All Photos by Jon + Moch Photography
In Korea it’s “bali, bali!” Hurry, hurry! Keep it movin’! Bali, bali! Many cultures around the world share this mode of speed in common, this perpetual movement between places to be and people to see. Work and school concerts and Skype meetings and late nights and early mornings keep us in want of our caffeine. The coffee shop industry wasn’t about to leave us hanging. *High-five!* They came through for us and now we have more coffee shops than we know what to do with!
But what’s interesting is how coffee makes us transient. Take the cup it comes in, for example. Paper. It’s your ticket to depart the shop and enter the world of life and meetings and goals. Leaving with a ceramic mug is a little taboo, also known as stealing. No bueno. But hey, paper allows you to get up and go, to transition.
Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t terrible. There are times when I’m cruising to and fro, sipping my black brew, and better for it! Bali, bali! Gotta bounce! But the moments I tend to gravitate toward in my memory are the ones which seem too good for mere paper cups, symbols of transience and errand-running that they are. It’s in these moments time passes and you don’t realize it. You laugh so hard you cry and you feel like you’re right in the center of meaning and life itself, if that were possible. Paper folds under the weight of this kind of moment.
This, I think, is why we don’t fill our cabinets with dinnerware we throw away. Home is a place of stability. It’s a place for staying a while, kicking up your feet and slouching. Here, we rummage through the past and drink deep of love and relaxation. A paper cup doesn’t make sense at home, unless you’re replacing it with a mug from Margaret & Beau.
Rachael Metzger is a potter and artist from Portland, Oregon, who crafts ceramic mugs for humans. That’s probably obvious enough, and yet we, with our endless list of tasks, often live as if we are something machine-like. Her company is named after her grandparents Margaret Jeanine and Donald Beauregard Metzger who live in beautiful Bigfork, Montana. Their home, for Rachael growing up, was a place of adventure and exploration but also stability.
It’s cool because drinking from her mugs I can almost sense Montana, the expansive outdoors, yet the simplicity and inspiration her grandparents and their home instilled in her. Em and I own two mugs so far and they’re easily my go-to for chilling, for exiting the transition routine.
Rachael makes the mugs herself, spinning each lump of clay into a companion for your coffee, a container of inspiration and enjoyment. Her mugs, tumblers, and whiskey and wine cups feature simple designs and natural colors, with the occasional triangle, cactus or splash of blue. I would recommend all of them to anyone who loves supporting small local businesses or someone looking for a quality stocking stuffer for Christmas.
If you find her little creations too great to own only one or two, check out Rachael’s Mug Club. If you sign up for the Single Subscription, each calendar year you’ll receive four surprise mugs all a part of a cohesive set at lower-than-normal prices. Or, if you’re local, pick them up yourself at pick-up parties. Check out the other cool perks!
We all have routines. We’re all on the go, leading discussions, driving carpools, changing diapers, ordering take-out, socializing, and the rest; and coffee (or other caffeine beverages of choice) in disposable cups is a cultural norm. It’s how most do things these days, at least in Seattle. But for the moments of substance and stability, rest and tranquility, for the deep conversations and early morning machinations, allow Margaret & Beau some cabinet space I think you’ll be happy you did.
PS. If you’re a Seattle dweller and have a free moment on December 16th-17th, be sure to visit Rachael at the Seattle Renegade Craft Fair, Magnuson Park, Hanger 30.
Note: Thank you, Rachael, for gifting us two of your beautiful mugs to review for this post. For the sake of transparency, we were not compensated for this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own. Thanks for reading along!