Searching for new processes and techniques to pottery making is one of Becki's favorite activities. She was interested in the process of mocha diffusion for a number of years but never took the time to experiment with it. When she was preparing for a demonstration at a local gallery, she decided to give it a whirl. The demonstration was a huge success with both parents and children, all being thrilled by the variety of patterns and images that were created through a simple chemical reaction. This process turned out to be a favorite of Becki's also, proving one is never too experienced to enjoy a surprise.
The surface design at the bottom of this mug is created by using a technique known as mocha diffusion. It is a chemical reaction created when an acid and an alkaline are placed together on the surface of the pottery during the leather-hard stage of the clay. The process is accomplished by using apple cider vinegar mixed with a colorant that is dropped or brushed onto the alkaline slip. When the two elements meet they spread and flow across the surface, creating a unique design that recalls elements of nature. It is not possible to control the direction of the acid mixture as it etches a distinctive pattern within the slip, so no two patterns are ever alike, making this mug a unique addition to your pottery collection.
Every Red Salamander Pottery mug features a botanical stamp at the base of the handle. Using a few of her favorite seed pods collected on hikes near and far from home, Becki impresses symbolic meaning associated with different plants into each mug. The four stamps she currently uses are Eucalyptus, Walnut, Rose of Sharon, and Nasturtium.
Eucalyptus is associated with slowing down and detoxifying life, holding the promise of relief. Walnut helps one navigate through life transitions and promotes inner decisiveness to live life according to one’s own standards. Incidentally, the shape of the walnut stamp resembles a heart, perhaps suggesting one should follow their heart in all matters. Rose of Sharon, part of the hibiscus family, speaks of delicate beauty. Nasturtium indicates a victory through battle resulting in a conquest, or patriotism.
Each mug will contain a card explaining which stamp was used and its particular meaning. Not all stamps may be available at any given time, so if you desire a specific stamp, please contact Becki for more information.
Creamy Orange Mocha Diffusion Mug
All mugs are hand thrown on the potter’s wheel. Becki uses a warm brown, stoneware clay that has speckles in it and glazes that are mixed in the studio. All pottery is fired to 2200 degrees making it food, dishwasher and microwave safe. Finished mugs hold approximately 9 ounces of liquid with room for cream, marshmallows, or anything else you might choose to add to your drink.
Pottery should not be heated on the stove top or over an open flame. Washing by hand and handling with care is recommended to extend the life of your handmade pottery.