Thing 8: A Locally Made Mug

If you’re looking to support the arts in your area, check out the ceramics scene. We’ll talk a little bit about art for your walls later this month, but functional pieces are an excellent way to get star (or grow) your collection! You don’t have to worry about where to hang it, how to frame it, if it goes with your everyday vibe—just use it! Plus, often it’s easier to find something in your price point. 

But Abbey, I don’t know any clay artists. Where do I start?! A few ways! Google may be a good starting point: your city + ceramics. But I will warn you, as a whole, artists are TERRIBLE at updating their websites. You’ll probably have more success on Instagram. Search for hashtags like #SFClay #PhoenixClay #LACeramics and see what you find. More often than not, you will be sent on an amazing artistic treasure hunt. Find an artist or cooperative gallery, and see where you can purchase the work. This is how I found a mug for Rita in Chicago! Because the Thing was a local mug, I went looking for Chicago ceramics. I ended up purchasing a piece by  from Gnarware Workshop by Frenchy Villagrana.

Do make sure you’re looking at the work of professional artists. Typically, this will be fairly obvious from the portfolio of images, but it never hurts to do some additional Google recon. While supporting hobbyists can be fun and is not at all a bad thing, it is vital (especially in pandemic times) to try and direct your funds to working artists and arts organizations who rely on sales for their income. You are also guaranteed a more quality product from someone who has honed their craft.

Your beverage will taste better in a mug made by a local artisan. Whether they call themselves clay artists, potters, or ceramists, I guarantee you there is someone making amazing ceramics in your region. Pictured on this post is one of my favorite pieces from Marzel Artes Deolazo aka The Horny Potter. He might call it a bowl, but I use it as a mug 😉 

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