Friday, 26 September 2014

Post 172 New Bowed Wall Rectangular pot shape

I continue to tinker with pot shapes searching for something within traditional bounds but being just a bit different.

I started with straight oval and rectangular as the basic black and white of bonsai pots.


Then I truncated the oval to create a compound oval, so the long axis finished with a flatter curve and the 'corners' as they were were of quite long radius. This is Pot 87.

At the same time I created a bowed wall rectangular pot with wall curvature almost like a oval pot. With this shape the corners had a tighter but still rounded corners. This is Pot 104

Some of this was motivated as much by technical considerations as aesthetics. With the straight walled rectangular pot there are forces that come into play while the clay is vitrifying, going through that rubbery state at over 1000 degrees C and shrinking 8%. With the clay available in the market here it is very difficult to finish up with a straight wall that doesn't show some movement, sometimes more than I would like. With a straight wall it can bow in either direction and there's not much to stop it. The only way to make one reliably is to slab it up from very leather hard clay and then at that level of moisture the joints are at risk. With a curved wall it has no space to do the reverse flip from outwardly convex to inwardly concave and so is far more stable.

With the design of Pot 104 being quite technically successful I have been thinking about how far I can bring in the curvature to approach straight and still retain the stability of the curve.

This is what I've done with this pot, No 127. It is still drying and so a little way from the final test at glaze temperatures. The long side curvature is probably half that of Pot 104.

 The pot at this point is about 370mm long so will finish up at about 335mm after glazing.

I've made three pots to this basic shape. The making allows a certain flexibility in design. This one has quite sharp corners. Another is similar with a lower rib or bead at the base of the wall, and the third one is made with more rounded corners more like the brown pot above. The other tweak possible is to mount the feet flush with the wall.

127 larger pots and another 48 shohins and still refining, still trying to catch up with my changing tastes and technical understanding. What do you think?

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Happy to hear your advice, feedback or questions