Art: It’s not just for walls anymore. Handcrafted ceramic mugs, adorned with everything from tribal designs to minimalist clean lines, are bumping plain old coffee cups from desks and kitchen counters. Why not drink your morning cup of Joe or afternoon spot of tea out of a local work of art? We rounded up the Valley’s best mug artisans so you can assemble your own set.
Lafayette Avenue Ceramics
Jillian Schimmel hesitates to use the word “art” to describe her mugs because she wants you to feel free to actually use them – and to throw them in the dishwasher. Schimmel encourages cooking at home and using reusable vessels over disposable ones. Her designs feature a clean porcelain look on the outside with rich colors on the inside. Prices range from $22-$30.
Gilded Sun Studio
Alesia Allen’s clay pieces are heavily influenced by her fashion illustrations, with subtle nods to rustic and colorful tribal designs. Allen combines techniques used in textile printing with her ceramics to create a unique product. Inquire for pricing.
Painting each dot and every detail by hand, Tom Budzak takes special care in making every mug unique. His style is recognizable in nearly all of his creations because of his heavy use of dot work. Budzak describes his “contemporary ceramics” as “high-end, handmade, one-of-a-kind functional porcelain.” Prices range from $35-$60.
Potter Alec Seekins’ mugs are curvy and have a natural, earthy and almost primitive feel. Made out of 100 percent recycled clay primarily in neutral colors like brown, white and taupe, the pieces are designed to fit the aesthetic of any home. Inquire for pricing.
Beth Shook’s passion for storytelling and master’s degree in fine arts are evident in her work, which is a bit more cerebral and avant-garde than your standard Snoopy mug. There is “always a story to tell,” Shook says, describing her flowy clay illustrations on her mugs, which hew to a palette of soft blues and greens. Mugs begin at $25.
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