The Guerilla Mug Assault

Nov 8th - Nov 8th, 2013

On November 8, 2012, The Clay Studio hit the streets ofPhiladelphia.  Stationed at sixdifferent locales with both foot traffic and an abundance of coffee shops, teams gave away 500 beautifully crafted handmade ceramic mugs to 500individuals with disposable cups. A tag attached to each mug included information about the project, the mugs maker, and The Clay Studios blog address with a statementencouraging the recipient to post about their experiences using their chosenmug and the relationship they develop with it.

This Guerilla Mug Assault, partially funded by the  John S. and James L. Knight Foundations Knight Arts Challenge Grant,  is part of a larger project titled Made by Hand.  The project began in August 2012 with two exhibitions: Derek Au Recent Work and Pots at Rest. The exhibitions exploredboth obvious and subliminal associations one may draw with tableware includingnourishment, the sharing of food, social hierarchies of dining, and theseobjects abilities to serve as reminders of people, time and place.

The Clay Studios ArtisticDirector Jeff Guido states, Countlessexhibitions have been realized on tableware, but none that ask both maker anduser to define its relevance or function in their lives, and more broadly, itsrole in present day culture - Why do people buy it and why do people make it?With the Made by Hand project, multiple voices and points of view will be given equal opportunity to expresswhat it means to them. And the project moves beyond the converted, taking theart to the streets with the Guerilla MugAssault, which removes a barrier formany when it comes to the handmade price.


The John S. and James L. Knight Foundations Knight Arts Challenge isa three year, $9 million initiative funding innovative projects that engage andenrich Philadelphias communities. In 2011, Out of 1, 752 applicants and 36 winners, The Clay Studio is honored to receive a $15, 000 matching grant in support ofthe Guerilla Mug Assault.