Every year there is a conference called NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) for everything and anything ceramics and pottery that you can imagine. While I'm not a member of NCECA, I am a member of Clayart, an online discussion group of very smart and experienced potters. They've never not been able to answer any question I've posed.
So how do NCECA and Clayart fit together? Every year at the meeting they do a Mug Exchange. Participants are matched together and they create a ceramic piece for their partner and exchange it at the meeting. But for those of us who do not attend the meeting Clayart has created the 'Stay at Home Exchange'. Same idea as the onsite event, we just make the exchange by mail during the week that NCECA takes place. I've been participating since about 2006 and it's great fun. I've been partnered with everyone from professional potters to those new to the art, from across the US and once from the UK.
This year I've been matched with Deborah Maxwell of Red Mudd Studio. Since NCECA is this week, I'll be putting the mug I made for her in the mail tomorrow. The pictures below are of the mug I made for Deborah. Hope she likes it!