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Local producer Tathlina Lovlin: What’s in a mug?

Local potter Tathlina Lovlin says folks are very particular about mugs
Tathlina Lovlin with a selection of some of the mugs and plates she creates at her Elkford pottery. Pictured at the Sparwood Crafts and Small Business Fair, 2021. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Elkford potter Tathlina Lovlin has been doing pottery for almost 30 years, and she says that in that time she’s learned that people are very particular about what they drink out of.

“A cup is a personal item. If you have a good cup that fits you, and you love - it will never go through the dishwasher because you will rinse it, and you’ll put it down, and you’ll pick it up 15 minutes later,” she said.

Lovlin started learning pottery back in Yellowknife as a way to stay occupied, and 30 years later she’s still at it, and still learning.

“I really like the different shapes and the challenge. I like it when people come to me and ask if I can make something,” she said. Either you can put in requests, or take a peruse through what she has made up already - Tathlina’s happy to help.

“I like making sure somebody has the mug they want - the right mug. I have a lot of respect for how people use their mugs. There’s all kinds of people, and there’s all kinds of mugs. Some people are very particular.

“I always say pick it up - you’ve got to love the handle, and love how it feels before you purchase it because you never know.”

Standing over a spread of two tables worth of brightly coloured and varying shapes of mugs at the various craft fairs up and down the valley, Lovlin said preferences were as varied as what she created.

“Every person is different and its really amazing to see how everybody is different with mugs. They look at the colours, they feel the weight and the shape,” she explained.

“Everybody has a cup of coffee in the morning, or a cup of tea. And its usually that 15 minutes you take for yourself. You’ve got to make sure your cup fits it, and fits you.”

Based out of Elkford, Tathlina’s Pottery can be found on Facebook. Her pottery is for sale through the Fernie Arts Co-Op, and she does the rounds during market season.

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