Product Story: The Short Mug

 An Origin Story

As I write this, morning rituals and small acts of comfort have taken on new meaning during this time of isolation and sheltering in place. A cup of coffee or hot tea throughout the day provides points of pause. The caffeine rush doesn’t hurt, either. There is a specific category of object that a coffee cup falls into for me-- something I use daily, require to function, and also misplace constantly. I forget about it, yet I rely upon it. Perhaps there is a German word for it. 
In my opinion, a mug is a tool. Like a saw or a chisel is to a woodworking project, it is an essential part of crafting a day. The Short Mug is, as the name implies, shorter than most mugs. Its lower center of gravity makes it harder to knock over. The handle fits your fingers well. The squat cylinder shape recalls the utility of enamel camping mugs, and there is something stubborn and charismatic about it when it’s on the shelf next to your other mugs. The Short Mug has an origin story closely tied with Haand’s origin story. In 2013, I packed up my ancient Toyota van with Haand porcelain and drove it across the country from North Carolina to Los Angeles to show Haand’s work at Dwell on Design. It was our second big trade show and we won an award. Along the way, my then-girlfriend (now wife) Hannah and I would make coffee every morning in an aluminum Moka on a camping stove in the back of the van. It was never quite enough coffee for me (I’m a 4+ cup-a-day drinker) but it was an important ritual and it signaled the day was starting
We had precisely two enamel mugs with us. Chipped, thin steel with little rolled handles. we got back from our trip, I wanted to make a porcelain version.. It was hard. I had never really made a handled vessel before and it is surprisingly complicated to get right. Inspired by the stout, stubborn little mug, I kept at it until it felt right. We have been making these mugs for years now, and I continue to love them.
Stubborn objects inspire me as I write this and toggle to reading the news and trading infant duties with my in-laws and wife. These mug’s squat resiliency reminds me that we can make it through a lot, and chips and dings and even a crack or two don’t mean the end of something-- whether it’s a mug or a person or a community. Stay strong, stay stubborn, and stay safe out there.
-Mark Warren, Creative Director and Co-Founder, April 2020