Mug Madness is a head-to-head, single-elimination juried mug tournament with a $500 prize.
Entries open November 1st, 2020.


Join us on Instagram all March long as we pit mug versus mug until just one emerges as Mug Madness Champion!

How It Works

Mug Madness is a juried gallery show and tournament. Anyone, of any experience level, can enter. Our two jurors will select a total of 64 mugs to participate in the tournament and show at Saltstone Ceramics in Seattle, WA. Entries open November 1st, 2020.

Every day in March, mugs will be paired into match-ups and posted to our Instagram at 9am. Each mug can win up to three points in a match. One is given to the winner of the Instagram poll; the other two points come from our judges. The mug with the most points moves on to the next round!

Read the full Tournament Rules for more information.

Team Michelle vs. Team Chris

This year's Mug Madness has two jurors: Michelle Ettrick and Chris Hosbach. Each juror will choose 32 mugs to enter the contest. Although we'll organize them into two teams, that's just for fun. Our jurors are competing for nothing but pride. In each match-up, they are free to vote for whichever mug they think is best, regardless of who juried it into the show.


How to Participate

Entries open November 1st, 2020! Anyone can enter, regardless of skill level or experience!

During March 2021, Head to our Instagram account every morning to vote for the best mug. Use hashtag #mugmadness to cheer your favorite on to the Salty Sixteen and then the Mug Madness Championship. And check out all the mugs we have in our gallery: shop online or in person at our Seattle store. But most importantly: continue to support artists, makers, and craftspeople in your community, wherever you are.

Meet The Jurors

This year our two jurors will pick two teams of 32 mugs. Brackets will be constructed to create as many different-team matchups as possible. Remember: the jurors are just competing for honor... the $500 top prize and title of Mug Madness Champion goes to the maker of the winning mug.

Team Michelle

Michelle is a Pennsylvania-based potter who creates both sculptural and functional pottery. Her gorgeous, illustrated work is heavily layered with meaning and experience. Take a look at the incredible breadth of her work here.

Team Chris

Fans of Mug Madness will remember Chris from his dominant performance in Mug Madness 2020. Chris uses a variety of techniques in his pieces, and his distinctive, meticulously patterned work is one of a kind.


What Makes A Great Mug?

"A good coffee mug will depend on the user. There are small hands, big hands, people that like to hug (Hold it with both hands) the mug and some that do not like a handle at all. I make mugs of all sizes for this reason. I own small mugs for when I feel like having some coffee and very big mugs for when I really need coffee. I like a handle with an opening big enough to slip all my fingers in but not too far from the body of the mug where it’s too far away if I decide to use it by the handle. I also enjoy a small handle that fit one or 2 fingers with the curves to hug it if I want. "


"Mugs are one of the most intimate ceramic forms. Hands and lips interact with the handle and rim. These surfaces should be smooth and inviting. A great mug will balance aesthetic elements with form. Design is important yet should not trump function. It’s definitely a challenge to create unity in design while achieving the proper proportions. I'll be looking for mugs that successfully incorporate all these elements!"


If you'd like to see how Mug Madness 2020 turned out, we've got the full bracket here. And in the meantime, congratulations to all the Mug Madness 2020 participants, and our reigning Mug Madness Champion, Chris!