Along with Bernie Sanders, maple syrup, and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, Vermont is home to a practical and durable coffee mug that we’ve had in our home since I was a child.
I was thinking about Bennington Potters because our son is taking an elective course in ceramics at Sierra College this semester from Larry Ortiz, a master potter, longtime art instructor and founder of the Arts Council of Placer County. Our son is enjoying Larry’s class, along with his STEM courses.
I recounted to our son that I grew up watching my Mom and Dad drink coffee from the same white “trigger mugs” from Bennington Potters that we still use at home. It was a happy childhood memory — on Christmas morning and most mornings.
I inherited Dad’s mug when he passed away, and I enjoy drinking coffee (from Carolines) or green tea from it — largely because of the memories. I’ve added to the collection, and now our son drinks hot chocolate out of his own white trigger mug.
“The 1948 beginning of Bennington Potters happened in an old barn,” according to Bennington Potter’s history. “David Gil, founder and owner operator from 1948 through 2002, was determined to design and bring to market beautiful, well-made ceramics in a production context.”
Bennington Potters has become one of the nation’s most famous pottery studios. It now sells more than 55,000 pieces of pottery annually — even the Obamas have some. The kilns use a fireproof coating once used on NASA rockets, and temperatures can reach 2200 degrees.
I’ve added to my coffee mug collection; another favorite was made for Three Forks Bakery and Brewing Co. by Sweetland Pottery. A video explains the process at Bennington Potters: