This mug has got a very special personal story! I designed it on my own some years ago, in 2007, as the result of a fatal dead-end in our relationship. As you perhaps know, we drink many milk coffees all the time, and 90% of them are prepared and served by my so caring partner Kevin. Now, that guy is the most perfect partner: he never criticizes me, whatever I do or not do. With one exception: he always moaned that I never finish my coffee off, that I always leave a big quantity at the bottom and that I then have the temerity to ask for a new one.
It always goes like this:
Kevin: “Do you want a new coffee, baby?”
Baby: “Oh, yes, BigBoi, I would love a new one!”
So, BigBoi puts the kettle on and comes to get my mug. Before he takes it, he has a peek inside.
BigBoi: “You haven’t finished this one!”
Baby: “I don’t care… I want a new one!”
BigBoi:“You have to finish this one first!”
Baby:“No, it’s cold, I don’t like cold coffee!“”
BigBoi:“Then let me warm it up in the microwave for you!”
Baby:“No way! I don’t like second-hand coffee!”
And it goes on and on and on. BigBoi never understands that a French Lady doesn’t like a cold coffee, and even less a second-hand one. An English thing probably, they all love their second-hand stuff up there! And anyway, what do they know about coffee, these effing tea drinkers?
In his defence, I should perhaps say that we only drank Nescafe Gold, and that at that time we could not find it in Spain, or only in tiny quantities and at an infamous price. We had to bring it from the UK or France when we went there. So of course we were often short of it and it was not allowed to waste any gram of it.
Anyway, even more than cold or second-hand coffee, I hate recurrent situations and conversations. It just drives me crazy! To avoid me ending up in a mad house, I decided to stop drinking Nescafe Gold and stepped down to a cheap powder coffee we could get everywhere here in Spain. Not a big deal for me, as I don’t really notice the difference. I thought we were clear now and I could go on wasting my cheap coffee with gay abandon. But this was underestimating English human nature… nothing changed: he still wanted me to drink my coffee cold or warmed-up!
Eventually we had to make a drastic decision: we needed a RULE. After long negotiations, we agreed that if there was less than one third left in my mug, I would get a fresh coffee, without any discussion from his side. That rule applying only to the cheap coffee of course. A simple, objective rule, one would think. But very soon we noticed that the real problem had just started: considering the quantity of different shaped mugs we have, we could never agree about how much is one third. I tried to tell him that I am the mathematician in the house, and exactly know how much one third is, but he hates maths and always proved me wrong, using a bewildering array of dubious measuring devices.
It became really ridiculous, so ridiculous that one day I decided to design one mug which we would take as the only impartial judge in the future. Of course it had the inconvenience that I could never ever again drink my coffee out of our wonderful mugs, but well, one must know how and where to do sacrifices in order to keep the perfect partner.
And this how I designed the One-Third mug featured in the painting above. I had planned it to have a hole at one third of the height, and when I could see the surface of the coffee, it meant that I was under the third, and could stop drinking and ask for a new one. Now, my mathematician nature got a little bit carried away, and having started with one third, I went one with a two thirds hole, and a three thirds hole. I was so proud of my new mug!
But of course when the time came to test the mug, it was a big catastrophe: we had coffee all over the place! The irony being that the only coffee which was left in the mug and I could drink was the last third!
Well, let’s be honest, there was a design flaw from the very beginning: the mug wouldn’t even have functioned with just the one third hole!
BigBoi being a real gentleman, I didn’t even get shouted at, but the mug landed on a high shelf beyond my reach. By the way, interesting to see which was my favourite literature in 2007: Le Petit Prince from Saint-Exupery, the Russian author Doblatov (in Russian), and a big manual to learn FLASH.
If you like this mug and want to try it out, it is available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper or canvas, and also as greeting cards. Just click on the widget below to access my FAA Gallery
If you are interested in seeing more of my Coffee Mugs art, please click on the image below