Birch Forest mug-Callahan Ceramics

20180908_165730Featuring a sea-inspired mug for my recent pottery post, I mentioned needing a tree adorned piece to complete my collection of natural elements. It felt like kismet when soon after, Callahan, the talented potter of Callahan Ceramics asked for customer requests on upcoming designs. I quickly piped up that a birch tree scene would be magical. Indeed, I think it is.

Fortune favored my request; Callahan supported the idea and birch forest scenes were realized in his amazing summer collections. I picked up this beauty on August 12th, priced at $52. It arrived securely packed about ten days later, shipped for $10 and included a ceramic care card.

20180908_170148Callahan’s signature scenes remind me of dioramas, which I’ve been enchanted by since childhood, still am. Why birch trees? I think because an unexpected fairytale element resides in them, a welcoming quality and lightness, even in their barren striated bark. The bright moon, starpoints and forest path add to it’s storybook charm. The techniques of hand-carving an incised image and building up clay structures like trees provide dimension and an almost relief-like effect. I adore the wayward birch branch reaching out of the scene.20180908_170245With a flat sturdy base and 18 oz. capacity, she is a beast. Easily surpassing the size of my next largest mug, also by Callahan Ceramics.20180908_165847Hearty portions of coffee, cocoa and soup will be enjoyed within this fall. The soft charcoal gray glaze with subtle speckles contrasts the brilliant paint colors and makes the white trees pop.20180912_115033I can nestle all my fingers inside the semi-circle handle and use the gentle divot to rest, but with the mug half full, it becomes uncomfortable. Instead I grip with three fingers while stretching my thumb across the back to support my hold. A male friend tried it out and commented that he can only fit two but he prefers a ring handle for single-digit hold or larger dimensions for a three-finger grip. Of course, it’s impossible to estimate everyone’s hand size, however, comfort is important.20180908_165759
The aesthetics more than make up for any issue. With brilliant hues of blue, turquoise and green, a contemplative moonlit path and life-like birch trees, Callahan’s design exceeded my expectations. Birch trees aren’t uncommon in this region, but there aren’t any birch groves nearby, which makes me delighted to have captured this one-of-a-kind piece and display it. I’m wishing for a planter in one of his well-executed scenes too. If you favor more whimsical designs, Callahan’s holding a space alien-themed restock this Saturday, September 15th and opens for limited custom orders on Monday the 17th. Check his Instagram for times, or sign-up for the newsletter on his website.

Do you have a favorite tree? What scene would you choose on a handmade piece?

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4 thoughts on “Birch Forest mug-Callahan Ceramics

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  1. I do have favorite trees. For my sub tropical climate it would be the banyan tree. But my other favorite is the birch. I was so excited to finally get to walk among them in Maine. I very much admire your mug. It is beautiful. I sent a message about a custom. I will be crossing my fingers that it can come to fruition.

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    1. Ah, I like the sound of the Banyan. I know ❤ those Maine birch were gorgeous. I've been to a birch tree alle at a historic home park but my camera died. I'll have to see if my sis has any pics, it was so cool.

      I really hope he does your custom. I'd love to see what your imagination comes up with in his style. I submitted one small trinket dish for a present. I could think of a custom design I wanted to do for nearly every one of my loved ones and I really wanted a planter, but I am awaiting another custom planter at the moment so I limited myself to one, I hope he chooses mine too. It's kind of a confusing process to take open custom requests and pick and choose. Fingers crossed for both of us. ❤

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