6 years ago

    I love to make and use large mugs so I can savor the coffee or tea longer. I also love color in my mugs and look for mugs that not only have a great shape, but great textures too. That's why I carve all my pots. Holding that mug in your hands is such a tactile experience I want something interesting to tantalize my fingers with!

  • NirvanaRoad

    Lisa from NirvanaRoad said 6 years ago

    Fabulous gift ideas!

  • woodiphonecases

    Wood Iphone Cases from WoodiPhoneCases said 6 years ago

    these are amazing really feeling the one from the BurningForkStudio Also PaperandClayStudio, they look like small pans. I mean that in a good way, It has a cool look to them and the handles

  • kmccarte

    Katie W from CraftyGirlMerch said 6 years ago

    All of the mugs shown look perfect for hot chocolate. :)

  • babsfsu

    Barbara Gable from CrazyLovely said 6 years ago

    gah! I love a perfect mug. volume & shape is key!

  • alethiah

    Alethia from FortnersFinds said 6 years ago

    Great read!

  • BambuEarth

    Amber from BambuEarth said 6 years ago

    I love all of the textures. ♥♥♥

  • aressa

    aressa from OriginalBridalHanger said 6 years ago

    Love your work...

  • brookhousepottery

    Dorothy Brady from brookhousepottery said 6 years ago

    A mug is such a personal choice and people tend to have their favorite. I make and sell mugs and always love to hear the comments of the buyer as to why they are choosing a particular mug either for a gift or for themselves. Color, texture and size are so individual and then how it feels in ones hand. I go for color first in choosing.

  • oliandoli

    Oli Divisova from OlisCupboard said 6 years ago

    Great topic! Lovely article. I feel honored to be part of this! Thanks Lisa

  • kathyjohnson3

    Kathy Johnson from kathyjohnson3 said 6 years ago

    I'd have a hard time just picking one, love them all, so cute!

  • StayArtisan

    J.K. Ramirez from HudsonBlueArtisans said 6 years ago

    beautifull.... lets move way from disposables.

  • WomanShopsWorld

    Carter Seibels Singh from WomanShopsWorld said 6 years ago

    There are few things in life more soothing for me than settling in at night with a cup of chamomile tea, in my favorite mug. Lovely finds here...maybe I'll find a new favorite!

  • TwoStylishSisters

    Aubrey and Nicole Goulet from TwoStylishSisters said 6 years ago

    I love a great mug, especially one that is XXL to accommodate the copious amount of caffeine I require to be a functional human. The mugs featured here would all make lovely additions to my collection :)

  • Fiume

    Erin O'Rourke from Aruguletta said 6 years ago

    I guess I have a more unsophisticated taste in mugs. The one I always reached for had a cartoon of two bears and said Friends Make it Bearable. That is until it spontaneously cracked along its length and drained its contents. But its cheesy, easy humor always made me laugh.

  • nativestrandsjewelry

    Rachel from PeppersJewelry said 6 years ago

    I like the tree mug. Very striking color contrast.

  • needleandfelt

    Amy from needleandfelt said 6 years ago

    My favorite mug is one that my son painted. He painted a mouth and vampire teeth, I think he was 8? I asked him why he painted just the mouth? He said because he mad a cupula. I thought that was brilliantly clever

  • needleandfelt

    Amy from needleandfelt said 6 years ago


  • foxpots

    Carole Fox from foxpots said 6 years ago

    Every person's hand is different. The mug has to feel right in hand - balanced weight, comfortable handle, smooth lip. Some people like to hold mugs with one hand; some with two, wrapping one around the body. I make mugs in different sizes and shapes for those reasons. I think the mug is the most personal of all the ceramic forms.


    DEMET from DEMET said 6 years ago

    I love every single one of them :)))

  • madmud

    Madeleine Hall-Arber from madmud said 6 years ago

    This is a fascinating thread--so many wonderful creations and such diverse favorites! I started making flamingo mugs some years ago as a tribute to an artist in our town who loved plastic flamingos--then found that great blue herrings make a striking statement. That led to special orders for blue-footed boobies, a wonderful grey parrot, an octopus and a host of other critters. My latest favorite is an espresso cup with a squid hiding under the handle!

  • LaurenBauschOriginal

    Lauren O'Quinn from LaurenBauschOriginal said 6 years ago

    I'm an avid collector and creator of mugs too. I think mugs are one of the better examples of my pottery. I also love color, larger mugs (but I also have small ones too), throw lines or other textures, but most importantly: the handle... Handles are a great challenge that never gets old. A great mug must have a nice handle, and rim, and form...Wow! So much depends on a mug...

  • TheMudPlace

    Leslie from TheMudPlace said 6 years ago

    I just love a good mug! Once I have one I love, no one is allowed to touch it too. Thank you for writing this.

  • 8point8

    8point8 from ThinkEco2 said 6 years ago

    I really love the Autumn mug. It is very special.

  • Netters272

    Jnet and Em from JnetsJunque said 6 years ago

    Ditto on the autumn mug

  • bellefast

    Bellefast Dames from Earringsnumber1 said 6 years ago

    Some terrific examples of the beautiful ceramics here on etsy. Such a wide range of shapes, colors, thicknesses and designs....something for everyone and anyone. Great job!!!

  • TealPoodle

    TealPoodle from TealPoodle said 6 years ago

    Amazing mugs! They are all so perfect.

  • FawningInLove

    Fawning Inlove from FawningInLove said 6 years ago

    These are all very unique!

  • SeaCoastJewels

    Samantha LeBlanc from SeaCoastJewels said 6 years ago

    I love Etsy for all it's unique artisans. These mugs are gorgeous! They'd make wonderful gifts!

  • TheBloomingHare

    Gretchen Ellen Powers from TheBloomingHare said 6 years ago

    There is nothing like a grand mug! It makes the entire hot beverage experience so much better, and becomes a good friend!

  • mosmea

    francesca mosmea from MosMea said 6 years ago

    wonderful selection!

  • aquarellesparis

    ChG Aquarelles from ArtbyChG said 6 years ago

    i like the black and white mug :) hello from Paris

  • leafprintstudio

    Camille from leafprintstudio said 6 years ago

    My favorite mugs always get broken, probably because they get used the most!

  • kelcinator13

    Kelcey Murray from InfiniteLoveDesign said 6 years ago

    As it comes closer to winter having that perfect mug makes sipping tea or lattes that much more enjoyable. I love the uniqueness of all of these mugs and love listening to the creators and how much passion they have for their business. I cant wait to have my own home and fill my cabinets with different and unique mugs!

  • Kam2012

    Kam from RiverGoddessBoutique said 6 years ago

    Fab selection!

  • allisonshafer

    Allison Gross from OakLeafCrafts said 6 years ago

    I have a passion for not only making mugs, but also collecting them. I consider myself to have a bit of a collecting problem actually. My favorite mug fits just right into my hands, has a soft matte glaze finish, and fits just the right amount of coffee in it. Mmm... I think that I might go make some coffee now.... Thanks for posting. I loved this.

  • silverlily786

    Fatema from SilverLilyJewelry said 6 years ago

    Oh the search for the perfect mug! too wide and your drink gets too cold, to small not enough for me, pretty design with a small handle hubbys fingers don't fit.

  • InMaterial

    Peggy McCallum from InMaterial said 6 years ago

    I have been searching for the perfect mug for years. It has to be the right weight - not too light and definitely not too heavy. The handle has to fit my fingers perfectly and it has to fit a latte. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who loves a good coffee mug. I wish I could buy them all!

  • rumpleshop

    Rumple from AnemoneReadsPaperie said 6 years ago

    Oh, mugs are difficult! Needs to be large, at least 16oz. Handle must be large enough to fit all my fingers in comfortably. Lip has to be just so that the last drop doesn't spill down the side. Most important - one made for left-handers! Most mugs have the decoration on the left of the handle, so right-handers can enjoy the design. And left-handers only get a blank side. So I doubly appreciate it when mug designers take the left handed minority into consideration! My favorites mugs have admittedly been from Starbucks. They just know their stuff!

  • bpdmso

    Mary from MarySanzJewelry said 6 years ago

    Beautifull, I Love them all.

  • taylorvictoriaa

    Taylor Cannon from RetroFriday said 6 years ago

    These are all so beautiful! I collect coffee mugs (I guess that's my "weird" thing) so I am fawning over these

  • AbFabTea

    Lynne and Leslie Galluzzo from AbFabTea said 6 years ago

    My mom and I have our tea business. We are both big mug drinkers and have found that with our blends that it is a must to have it be good even in the biggest mug.

  • MiriamsKiln

    Miriam Loory Krombach from MiriamsKiln said 6 years ago

    A good mug has to be the right size and weight. It needs to be thick enough that the drink stays warm and large enough for whatever size coffee or tea the owner wants each day. Everyone in our house has their own favorite!

  • Kirameku

    Maxime from Kirameku said 6 years ago

    Lovely mugs, they are great for the cold weather we're having these days in Montreal :S For me, a good mug is not too heavy, yet very large so you can pour a lot of tea in it and allow it not to ''cool off'' as soon as it hits the ceramic surface. It needs to be large so there is no waste in tea or time when I'm sitting down at my studio. It also need to be heat proof so I don't burn my fingers off as soon as I take the cup into my hand : )

  • Bessiescreations

    Bessie from BessiesCreations said 6 years ago

    Oh I love mugs! I like to use my mug for most of my drinks except water :-). They are so special and unique :-)

  • BretPendlebury

    Bret Pendlebury from BretPendlebury said 6 years ago

    ill take one for whisky! cheers!

  • belflew

    belflew said 6 years ago

    I'm such a mug fanatic. I have three shelves full, many from etsy, all gorgeous and lovely to hold. They have to be large, so my tea or coffee or cocoa can keep me company for a long time! I'm drinking from this one right now: Here are a couple more I love:

  • TheCupcakeMarket

    Julie Lynn from imjulielynn said 6 years ago

    Very cool! I love mugs and drink tons of coffee/tea. :)

  • fedepug95

    Federica Moretti said 6 years ago

    I just love mugs, don't know why but I litterally have a thing for them. I have lots and my mother has now started hating me because they don't fit anymore in the cupboard, oops! I can't help buying them when I seen one that catches my attention, like love at first sight! I use them all the time :) my favourite one is red with white pois. They're lovely, that's all :)

  • JudyBFreeman

    Judy Freeman from JudyBFreeman said 6 years ago

    In search of the perfect mug. It's such a personal thing and needs to be well thought out. From the top, the lip needs to be nice and smooth, and slightly tapered, heading down the body of the mug, I love a mug with a bit of a waist so that I have a place to rest my hands as I wrap them around the warm mug on a chilly day. I also like them to be a bit larger in the bottom so that they can keep the beverage warm. For the handles, again this has to be thought through, I love to have a place to rest my thumb as well as if I have a large mug with a full load I like a place to land my pinky for stability. I like the handle to be large enough and go out enough so that I can get all of my fingers through without having to touch the outside of the mug and burn my fingers. That's happened to me with some gorgeous mugs, and it breaks my heart. I love vibrant surface decoration. so often our mugs are brought to work and in our offices and a fabulously decorated mug brightens up our environment. I'm a mug collector and mug maker and over the years have given the art of mug a lot of thought. Finding the right one can be such a celebration.

  • bbrunophotography

    Bonnie Bruno from BonnieBruno said 6 years ago

    My favorite mug used to be a small retro mug my mom brought back from a trip when I was a teen. Later, it changed to a sweet mug with a certain grandbaby's picture smiling back at me. Lately, I find myself pouring my early-morning coffee into an oversized Christmas mug that I received from a dear friend whom I met the week before she was to have a kidney transplant. That mug is just the right size, with just the right handle and a cheerful print. It has a crack along its rim, which refuses to leak (so far) and which only adds to its charm. Most of all, it reminds me of the importance of special people who sweeten my life.

  • dominna

    Katrina Dzerkale from Dominna said 6 years ago

    Ou, i loved the fox mug :)

  • jewelrycollectibles

    Peggy Johnson from jewelrycollectibles said 6 years ago

    My perfect cup is lightweight and made of porcelain. White. Has a shear thinness and the light can almost shine through it. Who makes my perfect cup?

  • Jugosa

    Jugosa Poliakov from Jugosa said 6 years ago

    I love mugs

  • jzsedlockpottery

    jackie sedlock from jackiesedlockpottery said 6 years ago

    Mugs are essential. We drink from them, eat out of them, scoop stuff with them, use them for isntruments.. The perfect mug. About 8 oz keeps my coffee hot. 3 finger handle. Stout, not too thin, not too thick. And a lip that curves out just a slight bit to meet my lips. What a sweet collection here!

  • pookdesignz

    Amanda Gwynne-Farrish from pookdesignz said 6 years ago

    I love mugs too - will need to purchase a few of those hand sculpted and hand painted mugs here on Etsy - the mugs I have are just a generic bunch bought from a major retailer - they suffice but the ones featured here really give mugs true definition of what a mug ought to be!

  • pookdesignz

    Amanda Gwynne-Farrish from pookdesignz said 6 years ago

    The mugs featured here truly give definition to what a mug ought to be - will look into purchasing a set sometime soon - as my own set is a generic brand from a major retailer - white, plain, flat - booring! So I definitely need to shop for a great set of mugs on Etsy:)

  • houseofmark

    Salpie and Karena from HouseOfMark said 6 years ago

    I love these mugs! They are the cutest mugs I've ever seen.

  • debcottages

    Debbie McFarland from MemoryCottages said 6 years ago

    Very cute mugs! One can never have enough mugs for different needs. Really big ones to hold soup are my fave.

  • katherinedooren

    katherine Lenz from 214EVER said 6 years ago

    You can try the popular mug with peoples photos on it. And it will change color with the temperture. I think it will be great. :)

  • LauraBoyea

    Laura Boyea from LauraBoyea said 6 years ago

    As a long time barista and lover of cozy afternoons- this was a perfect read on a November day! Thanks for showcasing these beautiful mugs.

  • JWadeGalleries

    Jason Wade from JWadeGalleries said 6 years ago

    very artistic touches

  • SharsArtPottery

    Sharlene Sieloff from SharsArtPottery said 6 years ago

    This was a great post. I collect pottery and as a potter myself I get the true meaning of "handmade". The spirit of the potter/artist lives on in what he/she makes. This is what makes all mugs very special.

  • chicethnic

    Turkish Carpets Pillows from chicethnic said 6 years ago

    For me the perfect mug shoould be very fine so that i will enjoy my coffee

  • weavinghands

    Julia Astreou-Christoforou from JuliaAstreou said 6 years ago

    Beautiful mugs bring tea/coffee drinking experience to a whole new level :)

  • dakinestuff

    wayne L.D. from NiceKineStuff said 6 years ago

    Wow! I've never given "Mugs" much thought until now! I'm going to have experiment with this! I guess a mug can become very personal huh? I don't drink coffee but I do drink tea! I don't have a favorite mug! Very interesting! I'll just have to find one! Thanx for the heads up!!! LOL!

  • TheresasGourmet

    Theresa Ryales from TheresasGourmet said 6 years ago

    Absolutely wonderful... I love coffee mugs especially BIG ones!!

  • hotzbonnie

    Bonnie Hotz from PotterybyBonnieHotz said 6 years ago

    Has to feel good in my hand...good balance, good weight, nice shaped handle that allows me pick the mug up, tilt it to my lips and not have to think about where to put my fingers or why my wrist is hurting! ...the rim: not too thick, not too thin. The form should fit the design and there should be a design! Right now I'm into carved designs and patterns! And finally the clay body ... I like mine toasty if it's stoneware and really smooth and white if it's porcelain. That's my 2 cents worth.

  • nivesratkajec

    Nives R W from PotsbyNives said 6 years ago

    Great collection of mugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • sweetmud

    Cara Long from SweetMudClayWorks said 6 years ago

    As a ceramicist myself, I'm so happy to see this post! Those of us who make utilitarian work always love to hear how people are not only using our wares, but adoring them for years. I personally enjoy using and collecting mugs & cups that are a little on the smaller size but with nice voluminous forms, and masterfully glazed with subtle colors.

  • lindyjean

    Linda from bitsokits said 6 years ago

    my perfect work mug is a very ugly souvenir mug my boss brought me back from Disneyworld. while ugly, it has a perfectly ergonomic handle of the proper heft and balance, and a deep cup that holds A LOT of coffee. he's brought me several other mugs, but this one remains my favorite. at home, i have a couple of favorites---including, sorry to admit it, a white Starbucks cup that is shaped quite like my ugly work mug. I also have a big, thick brown one from Yosemite with a bear on it. it's cute and feels good in the hand.

  • thetinbox

    Shoshona Snow from thetinbox said 6 years ago

    I could make mugs all day... I have a huge collection of mugs from my friends and fellow potters.

  • LisaCHEERMaD

    Lisa Welsh from CHEERMaD said 6 years ago

    What a beautiful display of original and unique mugs! YES PLEASE!

  • trixter51

    Вадим Куликов from SoulWarm said 6 years ago

    Yes, this is the original !

  • simonesolomon1

    Simone Solomon from SimoneCeramics said 6 years ago

    Perfecting a ceramic mug is a life time challenge!!

  • PoochPottery1

    PoochPottery from PoochPottery1 said 6 years ago

    I can never get enough of a good mug!!! I think the artwork and glaze do it for me.

  • TheRusticHome

    The Rustic Home from TheRusticHome said 6 years ago

    Beautiful mugs! Creating pottery is good for the soul~~~~ So is using it~

  • maryellensick

    MaryEllen Sick from SincerelyMaryEllen said 6 years ago

    There's nothing better than a cup of coffee the size of my face in a charming mug!

  • molflan234

    Moll Flan from MollyJohnsonCeramics said 6 years ago

    The perfect mug is a relationship with the object. It can be favorited for its size, palm fit, design, character or time, place or memory whence it came. Only the individual knows why they take the time to wash their dirty perfect mug when the cupboard is full of clean others.

  • susandavis56

    susandavis56 from DellaPuSheaCouture said 6 years ago

    I love these! They're whimsical, unique, and totally something that belongs in my cupboard : )

  • cskaggs1

    Christy Dobbs from WhimsicalEutopia said 6 years ago

    Love, Love, Love pottery mugs! Always looking for my next great mug :) Thanks!

  • danielnichevo

    ZARAZA from ACMEVintageLimited said 6 years ago

    I've always believed there's a perfect cup for a coffee and a perfect cup for tea. These wares would do either justice.

  • korenkwan

    Koren Kwan from GarasuWonderland said 5 years ago

    lovely collection~

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