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teabowl or dip bowl?

updated wed 19 apr 00


Tim Skeen on tue 18 apr 00

Hi Ray
I agree with you, and I don't think you are the clayart, antichrist. You
just look at topics from a different perspective and give us all something
to think about. This one about the teabowl/dip bowl reminded me of a very
humbling experience I had and made me realize, when a pot leaves my hands it
becomes what the customer wants it to be not necessarily what I created it

I coiled a rather large pot with a wide opening. I put so much work into
it, it was one of my favorites. A women came into the studio and fell in
love with it. I was sooooo excited to sell her this pot. As she was
walking out the door she explained that her cat loves to climb into large
pots and curl up and sleep, and it is hard to find a great pot with a wide
opening and a strong base. Pick me up off the floor!!!!! At first I wanted
to grab the pot from her arms and run but then I realized it didn't take
away from the fact she loved the pot. I made it as a non-functional pot but
I guess there is function for everything, one just has to use imagination!?
I can't control what a customer will use my pottery for once it is in their
home. Teapot for a flower vase? Vase to hold matches? Bowl for a
fountain? the list goes on... By the way, this was not a cheap pot, she
must have reallllly loved her cat!!!

Talking about customer's imagination and using our pots in different ways
reminds me to thank Ron Roy, Mel, Monona and all the others that help with
glazes and information about keeping our pottery safe. I make
non-functional (Horse Hair, Raku, Pit Fire) pots but try to make shapes that
won't be used for food. It is very hard to do this all the time. Does
others on the list have this concern with non-functional work?

Best Wishes,

-----Original Message-----
From: Ceramic Arts Discussion List [mailto:CLAYART@LSV.UKY.EDU]On Behalf
Of Ray Aldridge
Sent: Monday, April 17, 2000 5:19 PM
Subject: Re: teabowls

----------------------------Original message----------------------------

As an aside, mel was fulminating about folks using his teabowls for cheese
dip. I don't get it. The long-dead peasants who made the ricebowls now
used in the tea ceremony wouldn't complain about this misuse of their
wares, so why should we? Besides, it may be that cheese dip serves as
deeply ritual a function in the homes of Americans as tea does in Japanese
homes. Who's to say?

What we obviously need in America is a formal chip and dip ceremony. I
give this idea away freely to the conceptual artists among us, so long as
they pay adequate homage to the originator of the idea.


Aldridge Porcelain and Stoneware