Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sauce bottles

The Inspiration:

A water or wine bottle, designed to be either carried or strapped to a saddle, a waist or shoulder strap.

These vessels can be found in museums. Variations can be found in displays from the Orient to the New World.

This beauty came up on eBay a few years ago.

I saw this one at the Corcoran Museum in Washington D.C. some years ago.

It is engraved rock crystal with gold or vermiel fittings and was part of a special show from the collections of the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul.

(Photo taken from a post card.)

A modification of the form can be used to serve sauce, syrup or sake.

It's intriguing how different the same form looks when the surface treatment is changed.

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All the above were made by handbuilding.

I cut out a rather free-form bottom first, roll out a long slab of clay, then mold it around the base until I get a free-form shape. I attach the bottom to the walls--this is easy since the top of the form is very open at this point.

If I were to texture the outer walls, I would impress them first and then handle very carefully to keep the design crisp. So far, I haven't added a surface treatment after the form is 'set' except for glaze variations.

I coax out the spout walls and either let the whole thing stand on it's own or put a cylindrical form inside to keep the shape. While that is stiffening up a bit, I hand shape the spouts. Then, I rest them into U-shaped cuts at the sides and attach them, adusting the angles as I go and trimming off excess clay. I smooth all the inside areas for a good flow of liquid, then begin to shape the closure at the top.

The form lends itself well to variations and manipulation of the shape.

I'm sure I'll continue to explore this idea more--the addition of a removable lid could be added as well as modifying it to make a divided vessel for oil and vinegar; creating handle designs; etc.--lots of possibilities.

"Black Nose"

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