The finished beer steins, ready to be handed out as prizes. Tim Humbert

The finished beer steins, ready to be handed out as prizes. © Tim Humbert

by Tim Humbert

I have been racing cyclocross in the Cincinnati Community since 1996. I picked up pottery on 1998, when my wife and I got married. Mitch Graham, who helps run the OVCX, asked me if I did any custom work. He was looking to do something different for the series’ winners than just present a plaque, like he had done in years past. He told me that these guys work all series long to be the points winners. He wanted to give them something that was custom, a one-off, that only the winners could get.

We came up with the stein. A 7-8′ beer stein (or water jug for those under 21).

We went through a few looks and thanks to James Billiter who designed the logo this helped pull it all together.

The process of making them was interesting: once they are thrown, they got a handle, and then a badge. They needed to dry completely before the first fire. After the first fire, they are glazed and then re-fired. Of course, all glaze and clay is food/beverage safe; dinner, dishwasher, microwave and oven-safe. All pottery is fired to over two thousand degrees: talk about heat training!