Mug Madness is a bracket-style single-elimination tournament where mugs compete head-to-head to win a $500 top prize and the title of MUG MADNESS CHAMPION.

We're excited to bring Mug Madness back again in 2024! As always, the tournament has a few goals:

  1. To promote independent ceramic producers in a creative, engaging way.
  2. To provide a platform for new ceramicists to present their work.
  3. To expose ceramics fans to a wide variety of styles from a wide variety of artists.
  4. To have a ton of fun!


(all times Pacific)

  1. Sunday October 1st, 2023 at 12pm: Entries open at
  2. Sunday December 17th, 2023 at 11pm: Entries close, and jurying begins.
  3. Wednesday January 10th, 2024: The latest that 64 Mug Madness participants and alternates are notified.
  4. Thursday February 1st, 2024: Deadline for all participants' mugs to be delivered to Saltstone Ceramics.
  5. Friday March 1st, 2024 through Sunday March 31st, 2024: Mug Madness Exhibition and Tournament at Saltstone Ceramics.
  6. Wednesday March 27th, 2024: Artists' Choice Award announced.
  7. Sunday March 31st, 2024 at 9pm: the Mug Madness 2024 Champion is crowned!

The Prizes

  1. The winner of the Tournament receives $500 and the title of Reigning Mug Madness Champion.
  2. The runner-up receives $100.
  3. Participants are responsible for paying any taxes on their prizes as required by their local jurisdiction.

Entering the Tournament

  1. This is a juried tournament. There is no limit to the number of entrants, but only 64 entries will be selected to participate in the tournament.
  2. Entries will be accepted starting on Sunday, October 1st, 2023 at 12pm. Entries will close on Sunday, December 17th, 2023 at 11pm. Any entries received outside of these dates will not be eligible for jurying.
  3. To enter the tournament, purchase an entry ticket via the link at When purchasing your entry ticket you'll be invited to submit a photo and related information for your mug.
  4. Each entry costs $10. Entry fees are non-refundable.
  5. Participants may enter multiple times. A separate entry fee is required for each entry. Regardless of the number of entries received from any one entrant, at most one mug per entrant may be selected for the Tournament.

Who Can Enter

  1. The Tournament is open to anyone, regardless of age, profession, or experience.
  2. The Tournament is open to anyone, regardless of location. Note that participants are responsible for shipping costs and any local taxes.
  3. Management of Saltstone Ceramics, jurors, and other Tournament officials may not enter the Tournament.
  4. Note that in these rules, an Entrant is anyone who has submitted one or more mugs through the website; a Participant is anyone whose mug has been juried into the Tournament.

What Can Enter

  1. This Tournament is open to "mugs". A mug is a drinking vessel that is typically used with a hot liquid; as such it has a handle or other device to protect the user's hand from heat. 
  2. The tournament is open to loose interpretations of the definition of a "mug", at the jurors' sole discretion.
  3. Mugs submitted must be an original work of the entrant, must use clay as the primary material, must specify firing technique(s) and size, and must have been completed within the last 2 years.
  4. Mugs may not exceed the dimensions of 6" x 6" x 8" (l x w x h) (including handle) or weigh over 2 pounds. 
  5. All mugs must be well-designed and crafted, functional, and food safe.
  6. All mugs must be for sale. Artists will sign a consignment agreement with Saltstone Ceramics; Saltstone Ceramics will take a 40% commission on all sales.
  7. Mugs which are participating in the tournament must be physically present at Saltstone Ceramics's gallery in Seattle, WA for the duration of the contest, or until sold by Saltstone Ceramics.
  8. Saltstone Ceramics reserves the right to exclude from the Tournament any works that arrive at the venue in unstable or damaged condition or differ from the submitted entry images.
  9. Accepted artwork may not be withdrawn prior to the closing date of the Tournament.


  1. Mug Madness 2024 is proud to feature two jurors: Kristina Batiste of Juniper Clay, and Maliya Travers-Crumb of MTC Pottery.
  2. Each juror will pick a team of 32 mugs for a total of 64 tournament participants. Each juror will also pick two alternates.
  3. Jurying will based solely on the information provided by entrants: photo, title, and description.
  4. The photo is by far the most important piece of information you'll be providing; please take the time to make sure it is a clear, well-lit, sharp photo on an uncluttered background. Only one photo per entry is permitted.
  5. Other than the qualification criteria mentioned above, jurors may use any aesthetic, functional, artistic, or other valuation to determine which mugs will enter the Tournament, as they see fit.
  6. We will announce jury results to the participants, via email, on or before Wednesday, January 10th, 2024.


  1. Each juror will select two alternates at the end of the jurying process. 
  2. Alternates may be invited to participate in the contest in the event that a previously juried mug is unable to participate in the Tournament (for example, due to breakage during shipment).
  3. No substitutions are permitted once the Tournament begins on March 1st, 2024.

Participating in the Tournament

  1. Participants in the Tournament will be notified on or before Wednesday, January 10th, 2024.
  2. All mugs that participate in the tournament must be physically present for sale at Saltstone Ceramics's Seattle, WA store from February 1st, 2024 until the end of the Tournament (or until sold by Saltstone Ceramics).
  3. Participants in the Tournament will be required to sign a consignment agreement with Saltstone Ceramics and a release of liability. Our consignment terms include a 60% (to the artist) / 40% (to Saltstone Ceramics) split on the sale of each mug.
  4. Participants are required to ship their mugs at their own expense to Saltstone Ceramics in Seattle, WA. Any unsold mugs will be returned to participating artists at the artist's expense.
  5. If you like, you can use the hashtags #mugmadness, #mugmadness22, and #saltstoneceramics, and tag @saltstoneceramics, when you're talking about the tournament.

Shipping and Delivery

  1. Participants are responsible for all shipping, delivery and insurance costs for accepted artworks to and from Saltstone Ceramics in Seattle, WA.
  2. All accepted entries must be shipped in sturdy, reusable packaging such as boxes or crates.
  3. Saltstone Ceramics is not liable for any damage or loss incurred in transit.
  4. Any claims on shipping damage must be reported by the artist to the carrier upon receipt. Artists must retain all original packing materials for inspection by the carrier until the claim is resolved.
  5. Crated or boxed works must be able to pass through a standard 36” doorframe.
  6. Settlement for any artworks damaged in transit will be the responsibility of the artist and the carrier.
  7. All works must be received by the specified shipment deadline, or they may be excluded from the exhibition.
  8. Participants agree to coordinate hand-delivery and pick-up of artworks with Saltstone Ceramics (where appropriate).
  9. Any unsold mugs will be returned to the participating artist at their expense.

The Tournament

  1. This Tournament is a single-elimination bracket-style contest. Mugs will be paired into individual matches; the winner of a match continues in the tournament while the loser is eliminated. A total of 63 matchups spread across six rounds are required to determine the winner. The undefeated participant at the end of the Tournament wins the top prize.
  2. Every day in March, one or more matches will be presented. Matches are run through our Instagram account,
  3. In each match, the Participants are competing to win a share of 3 votes. One vote is assigned by each judge; the final vote is assigned by the result of a community poll.
  4. Community polling is tabulated through Instagram stories. Each match will have an Instagram story dedicated to it. Voting is open from 9am to 9pm on the day of the match. To vote, visit Saltstone Ceramics's Instagram story on the day of the match and tap the button for your preferred mug.
  5. The winner of each match will be announced on Instagram at or around 9pm on the day of the match. To win, a mug must earn at least 2 of the 3 available votes. Note that community polling accounts for only 1 of 3 votes; a mug must earn at least one vote from our judges to win a match.

Artists' Choice Award

  1. All participants in the tournament (ie., those who have mugs competing in the tournament) will have the opportunity to vote for the Artists' Choice Award. This is an honorary award with no cash prize.
  2. The participant with the most votes will be announced on Wednesday, March 27th, 2024.

The Jurors and Judges

  1. Mug Madness 2022 is proud to feature two jurors: Kristina Batiste of Juniper Clay, and Maliya Travers-Crumb of MTC Pottery.
    1. Each Juror will choose 32 mugs to form a "team", for a total of 64 mugs in the Tournament.
    2. In the first round, mugs will be paired so that each match will feature mugs from different teams.
    3. In subsequent rounds, mugs will be assigned to create as many "different team" matches as possible. Not all matches in subsequent rounds will have "different team" matches.
    4. Judges can assign their vote based on any aesthetic, artistic, or functional criteria they choose. A judge is not required to vote for a mug from their own team if they feel the other mug deserves to move on.
    5. Judges will submit their vote for each match to the Tournament director before the start of community polling (9am Pacific Time on the day of the match).
    6. If a juror/judge is unable to fulfill their duties in a timely fashion, then Saltstone Ceramics' Gallery Director, Samantha Schauer, will serve as alternate judge/juror.

    Other Important Rules

    1. This tournament is designed to be a fun, engaging contest to promote independent ceramicists and a general appreciation for pottery. We encourage everyone–participants and fans alike–to maintain a positive, encouraging attitude. Harassment, insults, or negative comments are not in the spirit of the contest and will not be tolerated.
    2. Saltstone Ceramics reserves the right to remove any participants who do not adhere to the spirit of the contest. This includes harassment, insults, negative comments, and attempts to "hack" the results.
    3. This Tournament is run by the owners and management of Saltstone Ceramics. All decisions made by Saltstone Ceramics and its agents are final.
    4. Saltstone Ceramics reserves the right to photograph entrants' work, and use submitted photo material of accepted pieces for the purposes of documentation, education, publicity, promotion, and future grant proposals.
    5. Any comments or questions can be sent to the tournament director, Samantha Schauer, at