What’s better than a cute coffee mug? That’s right, a carefully crafted one from an independent maker. Whether you’re an avid tea or coffee drinker, ceramic mugs are a staple in many kitchens. This article highlights some of our top choices for handmade ceramic mugs.
If having your cup of coffee is part of your morning routine, your mug may be one of the first things you reach for each day. Aside from patronizing big brands, owning handmade mugs from small independent makers provides something unique while supporting small businesses.
Handmade mugs most often come from various local artists and pottery makers. If you’re finding it challenging to find the right ceramic mug for you or simply looking for inspiration as to what is available, read on as we highlight six of our favorite handmade ceramic tea and coffee mugs. You’re sure to find options and inspiration that reflect your aesthetic and practical needs.
Related: Elsewhere in your search for the most environmentally friendly caffeine hit check out our breakdown of the environmental impacts of coffee, tips for zero waste coffee, and options for reusable cups when out and about.
Materials: Stoneware clay and teal-white-pink glaze
Made In: Houston, Texas, USA
The owner of Moonshine created this mug with aesthetics and functionality in mind. Although carefully crafted with attention to detail, the maker still embraces the craft of handmade products. As a result, the sizes and shapes of each product may vary. Nevertheless, there’s no denying that you’re sure to enjoy your beverage from this item. The cups have heights and diameters of 3.5 inches each. Also, the maker uses food-safe material to ensure its safety.
As a note of caution, you can't put this item in your dishwasher or microwave. The owner also points out to avoid putting it in excessive heat conditions. Apart from these instructions, you can safely use your item. This Moonshine mug is not only great for personal use but can also serve as a gift item.
Brittany Fahres, the creator behind the Moonshine Design shop, is a graphic designer and artist. Born out of her small studio space in Texas, her ceramics feature speckled designs with mainly muted colors. Due to her passion for design, Brittany created Moonshine Design to offer uniquely crafted wares in small batches. Her appreciation for design often inspires Brittany. This includes modern interior design and contemporary minimalism.
Made In: Hong Kong
This porcelain mug carries a unique design and color contrast that makes it stand out. You instantly experience the careful craftsmanship and minimalist details. The color mixture gives it a special visual impact that you can enjoy as you sip from your mug. Having the capacity to hold 12oz of liquid, there’s enough space to fill.
The makers use a lead-free porcelain glaze for the products. They fire the mugs at high temperatures giving the glazes smooth finishes. Since many people like to give ceramics as gift items, the store allows you to personalize your order. This way, you can write a special message to a friend, family member, or colleague.
Kevin Zhang, the owner of Utopia Life, has made crafting ceramics his life’s work. He initially took on pottery making as a hobby after graduating from college. Afterward, he realized he could turn his passion into his career. After taking several classes and studying under a mentor, he perfected his skills. Kevin created the shop on Etsy in 2017. Since then, he has garnered thousands of sales on Etsy. He stays inspired by the craft while continuously building knowledge and skills.
Materials: Stoneware clay and food safe glaze
Made In: The UK
If you’re looking for a unique ceramic cup with cute illustrations, this Ruth Wilde mug is for you. IThe artist embraces a unique wiggly shape instead of going down the evenly-shaped mug route. When you examine the cup’s rims, you’ll notice that it’s not evenly shaped and aligned. This gives it a unique feel that makes it stand out. However, the style of the mug doesn’t take away its functional benefits.
Ruth Wilde uses food-safe clear glaze as part of the ceramic-making process. This glazing material makes the product durable while ensuring it’s safe to drink from. The maker uses stoneware clay to craft each mug. Due to the clay’s properties, you can safely put the ceramic mug in your dishwashing machine.
Ruth Wilde is an independent artist who expresses her passion for crafts through her ceramic offerings. Not only does she hand-make ceramic mugs, but she also creates what she calls “wearable art pieces.” Such pieces include rings, necklaces, earrings, and pin badges.
Materials: Stoneware clay and speckled glaze
Made In: New York City, New York, USA
This wheel-thrown mug speaks to a playful heart. As with the other ceramics this store offers, the vibrant designs and patterns feature a bold color mix. If you’re looking to brighten up your morning routine, this piece is sure to do the job. The maker uses a black glaze for the interiors and speckled black and white glazes for the exteriors. Finally, the handle of this product is dipped in black industrial rubber.
On the small business’s site, you’ll find all sorts of ceramics ranging from drinkware and bowls to vases and lamps. Since the marker creates the pieces based on orders, the processing period can take six weeks. This ensures there’s enough time for molding, drying, glazing, designing, and firing. The food-safe material makes this item suitable for your everyday use.
Josephine Noel owns this small business, which she started in 2012. Ever since its inception, she has created all the pieces by hand. As a pottery maker and creator, she pays attention to bold patterns and quality designs as her signature style. From the beginning, Josephine’s goal has been to contribute to a “less boring and more colorful day.” So, if you’re in search of vibrant ceramics, you’ll find options on this business’s site.
Materials: Stoneware material
Made In: Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA
Jars of Dust offers a variety of ceramics and home items. The mugs are the store’s most popular items. The brand follows a practical and straightforward style with its mugs. This mug features a tall and slender shape with ample space and makes it easy to sip comfortably. Everything about the mug’s design addresses its simplicity and functionality. The swooping handle and cylindrical surface body create a piece that’s easy to sip from.
For the maker, crafting mugs that are easy to handle and use is of great importance. From this perspective, she creates easy-to-use pieces on her potter’s wheel. All ceramics from this small store are dishwasher, food, and microwave-safe. Jars of Dust offers its ceramic mugs in an organic color palette. You can choose from oak, eggshell white, copper, and raven colors.
Mallorie is the owner and lead designer at Jars of Dust. Her ceramics story links back to her university days. She studied at the University of North Carolina, concentrating her studies in ceramics and photography. Mallorie started the business while in school and has grown the business to include team members. She enjoys creating with the potter's wheel.
Materials: Porcelain clay and custom glaze
Made In: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
The makers behind Myrth carefully craft ceramics for everyday use. If you love the minimalist aesthetic, this mug will suit you perfectly. The ceramic mugs come in various muted colors with a clean and simple finish. Although handmade, the artisans ensure that the ceramics follow the same dimensions. This is due to their careful attention to detail when measuring and creating the pieces.
This homeware piece combines both stylish and functional needs for you. The well-crafted handle makes it easy to carry and hold while enjoying a hot or cold beverage. The owners create all their mugs within their Boston-based studio. The ceramic mugs in this collection have a 12oz capacity and feature a custom glaze to make them durable.
The Myrth studio is run by husband and wife duo Eric and Abigail Smallwood. This duo both come from design backgrounds and understand the importance of details in art projects. They design it on paper before creating a new design and then create a prototype on the potter's wheel. Their drinkware is slip cast, bowls are jiggered, and vessels are hand-thrown on the wheel.
There are several handmade ceramic mugs available. Due to these vast options, it can be challenging to know where to start when shopping. As a result, we’ve scoured the internet and condensed the options to highlight some favorites we found. Not only will you find your next favorite ceramics, but you’ll also find artists worth supporting.
Jen’s a passionate environmentalist and sustainability expert. With a science degree from Babcock University Jen loves applying her research skills to craft editorial that connects with our global changemaker and readership audiences centered around topics including zero waste, sustainability, climate change, and biodiversity.
Elsewhere Jen’s interests include the role that future technology and data have in helping us solve some of the planet’s biggest challenges.