Cupán Cré: Coffee to go, mug to stay

A potter in Carrickfin is carving out a niche market making reusable pottery coffee mugs.
Cupán Cré – the eco art cup – is a bit like your disposable paper coffee cup only its hand made from pottery clay!
The mugs, which come complete with silicone lid and sleeve, have been designed by Kim Sharkey and her husband Jimmy Duffy in their Carrickfinn home.
Speaking to the Donegal News this week, Kim explained that the couple made their first prototype towards the end of the summer.
“I like my coffee and there’s plenty of paper cups lying around the car. I was looking at them one day and thought that I could make my own reusable cup. When I did I mentined it to a neighbour who wanted one and it’s taken off from there really,” Ms Sharkey said.
“We wanted to design something with its own personality and the response has been amazing. We only went live with the new product two weeks ago.
“I don’t take milk in my coffee so I know the importance of having a sleeve on the stoneware ceramic mug to avoid getting the fingers burned. We’ve teamed up with Donegal weaver Brenda Hewitt to make hand woven sleeves while we’ve a number of set designs on the mugs. We’ve also been asked to do some personal commisisons and it’s a case of so far so good,” she said.
“Essentially, these mugs last forever. The mugs are dishwasher proof while the silicon lids will last a life-time. The mugs are relatively light while they’ll help to keep your hands warm in winter. We have been overwhelmed by the wonderful positive response to our new product,” she said.
Ms Sharkey is an illustrator while Jimmy is a historian and works as a geneologist.
“We both teach and we were chatting about something that we could do which would allow us to work together and so we went with this product. We don’t have a kiln but an artist friend gave us the use of hers – there’s a lot of collaboration with other artists,” Ms Sharkey said.
“We have an old mobile home which we’ve made into a studio – for illustrations and for glazing. It’s enabled this project to happen,” she added.
The Cupán Cré – the eco art cup – which retails for €22 will be on display at craft fairs in An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny, on December 2 and in Caisleann Oir, Annagry on December 7 as well as the annual fair in Dunlewey.

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