Spilled Milk, The Mug That Was a Mistake

We recently introduced Spilled Milk, the latest handmade creation from our favourite ceramist, Nicola Smith of Kilnhouse Design Studio. Since going on sale, this beautiful limited edition terracotta and white clay mug has flown out the door. We only have a small number of the first batch left.

“Spilled Milk was really the first ‘light-bulb’ moment for me,” says Nicola. “After the samples came out of the kiln way back in 2018, I knew it was something that had to be further developed.” 

This mug design actually started out as a mistake. Nicola wanted to glaze the interior of a mug and wipe back the excess to keep things nice and simple. However, she was new to glazing at the time and was nervous and shakey. “The shaking caused the spills and I decided to leave them as a test,” notes Nicola. “When thinking of the name, I realised that I wasn’t worried about the spills and the saying ‘no crying over spilled milk’ came to mind, so Spilled Milk was born!”

Nicola also mentions that this mug is an expansion on how she’s been able to let things go more easily without being such a perfectionist. Each spill is truly different and it’s something that can’t be controlled. 

Spilled Milk is of course not the first time we have collaborated with Nicola. This is our fourth project with her and the latest addition to the Terbodore x Kilnhouse colab. “I feel like we’re slowly developing the idea which was simple to start. If I look back at the mattish black first edition, so much has really changed. From the weight and finish of each vessel, to the decorative glazing styles we now work with,” says Nicola.

“Terbodore has been so understanding of the process and has really allowed me to develop with each order produced – I’m truly thankful for a brand that invests so authentically into local makers.” 

Kilnhouse has grown exponentially since our first colab back in 2019. “I started out making Dane mugs on my stoep in the evening after work, 48 to start which was daunting at the time!” Fast forward to 2022 and Kilnhouse is now a dedicated production studio, consists of four staff members, and exports all over the world with large order quantities.

“I am beyond thankful to Terbodore for being my first big client. They have been here from the start and seen us grow through all of our speed bumps and potholes. Looking into the future, I am currently searching for a new home for Kilnhouse to really ramp up production. Our current location is bursting at the seams! We’re expanding in so many ways, which I would love to divulge but not just yet,” concludes Nicola.

Watch this space!