My fascination with clay began in 2005 when I centered my first ball of clay on the wheel and I have gained an innate sense for the unpredictability of the glazes. I have been producing Quaich (pronounced "quake," with an additional 'ich' on the end, so say my Scots friends) since first learning how to make attachments onto clay. Quaich are the traditional Scots whisky cup, also known as the 'friendship' cup and used ceremonially to pay the piper, toast weddings, etc. The proverbial 'cup of kindness' as made famous by poet Robert Burns for a traditional welcome to my home or a 'one for the road' farewell. I'd been 'paid' many times during my piping career and was inspired to create my own early in my pottery education.
Originally carved of wood, but since the 17th century they have been primarily produced in pewter and silver. The quaich gained its reputation as the friendship cup due to its unique two-handled design that one drinking from it, can't hold a weapon at the same time and the sharing with another proves there is no poison. In wedding ceremonies, they are shared by the parents and bride and groom before the service or perhaps, at the end of the ceremony by the newlyweds to seal the deal.
I have been throwing these wee bowls and hand-building the lugs for a similar look of the traditional form, while adding my own designs for a personal feel. The various glaze techniques and carvings all play in the production of these delightful clay works.
I do love to play with clay and commissions are fun to create and welcomed! Custom ceramic quaichs built to your specifications and design ideas, names and dates carved...hmmm....a distinct possibility. Great gifts!
To see colonial style redware and more, click here.