Saturday, September 15, 2012

Inspiration Bowl

Lee Rexrode bowl
I picked up the 500 Bowls book for some inspiration the other day. I guess I hadn't noticed, or didn't remember, that the introduction was written by John Britt. He notes that while the bowl is one of the most basic forms, it is "simultaneously mysterious and transparent." 

In his seminal book Functional Pottery, Robin Hopper notes that the form of the bowl is an extension of the natural cupped hand. In "civilized society" we distance ourselves from our food and eating vessels by using utensils such as forks and spoons. But holding a clay bowl in the hands and eating directly from it makes a meal a more satisfying experience. It is then that, as John says, we can be surprised by "the magical interior hidden inside a calm exterior, or vice versa."
Jane Cullum bowl

Here are some of the bowls I have at home that have become my favorites. The first one is by Lee Rexrode. When I first got it I barely used it because it was "so beautiful" I was afraid something might happen to it. But now it's in constant use. I love the way it opens up and how the glaze leads me back down. And most of all, I love the tactile feel of the lumps of feldspar in the clay body.

The second bowl is by my friend and mentor, Jane Cullum. I love the way the color changes in this bowl and, most of all, how a small pull and the simple addition of little bits of clay on the side changed it's shape.
John Britt tea bowl

The third is a John Britt tea bowl. I love the movement of the lip and the amazing glaze. It really turns my morning tea into a wonderful awakening of the senses.

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