My second year as an art student (1996-ish), ceramics: mold making class with the fabulous Mark Burns.
Assignment: Make a set of four mugs by hand. Try to make them as close to identical to each other as possible. Draw from a bag the name of an artist/painting that will inspire your work.
My artist/painting was El Greco/St. Sebastian c.1612
I created these mugs, with a bonus pitcher. The reason for the bonus pitcher was that it was actually the first "mug" I made, but the next one was significantly smaller. By the time I started on my third piece (second mug) I realized the first needed to get either discarded or repurposed. When I presented these for critique, I had also made a board with arrows that the mugs hung on. I lost that in one of my moves at some point in time. The purpose of the exercise was to help us really appreciate the mold-making process by demonstrating how difficult it is to replicate something exactly, over and over again. It was an awesome exercise and by the time we got to the mold making process, I was indeed grateful. We got to create some really great stuff through mold making.
I tried to use these a couple times but apparently there were bubbles in the glaze deep down in the inside, and they popped open during the firing process, thus when I added hot beverage, the bubble residue flaked off into my drink. Multiple times. Pretty gross. So, they're decorative mugs. But I like that they strike up conversation from time to time.