Hand Made in Britain
All moustache cups are made from red earthenware clay and comprised of 3 distinct parts affixed at intervals, therefore it is important that consideration be given to the aesthetic their assemblage will have.
ONE - The Body:
A ball of clay (500g for a mug of medium volume) flung centrally onto a potters’ wheel is rotated at a high velocity to enable dextrous fingers, lubricated with water, to pull the clay vertically until the required height is reached, where it can be tweaked to refinement. The body is left to dry until it is leather-hard and can be handled comfortably without misshaping it.
TWO - The Handle:
A cone of clay (roughly the same weight) is held horizontally in one hand at chest height after it has been submerged in water for a couple of seconds. The thumb and index finger of the other hand envelope the cone and pinch tightly together whilst pulling downwards; creating a shape which acts as an extruder on the wetted clay. This process is repeated; the fingers moving ever so slightly as the bulk of clay transforms into a refined handle of appropriate size and shape.
THREE - The Moustache:
A clay moustache approximately 1cm in thickness is cut from a slab of leather-hard clay with the aid of a template. Held aloft over the cup to gauge its positioning, discreet markings are made on the interior of the rim which indicate where the moustache will be joined. The moustache’s edges and the space allocated on the rim’s interior are scored and slipped (dabbed with clay slurry to form a true bond) and the moustache is eased into position. A firm pressing on the exterior of the cup and moustache ensures both joins are secured.
Dry, Bisque & Fire:
Allowing the clay to dry over several days/ weeks enables excess water held between the clay particles to evaporate, causing shrinkage: leaving only the chemically combined water remaining. A bisque firing to 900 °C drives off this water (between 350-650 °C) and begins to vitrify the clay irreversibly into a ceramic material, which is absorbent enough to accommodate a glaze application: a second firing to 1080 °C vitrifies the glaze and ensures the wares functionality.
Endings & Beginnings:
After the kiln has cooled to below 150 °C the door is opened and the pots are ready to be inspected. Those that make the grade are photographed and catalogued for display on the website before being set aside: waiting to be bought, boxed up and sent off into the world, to a new home.