Kevin Merck is a potter from Georgia who lives by the proverb “every day is Halloween.” After 15 years of making contemporary ceramics under the studio name Turkey Merck, the potter wove in his love of horror movie special effects to make some ghoulish zombie coffee mugs. His limited edition runs of the mugs have been extremely successful, spreading through the unsuspecting public about as quickly as a legit zombie outbreak.
Merck told Daily Coffee News that the mugs come in two types — original and cast ceramic. There’s different price points on each and the cast mugs are based on Merck’s original design. They are all painted and glazed by Merck himself, meaning that each mug is slightly different from the rest of the potter’s undead army.
“Slow Joe,” his most prominent design, sells us on the special effects angle. Rarely do we see ceramics that look this fleshy. We half-expect one of these things to open its mouth and groan at us. And the clouded-over bloodshot eyeball is an inspired touch! Other designs have jaws, gaping wounds and snaggle teeth. Merck is clearly one of those horror fans whose obsession stops just short of being antisocial behavior.
It’ll be a fight to get your hands on one of these $230 monstrosities (we’re using “monstrosities” affectionately here). Merck has another batch of them scheduled for March, which is just one week away. He told Daily Coffee News that he’s open to mass production, but doing so comes with the risk of losing some of the quality. A quick search for “zombie coffee mug” all but proves that. Even the ones that attempt Merck’s realism are a far, far cry from his Hollywood-caliber artistry. Tom Savini would be proud.
Bill Rodgers is the Managing Editor of cfile.daily.
Love shambling, rotting contemporary ceramic art? Let us know in the comments.