Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Mug: As near to perfection as anything man-made I have ever owned or seen.

This is a coffee mug made by Waechtersbach in Germany. I've had a set of these since about 1978 (as you should be able to tell from the W-Germany imprint on the bottom). The size, shape, color, heft, and texture are all perfect. The glaze has developed a beautiful Raku-like crazing on the inside from years of having piping hot coffee poured into them in the cool of the morning. The color (an almost natural clay slip glaze) is reminiscent of the Bavarian beer mugs this company has undoubtedly made at some point. They have held coffee, tea, hot cocoa, bourbon, cognac, scotch whiskey, and even beer. They have been my companions in prayer and conversation, in solitude and in marriage.

But, they are no longer available.

The mug is still made in some very attractive colors and some very tacky designs, but this simple, natural color that compliments a strong, rich, black serving of Columbian coffee is history. I had eight of them in 1978, but twenty-eight years later I am down to four.

All attempts at human perfection are fleeting.

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