My Newfs are very tolerant creatures.  They are understanding, or at least forgiving, of that implicit part of the morning, a time that is “just mine” where I enjoy a freshly brewed mug of specially prepared, heavy duty morning coffee.  It sets the day in motion, with peace and energy at the same time.

Right next to the coffee in importance is the coffee mug.  Yes, it seems I am one of “those”, people who are intrigued with art in coffee mugs.  This fascination, the breath-taking discovery of some beautiful form of art which could only enhance the experience of my introduction to the day must be credited to a mother-in-law who felt a similar joy.  She would return from a trip bearing the gift of a beautifully crafted mug.  She even had a display rack mounted in her kitchen to show-off her finds.  It wasn’t long before I began to find gift shops and art boutiques that carried art in the form of coffee mugs, for myself and those who shared my joy.  One gift shop in Salina KS carried especially intriguing mugs for many years.  This is part of the enjoyment, the discovery of a “source” were the prize can be found more often.

Since the practical side of my nature demands function as well, my mugs are for use rather than for display.  I have a “sunshine” mug, to experience the aura of a sunrise on a grey day.  I have a garden bounty mug that compels spring.  I have an antique wallpaper mug, not a simply produced soulless piece of ceramic, but one that enchants with nostalgia, using shades of colors that may have been part of my Mom’s experience.  I have “fun” mugs, like the one of Mickey’s britches and other nostalgic mugs, like the one with the Norman Rockwell image of Dad closing shop to take the kid fishing.  I have many, many National Specialty mugs, all showing signs of wear.  Some mugs have taken up residence in a cabinet, too beautiful to toss, awaiting an opportunity to be repurposed.  Still the cabinets are burgeoning with in-use mugs, which I suppose offers some justification when my husband groans each time I bring home a new find.

However, my present favorite mug is in need of a backup.  As a consequence of being dropped on a very hard surface, and suviving due to its construction quality, it has developed a crack on the interior, and as we well know, heavy metals can leach from exposed ceramic substrates.  This mug sat in the cabinet for a long time before I used it because I found it so fasciating.  It is an Otagiri mug, one with the perfect hue on the inside to invite the pouring of coffee, with interspersed dark specks of varying sizes.  The exterior of this mug is a thick shiny black glaze, and surrounding the mug, “cutting through” this glaze as a sort of underlay is an array of fall oak leaves and acorns in varying shades of brown and light tan with varying textures on the ceramic surface.

To my amazement, there is a dazzling array of Otagiri ceramic art available from many sources, but none in this style.  So, it seems I’ve acquired a new quest, and my coffee mug acquisitions may need to take on a new effort, like some clothing, where a backup is an initial investment.  I wonder how Greg would feel about adding more cabinet space in the kitchen.  I think I just heard a Newf lightly sigh, “psshhh” – humans!

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