So I am a fan of warm drinks--tea, coffee, mulled wine, apple cider, hot chocolate, all tasty! And I also happen to enjoy making beautiful and useful things. Therefore, introducing this season's newcomer to NorsuArt products that combines these two interests of mine (and perhaps yours):
First, mug selection. It must sit well in your hand, have enough weight to feel good. Fingers must fit nicely through the handle, and it should be easy to lean your cheek on its warmth. I like the shapes that taper down at the bottom. I ordered these in bulk from Meder Oy, a craft and porcelain importer in downtown Helsinki.
Next, picture and text selection. For this I printed several selections and sizes on paper and taped them to mug prototypes. I asked the peanut gallery about how the texts work, and what would work better than what I originally tried. I was quite pleased with the English text from the start, but the Finnish version required more work and a bit more mulling it over.
Then, I gathered my courage and ordered decals of the illustrations, logo and texts. These arrived from England, and I eagerly cut them out from the large prints. They need to be soaked in lukewarm water to get the backing paper off before being placed on the mug's surface. Then the excess water is squeezed off by wiping the decal with a towel, securing the illustration to the surface.
Next, once the decals are dry, the mug can be sent to the kiln for firing at 860 degrees! I do this at Meder as well. I regret to tell you that the first round did not work. The colors were muted or too faded and the black lines fuzzy, certainly not the quality of the pictures I had drawn. So after some technical editing from the decal company, the new ones were perfect, which I ordered in bulk. My favorite part of the mug came at this stage, the addition of the little reindeer on the inside.
The Winter Mug has been lovingly crafted in my home kitchen in Helsinki, which doubles as my office and triples as my porcelain factory when necessary (quadruples as my storage and mail order facility as well, heh). It is made from German porcelain, English decals, and compiled and designed by Finnish hands.
The drawing of a reindeer under a blanket with his buddies around a campfire is about light, warmth, community, the unexpected, and adventure. What you have is a mug waiting to share your holiday and winter moments of warmth and connection.
The fact that you see it here means that I also went through a process of photo shooting, editing and making it online-presentable. That is a process that always takes more time than I think it will, as I am still learning. Learning. Learning. If this year had a key word, it was learning. I may take that word with me into 2018 as well!
Because each mug is individually made, there may be minor differences between them. I even made a few thinking of left-handers, so holler if that's you! Hope you enjoy the mug, but even more, enjoy the holiday season with the people who are around you now!