The Journey of the Planet Cup – Behind the craftsmanship of the original reusable ceramic coffee cup
Light beams through our airy barn workshop situated on lush green acreage at the foot of Mount Coolum on Australia’s Sunshine Coast. The vibe in the studio is quiet and peaceful, and there is a rhythm and grace that befalls our ceramicists as they throw each pot and dip each glaze.
The beauty around us serves as inspiration and is a daily reminder to the reasons why we designed our very first Planet Cup – to raise funds for environmental causes and change single use disposable culture by creating something beautiful that can be used every day.
Before leaving the studio, many hands and many hours play a part in bringing each cup into the world for their first shot of espresso. This is the journey of the Planet Cup..….
Preparing and moulding the clay
Clay is prepared by our potters who then throw each cup on the wheel or press the clay into a mould before allowing it to air dry for several hours. Once the clay is leather hard, our potters turn the base of the cup on the wheel to ensure the shape is perfect. Moulded cups are smoothed over with a sponge and decorations like our Rustic cup or Sage Dimple are hand carved at this stage.
Once the cup has dried for at least two days it is then ready to go into the bisque firing. Cups are carefully stacked into the kiln with the precision of this loading taking a few hours. Once loaded, the kiln is fired for a whole day, left to cool overnight and throughout the whole next day. After 5 days of handcrafting and preparation, each cup is now finally ready to be glazed and take on a unique personality of their own.
Every individual glaze recipe is one which has been designed by our team, some even being passed down through generations from Renton Bishopric’s father Steve Bishopric. The design of our colour combinations is an experimental process which can take months of trial and error before we have a look that is both beautiful and reliable.
All cups are dipped into hand mixed glazes in up to 3 different batches of glaze and requiring drying time between each dip. It’s at this stage that some also get decorated by hand like our mandala cup or our new grateful heart cup. Drying time and the glaze application process is crucial and takes a great deal of concentration and skill, even a slight delay in dipping the next layer could ruin an entire batch of cups.
Mixing glazes from raw ingredients is a time consuming and scientific process, it takes several days of glazing for the cups to be ready and loaded into our glaze kilns. The cups are fired for one last time, another whole day (10-12 hrs) and during this time must be closely monitored and attended to.
The final reveal
After being left to cool for another day and night we open the kiln one last time with the reward of revealing the final glazed cups. Our studio hands carefully remove the cups and sand the bottom of every single one, checking for imperfections as they go and sorting and removing any seconds. A card is placed inside each cup and we arrive at the final step after a long journey – fitting the lid and testing for seal.
Each and every cup is touched and admired by many before it leaves our studio. No single cup is the same, and it’s this uniqueness that makes it so special.
If you are looking for a coffee cup for your daily ritual that you will love just as much as the espresso that it holds, our Planet Cups are for you. They also make a fantastic unique corporate gift that is functional, durable, and something we hope people will hold onto for a lifetime.
Tags: Reusable Ceramic Cup, Unique Corporate Gift, Pottery Cup, Handmade Ceramic Cup, Coffee Cup, BPA Free