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Handmade Ceramic Mugs – Five Plus One

Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.


Those who are into heritage wear are often into other, tangentially related things, such as traditional shaving accouterments, fine whiskey, or good coffee and tea. For me, there’s nothing better than starting the day with piping-hot cuppa joe in the morning. And like with denim, the sky is the limit with beverage receptacles!

So onward and upward to the world of handmade ceramic mugs. Some are simple and some are more elegant, but they’ll help you start your day off right.

1) Mazama for Stumptown: Foggy Morning Mug

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Sometimes, two companies collaborate even though their products are very different from one another, but that isn’t the case for Mazama and Stumptown. Their collaboration brings together two Pacific Northwest companies, one that produces pottery and one that produces coffee, to create the perfect morning mug — and they nailed it. Even the colorway chosen make sense for the collaboration, as it matches the morning fog so often seen over western waters. Each mug is handthrown in Portland, and are dishwasher and microwave safe for those of use who are hard on our stoneware.

Available for $42 from Stumptown Coffee.

2) Lindsey Hampton: Wide Stack Mug

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Too often our Canadian friends get the short end of the stick with our Five Plus Ones. Sometimes a product is local only to another country, or the shipping cost is too exorbitant to justify — but that isn’t the case this week. The Lindsey Hampton Wide Stack Mug is definitely one of the most memorable products on this list, and it’s local to Canada. It features a speckled black on white interior glaze a frosty exterior glaze reminiscent of bamboo. No matter what you pour in your mug in the morning, you’ll be happy to enjoy it from this handleless mug.

Available for $48 CAD from Lindsey Hampton.

3) PKK Ceramics: Buckhorn Mug

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PKK Ceramics’ Buckhorn Mug is a classic — its earthy tones and and simple design might not be a standout in anyone’s mug collection, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find yourself drowsily reaching for it in the mornings. At 11Oz. it’s just the right size for your morning pick-me-up, and it’s affordable enough to enjoy any day of the week.

Available for $40 from PKK Ceramics.

4) The Hill-Side: CE1-01 Endo Pottery Mug

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I’m a big fan of color and texture, so it’s not surprise that I love most of The Hill-Side’s offerings, including their CE1-01 Endo Pottery Mug. It’s handmade in Japan, features a vivid leaf pattern, and is heated in a wood-fire ceramic kiln. Each mug is made by hand, so expect minor differences between each and every mug. Enjoy your morning brew from this beautiful cup, at a very palatable price.

Available for $30 from The Hill-Side.

5) Tender: Natural Red Clay Mug

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Tender isn’t quite a one-made-brand, since not all the work is done by owner William Kroll, but that doesn’t mean that Tender doesn’t produce some of the higher quality products out there. No one can specialize in everything, but by finding the best artisans to make products for Tender, Kroll ensures that the items he puts out are only the best. This mug is made with white English clay that is glazed and kiln-fired, but the bottom is left unglazed so that the natural color of the clay shows through.

Available for £38 from Tender.

Plus One – Ben Medansky: Morning Wood Mug

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Last, but certainly not least, is a speckled mug from Ben Medansky, a self proclaimed “orchestrator of controlled chaos.” Together, with his small team, Medansky produces high quality and deeply interesting ceramics. One of their latest products, the Morning Wood, is quite different from anything else on the market. One part function and one part abstract art, this mug might not be something you would ordinarily shop for, or even something you’d reach for everyday, but it is without a doubt one of the most interesting ceramic pieces on the market.

Available for $60 from Ben Medansky.