From jarhead to bowl maker: Grad student Ehren Tool's art of war
"Now a UC Berkeley graduate student in art practice, Tool is a former U.S. Marine who served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1991. He wears his gold Marine Corps pin on a desert camouflage apron, and his hair as short as in his jarhead days. At 6' 2' and 320 pounds, he looks like a saner version of the Vincent D'Onofrio character from 'Full Metal Jacket' -- like someone you would not want to mess with.
Which would be too bad, because then you'd miss out on getting one of the cups he makes. They are clay, usually dull black with a shinier black glaze, and decorated with press molds of military medals, bombs, or babies, their bottom edges scalloped into sandbags. Tool has given away more than 4,000 of them since he graduated from the University of Southern California in 2000. Homeless people have Tool's cups, as do workers at Cafe Strada, where he likes to mainline espresso. He mails them, free of charge, to Marines related to people he meets. More than 800 of his cups went home with people from the Burning Man festival in 2003. "