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Identity and Values Cup

Identity and Values Cup

Identity and Values Cup


Identity and Values Cup
One of four cups made in collaboration with Northern Clay Center for a Minnesota- based project called Land of 10,000 Stories. Read more about the project here and the blog post here

Land of 10,000 Stories cups like this one are in inventory and do not need to be made, so they will ship asap.

Organizers: Northern Clay Center and Ursula Hargens
Ambassador of Conversation: Juliane Shibata
Image: Ry Macarayan
Cup Design: Linda Christianson

Porcelain 4" x 3 3/4" x 5" and 12 fl oz
For the longevity of your decal, please avoid the dishwasher.
Pictured is the front and back of one cup.

The illustration on this cup is an interactive Venn diagram, looking at how people’s values and actions intersect. Conversations about our shared experiences and values—instilled at an early age or held now—can be a way to bridge political and cultural divides and find common ground with others in our community. Write in the bubbles with a pencil, wipe away with a wet towel. 

Juliane Shibata
The Democratic Cup asked members of the Northfield, Minnesota community to gather over coffee to discuss issues that concerned them. Participants were invited to share the values that were instilled in them growing up and were encouraged to write those values in the unglazed dialogue bubbles on the mugs. From there we moved to more challenging discussions about the current political climate and how we see it impacting our nation and community. Cutting across racial, socioeconomic, generational, and gender lines, people wanted to find ways to build better bridges between Northfield's various communities. Opening up to strangers or even acquaintances can be difficult, but all who participated were willing to listen, treat each other with respect, and be recorded as they tried to establish more meaningful connections with others not directly in their social circle.

Ry Macarayan
I enjoy the simplicity of our cup and that it is a piece that is meant to be interacted with,  and hope that it brings people together to have productive conversations over it.

Linda Christianson
My daily practice begins with the making of 4 cups. While seemingly a simple form, the cup contains all the challenges I like: the pairing down of an essential lively form, comfortable feeling yet visually compelling, and a volume that suggests a specific liquid. Being put to the lip, the cup is the most
dauntingly personal pot one could make. It has the capacity to change one's daily life. In my household, the favorite cups never make it into the cupboard. Their life moves from dish drainer to hand to sink and back to drainer.  The best cups always end up in the shard pile, for they are loved to death.

The Democratic Cup has the capacity to change one’s personal and global worlds. As a prompt with
imagery and/or text, it engages the user in reflection, conversation, and the invitation for action. The cup itself functions much like a stage set at the theater, appearing and disappearing throughout the passage of time. Seemingly simple and yet powerful, the Democratic Cup can change the world one
conversation at a time.


Ursula Hargens
Traveling around Minnesota to host conversations for The Democratic Cup: Land of 10,000 Stories was encouraging. Participants were remarkably open and honest as they entered into challenging discussions with strangers. While people often disagreed, they were respectful, thoughtful, and knowledgeable about their local communities. They spoke in detail about the issues and how they were affected as individuals and community members. Listening, as people spoke from the heart, gave me hope.