Monday, March 21, 2011

Free and Loose - Sauce Bottle Up Close

Bottles like this have a long history.

Ancient Chinese and Middle Eastern ones with an oval body and two spouts have been found in archaeological digs and are displayed in museums all over the world.

Many were designed to hang from a saddle (or maybe from a wall inside a dwelling).

Sometimes it's nice to just make something that is purely spontaneous.

This little sauce bottle was done after I had made some very precise, controlled ones.

It may seem a strange way to work, but I start these bottles from the bottom up--Using a slab and a needle tool I cut out oval base. No pattern, just making it by eye.

The shape will change slightly with construction anyway, so there isn't a need to be precise.
The body was cut out the same way after I merrily stamped the heck out of it.

I rolled the body clay into my hands, shaped it around the base, then sealed the seam with a rolled a clay worm. Then I whacked the bottom/side seam with a paddle to merge them and make sure it won't leak.

The upper part was brought up and the two sides were left open so I could attach the spouts. If needed, I cut a rough opening for their positioning. The spouts were hand formed, the seams joined and smoothed by hand, but no effort was made to conceal the seams. The spouts are and secured and smoothed into the body of the form on the inside.

I overlapped the front seam making it's rough shape obvious. The top was joined, trimmed and a fat tapered-ended roll of clay makes the finishing seal at the top.

Even though the sauce bottle looks freely formed, all the lips of the spouts, inside seams and closures are well-smoothed. I don't want any food to remain on the inside since these are cleaned by rinsing them out with very hot water.

Height: 6 inches


Fred said...

This image puts me in mind of a few of the pots in this multi-year archive of the community firing of an anagama in Georgia. Warning - this may be a time sink if you enjoy images of woodfired pots.

Clay and Fiber Artist said...


Well worth looking at. I am a fan of woodfired pots, maybe because I can't make them.

I love the fish platters too.

Thanks for sharing.