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misc: thumb stops; lori's pitcher

updated sat 18 feb 06


Lili Krakowski on fri 17 feb 06

I have never been able to actually use the thumbstop without getting my =
knuckle in my eye. =20

My theory about them is that they are a learned borrowing (I got that =
term in high school, and cannot let it go) from beer mugs with lids. =
There are a number of pottery shapes that started as the shapes of metal = mugs are an example. There are pewter beer mugs, =
pottery beer mugs with pewter lids...and both have these thumb stops to =
permit one to open the lid and hold it while drinking. =20

I think potters who made mugs which were going to have lids attached =
also made plain no lidders, and put the stop in decoratively. =20

I think now they are used either for decoration, or when the handle is =
not pulled on the mug, and better attachment and a stronger "look" is =

Lori: I cannot tell you what to others have already given all =
the good advice possible. I have pitchers which pour better right than =
left-handed. Some do better when the flow is large, as when pouring a =
lot of water into a big glass, and do not do well if I want to pour just =
a few spoonfuls. And vice versa. Many good things have been written and =
tried with lips--I stick to the pulled very sharp edged ones. BUT even =
those will chip, minuscule tiny chips sometimes--their absence =
discernible only with a magnifying glass.=20

But I want to tell you one thing, others will corroborate. Customers =
make demands on craftsmen they DO NOT make on other manufacturers. =
Every potter on this list will tell you--of the customer who, although =
warned not to, put a clay pot directly on the stove top; put a full =
lidded jar in the freezer..and like that. =20

My own favorite story of this type is of a woman who bought a pot of =
mine at the Utica Museum shop. Dropped it down the elegant, sweeping, =
stone stairs to the Museum--picked up the pieces, brought them back, =
asked for a free replacement. (She did not get it. Nor did I offer her =
a discounted replacement. )=20

Good luck. =20

Lili Krakowski

Be of good courage