A short while back I decided to challenge myself to make 100 mugs, giving it the very original title the 100 Mug Challenge. The challenge wasn’t to simply make 100 mugs, but to make them different from each other in some meaningful way. When a mentor suggested it could take a year or more, I scoffed at the idea. I was about eight mugs into it when I realized that a year might be optimistic.
I found myself easily side-tracked. Either there was a form I wanted to try again and again, or I felt the need to move onto something completely different, like berry bowls, for a while. I let myself put it aside. I didn’t want to burn out.
I have come to realize that I need to lay down some ground rules, because I may have been cheating. I find a form and I get stuck on it. I make it over and over and change it up by carving into it. I tell myself it is different and it is! However the canvas is the same. Maybe someday I’ll do a follow up challenge – 100 surface designs: same form with 100 unique surfaces.
I will be starting again but I’m setting some ground rules:
- Rule 1 – Take better notes. My documentation is lacking. I know there are unique mug forms that I have made yet no longer have and I didn’t take any pictures of it. Relying on my memory makes counting up where I am in the challenge close to impossible. Memory will trip me up. I’m certain at some point I’ll repeat a form that I did months ago, so not truly unique.
- Rule 2 – Document in the greenware phase. The same mug will look and feel completely different simply by changing up the glaze choice. My hope is to explore new forms, not surfaces for now.
- Rule 3 – It is okay to explore a form for a while but iterations of a form don’t count in this 100 mug challenge.
- Rule 4 – No specific time limit. It is okay to put the challenge aside at times.
Wish me luck!