We chose a cup to be the form to represent this project because a cup or mug is an object that can easily become a part of your personal identity. Think about the mug that you have on your desk at work, or the first thing you grab in the morning for your tea or coffee. A cup is made for drinking, and if drinking is part of your daily ritual, you start to form a relationship with your cup. It’s the friend that will always be there in the morning.
Why a cup? Why create a fundraiser based around one kind of object?
Because it's intimate, because it's accessible, because it's iconically American, and because around a cup conversations begin.
The symbolism of what can happen through and over a simple cup of coffee is important to us as makers. There is a power in the way that object can catalyze a conversation and get us talking to those nearby. We want these objects to open up questions between people who agree and those that don't, because part of our problem as a country is that we're not talking to people who don't agree with us. We want these cups to both breakdown silos and inspire people to do something for the common good.
The cup is the most democratic of objects and is the ceramic workhorse of both the kitchen and the office. We are constantly interacting with the cup and through use, the cup asks us to ponder and sometimes to change how we think and feel. We pick it up and feel it's weight, we wash its insides, and we put it somewhere safe on a shelf. Because it is often a comfort to us, this object enters our psyche in a way that rarely happens with other objects.
I hope that the cups being made for The Democratic Cup project will be meaningful to those who own them and touch those who use them. Ceramic objects can last thousands of years and I hope that the good they do lasts long after this presidential election.