Chad and Felicia- owners of Mississippi Mud Pottery in Alton, IL- have become our go-to friends when it comes to setting into motion the actions of change. Felicia lead me into the fight to legalize backyard chicken keeping last autumn- a innocuous hobby that shook Alton's city hall with the overwhelming support of the community and brought her and I together. They are great models of what young, hardworking business owners can accomplish in less-than-perfect circumstances...and their ceaseless dedication to Alton, their constant devotion to their art, and their adaptation to all business hurdles has been far more of an inspiration to me than they know.
Also, knowing their warm and humble personalities, I know I'm probably making one of them blush by now.
I approached them earlier this summer with a favor to ask- would the be willing to partner with us in creating some of the mugs for our Kickstarter campaign? Months later when the campaign was being set into motion- I contacted them again. They had been positive in our previous meeting, but we had never really discussed the circumstances of our exchange. I wasn't sure what they would be willing- much less have the time- to help us with. Both Felicia and Chad keep intensely busy schedules, and yet their reaction to our project was a courage-infusing enthusiasm. They not only agreed to make 25-30 mugs and donate them to our campaign as their contribution to Maeva's but they spent hours with us talking about form, color, and decal design. In between their autumn shows they managed to produce three prototypes for us before our own open house- giving us a way to show others in person what these gorgeous, functional pieces of work would be like.
Each mug made by Mississippi Mud Pottery is fired at super hot temperatures to allow them to withstand decades of use. They are all dishwasher and microwave safe- as well as food safe.
"A mug is a very personal object," Chad once told me. "You hold it in your hands, you put it to your lips. People sometimes ask why we don't make pairs of mugs, or sets of mugs- I make every mug different so that it becomes a personal object to whomever is using it."
Naturally, Chad and Felicia were quite agreeable when they heard we didn't have any intentions on asking them to fling out an assembly line of standard boring ol' mugs. Joel and I are artists too and we spent more than a few minutes relishing every unique mark the firing process left on each prototype mug they gave us. If you have contributed to our Kickstarter at the $100 level, you'll be receiving a mug uniquely your own- handmade by two of the most beautiful spirits you will ever find.