It came out of nowhere. One day I got asked by Corinne Leigh to film a video showing the basics of ceramic painting (I’m featuring it tomorrow on my blog!) and the next thing – I became a one-woman mug manufacturer! For reals, people. Since mid-October, I’ve hand painted about 250 of these babies. Each one has at least six different colors.
I know I’m busy and am already juggling a lot of things, but when I work on these before I go to bed at night, it really relaxes me and helps me decompress. Mugs are a very personal deal, you know. Especially novelty mugs! They represent comfort. They relay our personality, our feelings, and if all is well, they are filled with some sort of guilty pleasure.
Alrighty, I’m on a roll…Here’s a corny secret: I swear, as I paint each mug, I daydream about what kind of person will sip from it. My mugs are girlie, so I bet it is a female. What will go inside? Tea, coffee, hot cocoa? Maybe they’ll use it to hold their pens and look at it every day!
The bigger picture is that ceramics are a very magical kind of craft. When you start, the clay or bisque is dull and flat. The paints are dull and flat. Coming from someone who thrives on all things technicolor, it’s difficult to get used to the muted tones of underglazes. It took a few rounds of trial and error for me to find my groove.
Now, every time I’m about to load the mugs in the kiln, I send a little wish for their exciting transformation. It’s exciting to wait for the “big reveal!” Again, I think of the person who will end up with the mug, and when they use it. I wonder if they’ll be able to feel my giddiness from the first time I held and admire it after the firing… #craftynerd
My goal is to get these manfactured some day and have them carried in stores all over the world! That dream is getting closer! I’ve been invited to show my mugs at an upcoming gift and home trade show (buyers from indie shops and chains)! I doubt I’ll be able to keep painting each one if these mugs ever do hit it big time, but in the meantime, it makes me so happy to see people with a Crafty Chica mug.
I sold a lot of them over the holidays and didn’t think much about it afterwards (because I had to paint new mugs!). But you know the coolest thing ever? I came home from making the rounds Christmas day to find emails and FB messages and posts from people all over the country who received a Crafty Chica mug for Christmas. They liked it so much that they felt the need to write me and let know! They made my day!
Here is my friend, Diana with a mug. I gave it to her because she is the one who helps me fire all of my work! She is a ceramics teacher at a local youth community center and I donate money in exchange for her to fire them. It’s a win/win situation for everyone!
Here is the lovely Isabel with her heart mug. She believes it will bring happiness, color and love into her life and I believe so as well!
Thanks for reading through my mug spiel! I’m just having a great time with this experience at this point in my life and I thought I’d share. By the way, I have a fresh batch of Valentine mugs loaded into Etsy!
My latest mug assignment? From my day job at iLovetoCreate! We have the Craft and Hobby trade show and the powers that be asked me to paint three dozen mugs for VIP attendees. I’ll post pictures soon!
My lesson to share with all of you is that no matter how busy you are, you must ALWAYS leave room and time for the unexpected joy opportunity. Does that even make sense? Maybe it’s not as grand as launching a mug business, but how about at least taking the scenic route home from work, or visit a new aisle in the store, try your hair part on a different side, go say hi to the co-worker you haven’t formally met yet. Try something new and see where it goes!
Cheers, hope you have a spectacular day! *this is where we clink our mugs together*