Traveling Mugs

This team will focus on throwing some really great, eye catching mugs and then distribute them to professors of other departments (besides Art) at the University. These professors will replace their plain, throw away “token coffee cup” and replace them with handmade and sustainable mugs for a week. The idea is that since professors are usually the main focus in the class to the students, the students will notice the professor’s super cool mug and inquire about it, therefore spreading the word of the ceramics community. This plan gets ceramics work out of the Art department and into the rest of the University.

Below is the message sent out with every mug
As students we notice everything about our teachers, what they wear, what phrases they use, and what they drink out of. For the art department, teachers are notorious for using their handmade mugs.

The Traveling Mug Project’s goal is to bring handmade works of art into your classroom (as well as your morning cup of joe). We are striving to expand professor and student awareness of handmade works including the production, function, and pride, which goes into every handcrafted mug.

“Everything tastes better out of a handmade mug.”

The Traveling Mug Challenge:
Use this mug in your classroom over the next week. Feel free to discuss The Traveling Mug with your classes. This mug will be picked up Monday and shared with other departments in the coming weeks.

Thank You!
Morgan, Abbi, Kelly and Amanda
UM Ceramics Department

Class Presentation PDF

“I borrowed a traveling mug to enjoy some chai at a recent meeting. What a great idea to raise awareness of the work of the students in the ceramics department. Thank you for the use of the wonderful mug, and for your ingenuity.”
– Kathy White
School of Business Administration

Traveling Mugs – “We had a few setbacks like an unrealistic deadline schedule and a few kiln complications, but it all came together in the end. We have more mugs than we originally planned and the departments are really excited!”


Q: What was the main idea that started this?
A: It was mainly kelly idea to push the mugs into different departments that usually don’t see art that often. we were thinking throughout taking art classes and art history that you always see your teachers carrying their first mug. we noticed it so we wanted to make the other students notice it as well.

Q: What is your goal?
A: So are goal was to bring handmade works into the classroom and expand student and teacher awareness of handmade works, production, function and pride.

Q: How did that go over?
A: In short many people didn’t understand why we were giving or lending mugs out and told us we could sell them. That wasn’t the purpose of the project and we had to explain it a few times. People liked the mugs but since are focus was the business school the attention continued to focus on the sale which once again isn’t are intent We also got a lot of rejection emails for corresponding with departments, most didn’t have time for us and basically said if we wanted to knock on each door we could do it that way. Of course the business building was really nice.

Q: Would you have liked to have started earlier?
A: Yes, timing was a factor in the rejection emails. People have less time near the end of the semester.