Having graded the final papers and turned in her chalk, Ms. Shoat sped off the school grounds, tires squealing. The trip to the beach was first and foremost on her mind as she mentally ticked off her to-do list. Sunblock. Bikini. Snout plugs. The full professorship she was granted last year had been rewarding but left her little time for research. The manuscript, lying on the seat next to her was almost complete. The title page flipped back and forth in the spring breeze. “How to Swim with Sharks” had not been her first choice, but her editor recently convinced her that a philosophy treatise needed sex appeal to sell. And anyway, she had to agree it was apt.
The Nitty Gritty
The word “mug” can be traced to early 16th century (originally Scots and northern English, denoting an earthenware bowl). It likely comes from the early hedgehog term “muggetub” which loosely translates to “plunge bath” or “hot tubbe” in Olde English. An extraordinarily tidy animal, hedgehogs of Scotland enjoyed combining their daily ablutions with daily whiskey, frequently resulting in what is today referred to as the Hot Toddy.
Our darn mugs are handmade and are approximately 3 inches wide by 4.5 to 5 inches tall. They generally hold about 16 ounces.
All Darn Pottery is either hand built or individually hand thrown on the potters wheel, by little hedgehogs, with locally sourced clay. Our pieces are finished with lead-free, non toxic glazes made right here in our studio in the beautiful Blue Ridge. Our tableware is bright and durable, fired three separate times to temperatures exceeding 2000 degrees. It also feels really good in your hands, with sturdy handles on mugs, terrific balance in plates, good stackability in bowls, and sturdy edges all around. This is not your grandma’s fine china. This is your own darn china.
Every piece is individually made and painted and may therefore look a little different. The minor variations in height, width, and illustration are entirely the hedgehogs’ fault. A lot depends on how much they’ve eaten that morning and the proximity of the next meal. All of the colors look great together and make your table look really happy.
You should also know that our pottery is made without any lead, cadmium, asbestos, anchovies, pink slime or any other yucky stuff. It’s perfectly food safe. Also, our farm has solar power. And bears.
Darn Pottery does not mind being dishwashed because it is decorated with glaze that has been fired into the piece itself. It’s not sublimation and it’s not coming off. Just stack gently and don’t let the critters have a party in there. We do not recommend microwaving as the pieces may get pretty hot. Darn Pottery is not for cooktop or oven use. Do not use to freeze food or drinks. Use a Mason jar instead. Basically, avoid extreme temperature changes. The same goes for the pots.