Mug Madness is a head-to-head, single-elimination juried mug tournament with a $500 prize.
Entries are due by Friday, January 15th, 2021.


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

How to Enter

It's easy! Just make a mug, take a picture, and send it in! Anyone can enter, regardless of experience, background, or where you live. The only criteria are that 1) it has to be a mug; and 2) if you're juried into the show, your mug has to be sent to Saltstone Ceramics in March and be available for purchase. Every year, we're thrilled to show an amazing range of mugs from an amazingly diverse set of artists.

Spread The Word

Mug Madness doesn't happen without a ton of participation from the community. Help us get new folks involved! Check out our media kit, where we've got graphics and blurbs and facts and enthusiasm that you can copy and paste all over the place.

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 are due by Friday, January 15th.

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

Anyone can enter, regardless of skill level or experience!

We're proud to have entrants from around the country and around the world, from beginning potters to seasoned professionals. All that matters is that you can make a great mug.

In March, cheer on your favorites!

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. "


"For me, the biggest thing that separates a good mug from a great mug is what differentiates a mug from a cup. The handle. A comfortable, well crafted handle that compliments the mug is what I look for most when seeking out a new addition to my mug collection."

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!