Love At First Sip. Just How Much Love Goes Into Making Your Travel Cup?

Love At First Sip. Just How Much Love Goes Into Making Your Travel Cup?

My ceramic travel cup range is really important to me. Every year over 1 billion coffee cups are thrown out in Australia alone. Just stop to think about that number a moment. Australia has a population of 24.6 million, compared to many other countries this is a small population and we throw out 1 billion coffee cups... that's terrifying! Just think worldwide how many coffee cups a year are ending up as landfill. And think how much energy and resources are being used to produce them so they can be used ONCE! 

I love that by choosing to use a ceramic travel cup when you want a takeaway coffee you are helping to reduce this number. To take the impact your CarysMartinCeramics travel cup has that bit further we donate to One Tree Planted so that for each travel cup that leaves my studio I donate so a tree is planted on your behalf. One tree planted is a worldwide organisation that works with reforestation partners around the world helping local communities restore forests. All funds raised through travel cup sales are currently going to a reforestation project located in the Madre de Dios region of Peru. This is an area that my family and I spent time in July 2018. The goal is to restore and protect the "buffer zone" between Tambopata National Reserve, Bahuaja-Sonene National Park, and the city of Puerto Maldonado. 

Here is a picture of me holding a piranha (that was released back) at Tres Chimbadas Lake, Tambopata

We love planting trees but ultimately we want to stop the need for ancient forests to be cut down. We encourage you to join us and stand against the mass-produced throw-away mindset. To reduce your personal waste, say no to single use, and instead, reuse and recycle. As a consumer make your voice heard by mindfully choose things that are responsibly produced, make your heart sing and hold special meaning to you. Little actions every day, like choosing to say no to disposable takeaway cups, add up and have a big impact.

When making anything out of clay there are always multiple steps and processed to turn the raw clay into the final vitrified piece. It's fascinating to break the steps down and see just what exactly happens to achieve the final result. Clay can be a cruel mistress and things can go wrong at any of these steps - you definitely learn the art of patience and letting go of expectations! 

The ceramic travel cups that I make are the piece where I have to be the most exact and take the most care. During the making process clay shrinks 12%, the silicon lids are a set size and so the initial clay cup has to be thrown with the rim 12% larger than it needs to be. Get the maths wrong or throw a millimetre too big or too small or the rim too thick and the lid will either leak or not fit. They definitely demand your attention when making. I actually love the preciseness of them as they keep you focused and improve your skills and technique. They make you consciously think about their making. On a side note, ceramics has way more maths and chemistry that you would think! 

The cups generally take around three weeks to complete. Many of the stages need time to dry at their own pace. There is a meditative feeling within the cups created from the repetition of actions, processes and slow time frame that the clay demands. Each step is infused with care, love and attention, gently willing it along its way. When you use your cup I hope it helps you to slow down and enjoy your moment. Helping you to appreciate the difference you are helping to make to our planet by the daily actions you take.

Check out all these steps..... definitely made with love ♥


See the range of Travel Cup designs here

Step 1 - Choose Your Clay

Step 2 - Cut to Size

Step 3 - Weigh it

Step 4 - Knead it to ensure there are no air bubbles

Step 5 - Get ready to start throwing

Step 6 - Cone up to prepare the clay.

Step 7 - Centre the clay


Step 8 - Start to compress base and pull out walls

Step 9 - Forming the cup

Step 10 - Cup is thrown

Step 11 - Measure, measure, measure

Step 12 - Use a wire to cut the cup from the wheel

Step 13 - Leave the dry to leather hard


Step 14 - Trim base

Step 15 - Trim in the foot

Step 16 - Mark it with your makers' mark.

Step 17 - Finger buttons to make the cup comfortable to hold and reduce heat transfer so not too hot. 

Step 18 - Love the fact I work with something that is actually called magic water :-)

Step 19 - Attache and stamp buttons. I stamp in symbols with meaning varying from protection to gratitude. 

Step 20 - Leave to dry until completely bone dry. Any water in the clay will boil during firing and create steam and blow up your piece! 

Step 21 - Ready for their first biscuit firing! 

Step 22 - Colour! I make my own glazes - they are a complex recipe of raw ingredients that have a chemical reaction during the firing process. 

Step 23 - Ready for their second firing to Cone 7 / Cone 8

Step 24 - Always so freaking cool opening the kiln. Or occasionally you may find me curled up in the fetal position if there has been a disaster. Once peices are out of the kiln I sand their bases to make sure they are smooth and then they get their lids and are ready to go. 

Step 25 - If I want to add gold that's a whole other set of extra stages. 12 carat Gold is painted on and left to cure before firing a third time. 

Step 26 - 

Disclaimer - totally can't count steps. Let's just say there are many.

1 comment

Phew !! quite a read and quite a process, so interesting though.

marleen morgans

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