We moved to Devon just after our son was born. We were still in that newborn haze, where posting a letter seems like an achievement, so the fact that we managed to pack up our basement flat and drive everything 160 miles away to an old farmhouse we’d rented on the spot a few weeks before was an extraordinary feat. The house was a neglected granite pile - we were charmed by the tennis court and the miles of fields that surrounded it, no neighbours in sight. It turned out the tennis court was too mossy to use for actual tennis, but in time it became an excellent toy tractor racetrack.
We tended the existing veg patch, mainly rhubarb and parsley. We swung on the swing in the garden, and after a few weeks of semi-retirement we turned one of the barns into a makeshift workshop after buying a pottery wheel from across the moor. We made bowls and plates, teaching ourselves with books and youtube videos (when we finally managed to get the internet connected). And then we would drive the unfired pieces in the back of the car to the hotel where we’d bought the wheel - the owner let us use his kiln. Before clay is fired it’s incredibly delicate - a touch can shatter the whole thing - it’s basically just hardened mud. We’d repeat the process after we’d glazed everything too, and then drive back a car full of our wares.
One of the first things we made was a mug. A coffee mug. Coffee is important to us - it was part of our ritual back in London. When we moved down here a friend gave us his broken La Marzocco machine in exchange for a donation to charity and Jeremy fixed it up. Getting hold of a good cup of coffee was, to be honest, our primary concern about moving to the moor. Sure, other people would’ve mapped out potential schools and how far we were from essential amenities - we just cared about the coffee. And once the machine was up and running, we started to care about the mug. Jeremy began to model some on the wheel - we’d try them out, pondering what we wanted (fine walls) and how we experienced them.
And, after many, many trials, our 7oz Coffee Mug emerged. We’d put uneven dimples all over the body of the mug - large, thumb shaped hollows so it sits perfectly in the hands. Mugs are much easier to make perfectly cylindrical, but that’s not how our hands are shaped. We liked the idea of using the mug as a means to pause - the handle seems very delicate (it’s not, bone china is the strongest ceramic) to make the drinker more aware of the ritual of stopping for a drink. To appreciate the coffee perhaps, or just the time it’s taking to drink it in the midst of a busy day. Our coffee mug is on the small side - it’s not for a latte, or a vat of tea. It fits 7 fluid oz - the exact size of a classic flat white, our coffee of choice, always. We launched with just the Cobalt blue handled ones, but apart from adding new colours along the way, the design is exactly as it was when we first had that thought that maybe, just maybe, we should start making all our own things…