Date day: Decorating Mugs

From time to time, Oli and I like to do something other than visit a National Trust Place. As much as we love that, because we do. A lot. The National Trust is great. I’m a big fan.

But this Easter, Oli came up with the idea of designing and making our own mugs. I immediately thought that this was a fantastic idea and so I set about organising it for a Monday afternoon in the Easter holidays.

Sadly this initial time slot was not to be as no sooner had I driven us there, Oli got a migraine and couldn’t see. Consequently painting a ceramic item, suddenly seemed low on the agenda. So we cancelled that booking and rearranged for the following Sunday. And this time the migraines stayed away.

When we first walked into the Ceramic Cafe, we were hit with a strong whiff of something that neither of us had ever smelt before, seeing as neither of us were regular Potters. But it smelt like a strong, almost urine-like chemical. It was amazing how quickly our noses adjusted to it. This could have been down to the amount of concentration and focus that designing and painting a mug actually takes.

It was a tense experience, and it took a lot of refreshing of my Pinterest search before I finally settled on an idea for a design. I settled on a design that I hoped would really epitomise my absolute adoration of tea. I love a good pun so I was keen to weave in and incorporate humour too. All tea related of course.

The best tea puns that I could find were as follows:

‘I like big cups and I cannot lie.’

‘Drop it like it’s hot.’

‘Let’s get this Par-TEA started.’

‘For Tea’s a jolly good fellow.’

‘Hit me with your best pot!’

I can’t take any credit for these one liners as I didn’t make them up, but whoever did, I salute you. You are a tea-pun genius.

With these rib tickling lines in mind, I came up with the idea of painting a Tea party on my mug, complete with talking tea bags, mugs and teacups, decorated with colourful streamers and balloons.

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I had a lot of fine, small writing to squeeze onto my mug as a result and believe me, it was touch and go for a while between myself and the ceramic paint pens. We had a turbulent time together.

Oli opted for a cool dinosaur design, a TEA-rex to be precise. Again not a pun that originated from his mind, but one that he borrowed, with the best of intentions, from Pinterest. His mugs was very impressive indeed and he even painted a pig snout on the bottom, to add comedic value to the final sip of a brew.

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By the time I’d finished battling with the millions of different shades of ceramic paint, my mug was finally finished and we both handed them over to the lady to be glazed.

Picking our mugs up a week later was exciting to say the least, although I was slightly worried that mine wouldn’t have come out so well after its brief sabbatical in the kiln. What if the paints all smudged together, merging into a giant mess of mismatched colour?!

But I needn’t have feared. Our mugs were intact and they looked pretty damn good, if I do say so myself.

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Drinking tea has never been so sweet! So go ahead, get yourself down to your local ceramics cafe and try your hand at a spot of designing!

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