A lost craft work from my childhood

I found this Thor Hammer Mug in a box of toys I had been keeping from my childhood. It is the first ceramic piece I ever made and had fired. I remember making it at age 12 during a summer art camp. I was in to Thor comics, so between my seventh and eighth grades this is what I made. The under-glazes were mislabeled in the studio, so the colors didn’t turn out how I wanted. I think this is the only piece from anyone at the camp that didn’t explode during firing.

That was a great summer being a crazy kid. The summer art camp was held each morning at Mission College, which at the time was surrounded by open fields, and was just one big building. I was in the camp with four of my school buddies, and we were at the very upper age limit for the camp. We got bored pretty easily (Something that at this age happened a lot). By the end of the summer we had to be escorted out of the building by the instructor after each class, because we were causing so much trouble.

We had a habit of taking clay with us from the studio for our mischief. We would shape the clay into what we thought were funny shapes, then fling off the upper stories of the building watching the splat down in the atrium somewhere. Some college students had the pleasure of seeing a clay Mr. Bill explode on the ground next to them as they walked to class. That was when security was called on us and discussions were held. We relished the infamy.

We had a lot of fun. I remember the face painting lesson became war paint day for us. Can you imagine four young boys with war paint running around? I am sure there were some confused people walking through campus those days. Mostly we went out to the fields around the college to “hunt” rabbits. We had created spears, carried rocks, and made traps, but mostly we just ran around like crazy kids trying to scare the wildlife (and any passers-by). We also got the police called on us a few times by poor old pedestrians who thought we were hunting them. Ah, the memories.

Amazing what an old mug can stir up.

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