Hand blown hot chocolate mug

Joined
Sep 13, 2007
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Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
When vacationing in Cape Cod two weeks ago I visited the Sandwich Glass Museum. Sandwich is the town's name and home of the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company that operated from about 1825 - 1888. After seeing the glass blowing presentation by Fritz Lauenstein, I bought this mug made by him.

The clerk was appalled to learn that I would be using it to drink hot chocolate, as she apparently felt the item should only be viewed on display, not used. When it's not being used, it's on display on a dark blue shelf installed on a light blue wall in my kitchen along with my six other hot chocolate mugs. No two mugs are at all alike and this one complements the blue tones in the kitchen, so this is a welcome addition to my small but growing collection.

Setup
Apologies that I had to break down the setup before I had time to photograph it. The tabletop is textured presentation paper. A small, continuous-light lamp high above the scene was on the right. A small, white reflector on the left brightened the left exterior of the mug. The plate is fire engine red so I changed its color during post-processing. Twenty focus-bracketed images captured at Nikon step size 3 were stacked in Helicon Focus at its default settings.


Mike 2021-09-01--0007-S.jpg
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Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
3,202
Location
Winter Haven, florida
Beautiful image, well crafted.
Mike, did they confirm the mug was food safe? If they really do not expect anyone to drink/eat from it they may not have been tested.
Many of the brighter colors and nicer glazes contain lead. These usually are well managed during the firing process- but not always.
gary
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
Messages
21,686
Location
Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
Thank you to Dan, Rick, Ken and Gary!

Does that mug make the hot chocolate taste better?

No, not that I can tell. I also don't believe the famous Riedel wine glasses make wine taste better. The notion that they deposit the various types of wine on the ideal part of the tongue is just crazy, as all of our tongues are of different size and shape and are in a different place relative to the rest of the mouth area. Moreover, the idea that taste buds in certain parts of the tongue taste only certain characteristics such as sweet or sour has been proven to be a myth; no matter where the liquid is deposited on the tongue, it will taste the same.

did they confirm the mug was food safe? If they really do not expect anyone to drink/eat from it they may not have been tested.
Many of the brighter colors and nicer glazes contain lead.

Based on everything I've read, the amount of lead that can leach from glass into liquid is not harmful. Some crystal and other forms of glass contain up to 24% lead. The amount of time the liquid or other food remains in the vessel is also important. In my case, the hot chocolate will remain in the glass typically no more than 15 minutes, usually 10 minutes. Compare that with leaving wine in a lead crystal glass for five to ten times longer (not that wine ever stays in my glass that long 🍷 ).

The glass blower's website promotes using its glassware as drinking glasses and its bowls for eating food.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
3,202
Location
Winter Haven, florida
Perfect
My niece does a lot of glass/pottery work- 2 large kilns filling her garage. She always warns her pieces have not been tested- sounds like your site has been.
We actually lost a parrot- dear pet friend- to lead poisoning years ago, so it is always on my mind. It ingested a lead curtain weight- unknown to us. Xrays of the parrot are still used in vet books. It gives a particular look to the bones. I have seen a few cases in children over the years- but not for the last 20yrs or so.
gary
 

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