Archives for category: tumbler

These dark clay tumblers are just the thing for a double old-fashioned. Hand-thrown and then dinged up a bit, as we all feel now. Chocolate-toned Laguna stoneware with light hara glaze.

Set of four, one hundred and twenty dollars.

Photograph by me at the Ice House, Berkeley Springs.


Created for the recent District Clay open house. Each visitor picked a cup. First come, first served.

Earlier this month, potter friends Carolyn and Holly and I drove down to Floyd, Virginia, for the open studios of the 16 Hands potters, looking for inspiration. We visited the studios of eight potters (do the math) plus a a few of their invited artist friends.

This piece is by Elisa Di Feo, who works with her potter partner in a fantastic little place. This cup got to me after I walked away a few times. The blue underglaze crayon scratches are childish, but the fine etched lines are very grown up. A fine edge separates matte and shiny surfaces, both white.

Floyd is worth the trip for the rolling Blue Ridge mountain landscape, the steady sounds of local music, the fertile creativity with clay.

Words have meanings.  For almost anything you might want to think about, a word — or in English, likely more than one — already exists to apply to that concept or object.  A term of art for a stemless and handleless glass used for drinking is a “tumbler.”  At the pottery studio, “tumbler” would be used for a clay thing to drink from, since it’s not a glass “glass.”  But why is this a tumbler, when that’s exactly what you want it not to do?

one cup -- green

Thanking all that is holy, I have on my shelf a hand-thick (look up “hand” as a measurement) unabridged dictionary, which tells me that originally this drink holder had a “rounded or pointed bottom and could not be set down until emptied.”  I get it now.  The word still applies, but with a shifted meaning.

Here at the greenware stage is one of a set of tumblers, close matches, as measured by my fingers and other handy tools.  Should this be a watershed logo?

All of her sisters will go in the kiln with her.  I hope to show the later stages in due time.

tumblers - greenware