Lockdown Teacups: A week of T2 teacups

July 19, 2021 | 4 Comments

After a week of Royal Albert, it was only natural that I would do a week of T2 cups since it’s the brand I have the most of.

T2 (Tea Too) is a local tea store that sells lots of fun teas and teawares. They used to have two teahouses in Sydney – Macquarie Centre and Hornsby and I used to go to the Macquarie Centre tearoom a lot (see more here). How many of you remember those days? 🙂

For a little bit of fun, I decided to start at the very beginning and sketch the first few cups that I bought from T2. This involved using a cup with a chip and one with a glued-up saucer. Note: As my T2 cups are my go-to for everyday use I’ve broken a few of them over the years.

Thinking about my first T2 cups caused me to go on a huge research project. (Are you surprised?)

I started looking through old posts (both here and on Flickr) to find the dates when I purchased these cups and I even went through some old versions of the T2 site (via Wayback Machine) to see if I could find the names of some of the patterns. It was such a walk down memory lane and I realised that my teacup collection officially started with the purchase of my first T2 cup in July 2009. This is the list I established of the first 12 teacups/sets. It was so much fun to research and work it out. But yes, it’s a sign that I’m a bit obsessed with this subject! 🙂

I normally drink from one cup as my standard for an extended period of time so as a result, I build an association between a cup and a specific period of time. In the early days, I used the same cup for 2 years, so there are many sketches of these cups in my sketchbook pages from the time.  So teacups are not just pretty objects – they are loaded with memories that flood back everytime I use them.

Okay… enough rambling… here are this week’s T2 cup sketches.

T2 Turkish Delight: Lime

My first teacup purchase (before a trip to Wales) and one of my favourites. There is a chip on the rim but I still drink from it from time to time. This cup reminds me of the early days of sketching and visiting the T2 teahouse. You can see my first sketch of this cup here which describes the shape of the cup and handle.

T2 Yellow fluted cup

This is my most sketched cup and one that brings back many memories. (The two are related!) This cup was the one that I used as I moved from full-time architecture career to what I do today. It’s one of the few cups that I own with a fluted shape so that makes it special. But I’m a little sad that I was not able to find any reference to this cup on the old versions of the T2 site so I have no idea of its official name.

I took this cup on a teaching trip to Tasmania and sadly broke the saucer in transit. I’ve glued it back together and still use it.

I did this sketch on the 13th July and was drinking Miss Grey (a lemony version of Earl Grey tea by The Tea Centre – used to be called Earl Grey Special) and realised that 10 years ago to the day (13 July 2011) I did the same! It was the day I flew to Europe for the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Lisbon.



T2 Casbah Green Cup – my Barcelona Cup

Bought it just before I headed to Barcelona for the Urban Sketchers Symposium there in 2013. It has one of the hardest (to draw) patterns in my whole teacup collection! So on this occasion, I used watercolour pencils.

Here are my experiments with paint and watercolour pencils that I did the night before to work out how best to do this pattern.

T2 Ruby Rose Pink – my pink Melbourne cup

I bought this teacup while in Melbourne to use as a prop for a 2-day workshop that I was teaching. I remember getting the staff at the T2 store to help me decide which was their most sketchable cup! I’m happy to know now its official name. It’s the only teacup in my collection that has a band of colour on the inside of the cup.

This is another cup that I sketched a lot and it’s one of the easiest patterns to sketch.


T2 Luscious Cup

One of my fanciest cups as it’s fully painted on the inside and has lots of gold.

I’m not sure why, but this is the cup I seem to forget about using! In doing research for when I bought this cup (I remember buying it for myself as a Xmas gift) I discovered that a number of years ago I decided that Monk Pear was the best tea to drink out of it. So that’s what I did this week.

It’s a super hard cup to sketch but so nice to use!

T2 Marabharata: Blue (tea for one) and Fruity: Pump up the Pom

Saturday: I couldn’t continue with my list as my Foundations cup was broken late last year when a teapot fell on top of it (I’m very sad about this breakage)… so I decided to pick a random cup.

I felt in the mood for a blue cup and this was the one I chose. It’s part of a Tea for One set (ie. comes with it’s own teapot that sits on top of the cup). I’m not a fan of these sets as they normally result in an unusual cup design. This is certainly the case for this cup – so wide and shallow. I also don’t need extra teapots. I might have an obsession with collecting teacups, but this doesn’t extend to my teapots. But, hmmm, I’m just thinking if I run out of teacups to sketch during this lockdown (and I hope that will not be the case) I might move onto my teapots.

To finish off my week I did a quick late-night sketch of some organic Ginger Kiss Tea (from the Tea Centre) in my Fruity Cup. The scale of this cup is wrong on this page as it’s a breakfast cup (300ml in size as opposed to a typical teacup size of 200mL). This cup makes me smile and has an over the top inside cup pattern.

Well there you have it, 22 days of lockdown and 22 teacups sketched. This is certainly a fun project and creating something unique and special in the repetitive days of staying at home.


  • Sheila Pallotta says:

    Liz! Show us the BOTTOM of some saucers! I always want to see the imprint too.

  • Marianne Verkest says:

    Hi Liz, I just want to tell you what it joy it is, again and again, to see your beautiful pages and to read the stories that go with the sketches. I appreciate the time you put into writing so extensively about your various topics.
    I have been enjoying your work ever since I took your very first Italian workshop in Lucca back in 2016 and I just wanted to let you know that I still enjoy your blog, your sketches, your stories and the way you share all this with us. And your courses too! So much content and fun in Sketchbook Design! Thanks Liz!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Marianne – lovely to hear from you again. I hope you are going well. It seems ages and ages since that Lucca workshop.
      THanks for your message 🙂

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