Sunday, October 12, 2008

So this week (starting tomorrow since I have to work today), I'm going to be throwing my first batter bowls.
First step for me is to look at other batter bowls, think about the shape and function of them and find something from all that which I like and which fits with my work. Since I'm making something handmade, some people may look just to handmade sources but I find that sometimes leads to either copying something someone has already done or making something in a way that may not function as well as something else. My solution is to go straight to the source, I usually start with a Google of the piece I'm going for. Here's a few of my favorites that resulted from that search:

Okay, so as I was looking through the different bowls and thinking about what would be the most comfortable position to pour from I got to thinking that if I use a full handle, the sides of the bowl have to be a bit straighter just to keep the center of gravity correct for pouring. Also, you don't want the top to get too wide because it makes it harder to channel the liquid down the spout. Of course these are things we all know but I want to try and keep them on the forefront of my mind while I am drawing designs so I don't find something that looks really nice as a design but becomes something that doesn't function as well as I would like it to.
So for alternative handle options I will look to potters:Lorna MeadenAmy HalkoDeborah Schwartzkoph

These three artists are a few of my favorites partly I think because I have seen two out of three of them work and so I feel a bit more of a connection to their work.
Deborah came to Illinois State when I was a student there and actually made one of these batter bowls. Although it's not a very good angle to see her handle, it's actually a cut out space on the outside of the bowl which is very comfortable to grip with your hand while letting your thumb rest either right on that red dot or laying comfortably above it.
Lorna was a demonstrator at NCECA this year and I really love her funky oversized handle which works well for the smaller size of this bowl but may not be comfortable for something larger that could hold more batter.
Last we have Amy Halko whose work I have never touched in person but I really love it all the same. Her bowl must be a smaller one as well since it doesn't have any handle on it. Of course this isn't central to the function of the design, but I love her bright patterns and bold color combination of greens/blues with a bright popping red. I use it often on my work as well!

Well, I guess those are my thoughts as of now about batter bowls. This way I will have time at work to mull over which ideas I like and what I would like to use when I start the sketching phase of my bowl design.