The maker's mark

By John-Paul Flintoff

I’ve been thinking about making my own ceramic ware for years, and I’ve finally decided to get started – with a mug.

I’ll be using blue on white, because I have always favoured that particular combination of on the things I use to eat and drink. Note that I used those colours for my commemorative royal-wedding plate.

And in a sketch for a plate to commemorate the #riotcleanup movement that swept up in London (and elsewhere).

One of the people who has inspired me to start on this is Chris Chalkley, of the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft. Another is my friend Philippa Perry’s husband.

I know Philippa because we both wrote books for The School of Life series. And that’s relevant here because I’m planning to design this mug around certain ideas from my own book, How To Change The World.

I’m provisionally calling it, A Problem-solving Mug. With help from the brilliant Morwhenna Woolcock, I’m going to design a lithograph which can then be glazed onto a small, limited series of white mugs by Chris using his kiln in Bristol. So today I have started to work on designs, using a folded piece of A5 paper from my Filofax.

If the first mug works out OK, I intend to make a larger batch – perhaps in collaboration with a couple of large institutions I have in mind (not telling you who, yet!)

J-P maker's mark

I may be getting ahead of myself a bit here, but as well as designing the actual mug, I’ve been designing a maker’s mark. It hints at “J-P”, reads the same way upside-down, and (as Morwhenna pointed out) it contains something like the infinity sign. Which pleases me.

Posted: March 3, 2014