The Maize Mug

Over the years, we’ve had the honor of working with various local potters to create unique custom cups of all shapes, colors, and qualities. And as we grew into our big-boy britches, I knew it was time to step up and develop some iconic forms and designs with potters who match the level of excellence with which we strive to achieve every day. You probably own some of these cups and maybe you know the names of some of their creators.

I met Doug Casebeer a few years ago when I asked a trusted potter friend who the best potters were in the nation. She told me that, arguably, Doug is one of a very few at that pinnacle. He’s an artist in residence at the University of Oklahoma, settling back into red dirt country where prairies stretch out beyond the cross timbers and hide broken shards of pottery crafted by indigenous artists over the past several millennia. He quickly agreed to build some cups for us, matching a design with my fanciful imagination. And now he’s back!

For the DoubleShot 20th, I asked Doug to knock out a new cup. It’s a shape inspired by some of mine that are near and dear to my heart. Cups you’ve almost certainly seen me drinking from over the years: those bulbous, Navajo or Hopi bowls (they might call “jars”) sometimes incised with intricate patterns and color schemes. (Ours is stamped with the DoubleShot icon.) With this cup, we’re going for a sacred shape with an unusual, organic glaze made of Oklahoma red clay and limestone. This glaze, far from being red, is colored in the varying browns and oranges of heirloom corn. Where it bleeds, the glaze turns a greenish tone, like the husk. And it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It’s a vessel we’re calling the Maize Mug, in honor of its color and the spirit to which it venerates a people for whom corn has been so integral going back into early Archaic times.

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