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Once upon a time, several years ago, I painted the mug in the first four photos above, and sold it to a customer on Etsy. Since then, the sold listing has become one of the most viewed, requested, and favorited items in the history of my shop. But since I scavenge all the mugs I paint, I have not often come across the same medium-sized, antique brown mug with which to reproduce the original.

Recently I found seven (Potterheads will note that seven is the most powerfully magical number!) of nearly the exact same mug at a local shop. The coloring is slightly less brown than the original, but I believe it is a more recent production of the mug I used to paint the first Always mug. (See photo 5.) I am therefore pleased to offer those seven up for sale, to be painted according to the buyer's choice.

When you check out, you'll be asked to choose between the following:

Original Design: I will paint your mug exactly like the original. (Pictures 1-4.)

Updated Design: I will paint your mug in the style I have used for more recent Always mugs, which utilizes my updated palette of colors, and a different owl style. (Like this one: https://www.etsy.com/transaction/1086121245, and the existing simple white Always mug: https://www.etsy.com/listing/192206255/made-to-order-always-mug-small-or-medlg?ref=listing-shop-header-0)

In both cases, you're welcome to specify the colors you'd like your owl to be in the seller notes. I am happy to paint your owl like Hedwig, or in any range of colors you would like. If you don't specify, I'll paint your mug in the original color scheme of the design you choose.

Please allow two weeks for your mug to be painted and shipped.


This mug is for those who assign very specific meaning to the word "Always."

An inspirational tribute to the Boy Who Lived, this mug bears only five words in all. On one side, beneath the famous circular glasses and lightning bolt, is the word "always," which both signifies the duration of the Harry Potter fandom, and of course, references Severus Snape's pledge to the length of time he will love Lily. ("After all this time?" "Always.")

On the other side of the mug is another small phrase which recurs twice in Deathly Hallows: "Until the very end."

The first instance this appears is in Rowling's dedication of the book: "...and to you, if you have stuck with Harry until the very end." And the second time we see it is just before Harry's surrender to Voldemort, during the (emotional, anyone?) Resurrection Stone scene: “You'll stay with me?' 'Until the very end,' said James.” (c) J.K.R.

All in all, I would say these may be the five most significant words in all of Potter. :)

Beside the handle I have painted an owl. And that goes without saying.


All of my work is done with a heat-set ceramic paint that is "officially" dishwasher safe. However, I use a range of mugs and ceramics for my designs, and as the true test of permanence is the passage of time, I cannot guarantee that all mugs will age the same way. In most cases you should see only slight and incremental fading over time with frequent use and washing, but if you would like your mug to last as long as possible, hand wash it gently without EVER scrubbing the artwork. (Please note that the use of abrasive action against the paint will eventually cause chipping whether you dishwash it or not.) In most cases, a dishwasher’s agitation is subtle enough that the paint can withstand it just fine, but some surfaces are less compatible with the paint than others, and some dishwashers are hotter or more aggressive than others. Use your discretion in washing.

(I test all finished products in my own dishwasher before shipping them.)


For the first time ever, I have decided to start using the US Postal Service as my primary means of shipping, but with Etsy's new calculated shipping option, choosing FedEx should also remain an option. Each listing will, by default, calculate a number of options for each listing, with a variety of price points, and you may choose which one you prefer. If you would like to ship your mug through FedEx instead (AND YOUR TOTAL IS NOT ALREADY $12 OR MORE) please select the FedEx shipping upgrade at checkout.

Please note, however, that if you live in the United States, and your shipping total amounts to $12 or more, I will ship it via FedEx ground, because they are quicker, easier, and more careful. (If you do NOT want me to send it via FedEx, please let me know in the seller notes at checkout.)

Frequently asked questions about OpheliasGypsyCaravan

All my pieces are scavenged from various stores, and I hand paint each one, so the short answer is 'no.' But if you'd like a reproduction of a past design on a different mug, I can absolutely do that. Please read my custom mug listings to see which one fits your needs: https://www.etsy.com/listing/109863641/simple-custom-mug-you-choose-the-quote?ref=shop_home_feat_2 ; https://www.etsy.com/listing/90199344/complex-custom-mug-you-choose-the-quote?ref=shop_home_active_5
That all depends on what I can find locally. Like sold mugs, I can't often (if ever) reproduce an exact duplicate of a sold item, but sometimes I can find similar pieces to paint the same way. These sorts of custom projects usually take a long time, mostly because the actual finding of the pieces is a long and involved process, but if you're willing to wait a bit, please get in touch and we'll chat about options!
Usually, when I post a large collection of mugs, I do it all at once, and alert my Facebook followers and mailing list of their availability. Since time tends to be of the essence in those situations, I don't measure each cup's liquid volume, because that takes a lot of time. But if you'd like to know the size of any given mug, feel free to message me! In general, mugs I classify as "Small" tend to be 6-10 ounces, "Medium," 10-12 ounces, "Large," 14-16 ounces, and "Extra Large," 18 ounces and up.
Absolutely! I have many custom options in my shop, from simple, black-text only mugs, to intricate, complex artwork and mug specifications, to bowls and decorative platters. They can all be found in the MISCELLANY section of my shop. (Please read the descriptions on the listings before you place your order.)
This question is one I still cannot satisfactorily answer, even after eight years of experience with these paints. The paint brand, Pebeo, claims that they are dishwasher safe, which is true in some respects. I have some mugs that I have been washing in the dishwasher for years, that are still mostly just fine. And yet, I think the dishwasher in question and the mug itself both impact how well the paint will stand up to that sort of washing. (In some cases, I think the detergent coats the paint over time, and even preserves it.)

On the other hand, I have seen mugs whose owners only hand-wash sustain significant damage from scrubbing. If you want to hand wash, take care to scrub ONLY the inside of the mug, and never the artwork itself.
Unfortunately, my mugs are not really wholesale material. They take me so long to paint that I really must ask the full price I charge for them, and can't discount for the sake of wholesale.

The Original Always Mug: Small Antique Brown "Always" Harry Potter Owl Mug - Hand Painted with lightning bolt and glasses