The Way to Wacky Bottles

handbuilt bottle

5 inches high

This bottle design came into being while I was giving a handbuilding demo in my Wednesday afternoon class. I had visualized a bottle made of two shallow, textured, circular bowl shapes put together to form the body of the bottle, but I neglected to visualize how the bottle stand up. When I rested it on the table the bottom half sagged out and the two sections came apart at the top. I pressed the two sections back together at the shoulders and pushed the side of a pencil into the joins to further secure them, after which I added two little feet to keep the form upright. Now I was flying by the seat of my pants so I quickly added a crudely-formed neck that tore as I was handling it and by then I was laughing out loud, as were several class members.  I went around all the joins again to make sure they were tight and then I blew some air into the neck to re-inflate the sagging shape and voila, I had created a new bottle design.

two wacky bottles

8 and 10 inches high

This afternoon, in my own studio, I was determined to use up clay that I was liking less and less so I threw some cilanders and bottle shapes that I will use as experiments in an upcoming raku firing and I altered two of the cilanders along the same lines as my little bottle. The cilanders were wider at the top than at the bottom and when they were a very soft leatherhard I supported the walls on the inside while I rolled texture onto the outsides. Then I pinched the shoulders together, added the necks, and pushed in a few buttons. I added feet to give them a bit of a lift and the final touches were a few more texture lines and a coil around the neck. Because of my throw-away, experimental  attitude , I was able to stay loose and avoid trying to control my final outcome, an outcome that pleased me very much.

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One Comment

  1. Robin
    Posted January 4, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Love the experimental attitude!

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