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nesting bowls... any pictures or rim tips?

updated thu 28 dec 00


Sabra Wood on mon 25 dec 00

hi, everyone.

i have to make a set of nesting bowls & i'm flummoxed.

i've never made them.

i searched archives & got some tips... and read an interesting discussion about
nesting cups from trekkies...


i was told to pay lots of attention to rims... to be sure bowls could be easily

any idea what this means... what the implications are... beyond, leave some room
between bowls for fingers?

any help would be most appreciated.

thanks. sabra

Tjo62@AOL.COM on tue 26 dec 00

Start out small......2 pound bowl, 4 pound bowl, 6 1/2 pound bowl, 10 pound
bowl, 14 pound bowl.......see if any three in a row match---lol Measure as
you go along. If they are all the same height, when you stack them they will
move up in height in even increments, but the diameter will have to get
larger (for a tight fit, the size of two rim thickness wider per bowl) with
size. The lip thickness looks nice if it gets slightly thicker as the bowls
get larger. You can adjust a little in the foot trimming if you need to. I
have a great set my friend made. I'll snap a dig shot later and send it to
you if you want. Tonya in Louisville, KY

Cindy Strnad on tue 26 dec 00

Hi, Sabra.

I suspect the reason your customer may be concerned about the rims of the
nesting bowls being difficult to separate is that they can sometimes "lock"
together if the bowls are too closely matched. Like a lid in some galleries,
you know.

Seldom do thrown bowls maintain a perfectly geometrically round
configuration all through the process of making and firing. Geometrically
perfect bowls can be extremely close in size and yet never lock together. I,
like many potters, add a slightly thicker rim to most of my bowls. This
discourages chipping and gives the top boundary of the piece a nice,
definite finish. It can also lock with other bowls nested within.

The secret is not to nest the bowls too closely. Make the next smaller bowl
small enough so that its rim doesn't touch the rim of the next larger bowl
in any place. Then your rims will never lock, and the bowls will be easy to
separate. You might also ask your customer whether he wants to be able to
insert his fingers between the bowls. That would necessitate a larger
separation between them.

I don't recommend a bulge on the inside of the rim. Though it may make
removal of the smallest bowl easier, it will also make it more difficult to
pour liquids from one bowl to another.

Hope this helps,

Cindy Strnad
Earthen Vessels Pottery
RR 1, Box 51
Custer, SD 57730

Cat Jarosz on wed 27 dec 00

Hi Sabra.... I haven't seen this tip yet so will try to explain it
and hope that anyone reading this that can explain it better will do so....
its the knot or rubber band around the stick that I cant explain... here
goes... take two pieces of flat wood strips and make a X cross with
them .... the rubber band should be attached so that the arms move or
slide freely up and down .... If you can understand what I just tried so
poorly to explain.... boy I need a video :o( sorry Sabra or anyone else
trying to follow me... anyhow what this does is allows you to measure the
depth of the inside of the wet bowl.... you can put inch marks on the wood
sticks if you like ... what this does is give you one more measurement
for yourself ..... the calipers give you the inside and outside
measurements of you lip and this measurement will give you how tall the
next bowl should be if you want it to be flush or if you have some theme
on how tall you want each successive bowl to be..... Hope this is
helpful I will try to find a pc shot of a bowl set to send you ...
warm regards , Cat Jarosz