A Flatlander Gets Abstracted in a Vermont Kitchen

“Would you like a cup of tea or coffee?”

These words, or similar offers of food or drink, welcome many a traveler or visitor.

Have a seat while the kettle comes to a boil….

You may answer ritual questions about what you’d like, and how you’d like it.

Black? Green? Caf? DeCaf? Something stronger?

The mugs are on the bottom two shelves in the right-hand cabinet over the sink.


Pick whichever one you’d like…


Tell me about this one with the ladybugs on it?


We’ve had this mug in the family for about forty years. It’s moved with us to every single place we’ve ever lived.

And the sheep?


This was a present to the daughter when she was born. Now one of her children is old enough to drink from this mug.

Handmade mugs have forms that factory products just can’t duplicate.



Where handle meets body. Viewed from the side, you can get an idea of how complex the forms at the point of attachment are. There’s a lot of skill and practice that goes into making a good mug handle, getting it to stay on, getting it to feel right in the users’ hand.


The mugs have some great colors, too.

The colors of this mug were what first caught my eye.


Early one morning I wondered what would happen if I stuck the lens of my camera on top one of the mugs, and took some pictures of the inside.

The results were surprising.



This little series of interiors yielded images that remind me a bit of Albert Pinkham Ryder’s moody painting.


If you didn’t know how this image came to be, what would you think it was?



2 responses to “A Flatlander Gets Abstracted in a Vermont Kitchen

  1. You have a fantastic mug collection! I love the colors on handmade mugs, but I’m always afraid to break them, so they end up pretty and dusty while I drink tea from factory-made mugs bought at chain grocery stores. The effect is that I get attached to even the factory mugs after a while.

    • In the interest of full disclosure, these mugs are at the house of the tompostpile’s stepdaughter. But we do have some good mugs in our own home. My breaking skills are focused on wine glasses. I’m ordinarily well-coördinated, but for some reason, wine glasses break for me. In the wineglass department, I’m the Family Joke.

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