When I was young the mug making game was pretty much nailed down by KilnKraft, they'd brand the base of the piece in relief and the artwork would incorporate a separate credit elsewhere (usually near the handle on the far side of a right-handed drinker). Maybe that's why we weren't so bothered about having a backstamp of our own, despite everyone's protestations.

Now we're changing suppliers it seems a good time to capitulate, we've spent all week sketching different designs until forced to surrender, letting the mind go blank and willing the right idea to announce itself sometime soon. It's uncanny how many times you want to use the Dover Street Market or Ordning & Reda logos without thinking. In the meantime, we'll probably go for some pedestrian button motif.


I still couldn't help doing a little research though, up-ending everything I laid hands on. My favourite things were these scrappy little drawings in a pocket-sized antiques guide. Sketched like occultish glyphs by Stanley Fisher, they have the all the scratchy symbolism of silvery tattoos from the bodies of sailors and convicts in early photography.

• English Pottery & Porcelain Marks, W. Foulsham & Co. Ltd, 1970

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