Do you remember my childhood memories with the colorful "Arabella / Boston" dishes from the 60s? It really revived my love of yellow. Not that it had gone away completely, but yellow is a little hard to use in jewelry, at least for me, and it doesn't work on me as clothes. I always wanted at least one room with yellow walls, but wasn't even allowed to have that (that's a longer story I'm going to spare you).
Dishes are a very good way to get yellow into my life.
Now there's one problem with my Arabella set.
Look at the cup. Anyone who knows me knows that this is a but a sip for me (I only drink coffee as a cold brew or with ice cream, by the way). I'm not good at elegantly holding a cup with my pinky up in the air, unlike a friend in school who did this without even noticing which never failed to amuse me.
For daily use I'm very much a mug girl, the bigger the better. I have a LOT of mugs and while I am using quite a few of them, the biggest one is my favorite. If it isn't too hot, which it usually isn't because I prefer cold drinks, I don't even hold it by the handle because it can get quite heavy when it's full.
Big mugs or cups are also a childhood memory for me. My godmother's father who was a farmer had a big breakfast cup that I was very jealous of even as a child. I can still see him sitting at that table and smell cows and hay and country air - not meant negatively at all - and feel comfortable and happy watching him drink his morning coffee.
So I had this idea ... how about looking for a potter in the area and ask if they could make me a mug in yellow? Of course I could have looked for a yellow mug online, but 1. I like handmade - who would have thought, 2. I like to support local artisans if possible - not always easy depending on what you need or want, 3. I didn't want a solid yellow, but one that reminded me of Arabella's stripy appearance.
I checked online, found the pottery "Töpferei auf dem Jackenhof" (a former farm in a village not very far from me which has a lot of old farms), and sent them an email with the Arabella picture explaining what I wanted. A few more emails went back and forth to clear up details about the size and shape of the two mugs. Yes, by now I had decided that I of course needed two.
Yesterday I got notice that I could pick them up. My "chauffeur", who hadn't been on the Jackenhof before either, and I were amazed at how idyllic the house was situated, away from the street, an alpaca grazing on the other side (there's an alpaca farm), trees and sculptures underneath. It may sound corny and silly, but I got this 80s feeling of what we called the "alternatives" here in Germany, making me think of hand knitted socks and sweaters, the beginning of the "green" thinking, drinking tea from handmade pottery, colorful neck scarves from India, and actually I read afterwards that the workshop had opened in 1987, so maybe that's what I felt, and it was good ;-)
Welcomed inside, I asked for my mugs, and the potter said she had two choices, one was more of a brownish yellow, but course I immediately picked the bright yellow one. She said that the dark ones were made with a glaze and the other two painted which gave the mugs just the look I had wanted. I was so happy and will love using these, I'm sure. Maybe it's a good thing the pottery is not that easy to reach with public transportation or I could put down quite a bit of money there although the mugs were very affordable and even the price for the standard mugs although I had asked for bigger ones.
Can you tell from the picture that they don't look exactly the same? The shape, size, and top edges are a little different. I like that because it shows they are handmade.
As it is, I couldn't resist getting a cat - anyone surprised? - which is a salt shaker, but will be just a cat for me, and a liqueur cup whose color and shape I fell in love with and which I will happily use for my beloved Drambuie.
Do you have a favorite mug or a favorite piece of pottery?