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Penland Auction Mugs

When Penland School of Crafts holds it’s annual benefit auction they make it a weekend party for the patrons. They hold luncheons, dinner, cocktails, and even breakfast. The Breakfast in the Barns event is held in the place where the resident artists do much of their work. This gives the patrons a chance to meet the artists and discuss the art. They also get a nice, handcrafted mug for their coffee, which they take home as another memento of the occasion.

I normally volunteer for the auction and have watched the patrons look over each and every mug before making their choice. It’s really fun to watch and it is great to know how meaningful these are to people.

This year I volunteered to make the mugs for the 2016 auction breakfast. I’ll have to make 500 mugs and my goal is to make sure that the patrons have a great variety to explore. The majority will be fired in salt or soda at Penland but I’m going to make sure a few get into some kilns around me just so they can have that variation in glaze and firing type. Of course the biggest challenge is making 500 mugs that are different shapes and sizes. I will even hand build a few just to have that be part of the mix.

It’s going to be a challenge, especially considering how small my studio space is but I’m feeling like I’m up to it. It’s only 500 mugs plus a few extra just incase some get broken and all the work I have to make for holiday sales. I’ll sleep next year.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff


  1. and I thought I had overbooked myself, no way could I accomplish your goal, good luck, can't wait to see the results, did you get a wheel ?

    1. Thanks Linda, I’ve already started making the mugs and have set up a workable schedule, I think know I’ll make it.

  2. Outstanding! What a great opportunity for you! I have a free room if you need one while your up here!

    1. Thanks Seth. Penland will give me free housing but I’m on my own for meals so let’s be sure we get together for a few of those (and maybe a beer or two also).


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