Tuesday, August 20, 2013


This bowl was just born at our house yesterday.  Cute little baby, isn't it?

We have all kinds of bowls, from a very large capacity bowl about 2 feet across to little glass ones from France.  Lynn can take a lump of clay that has been properly kneaded and pull a bowl right out of it while it is spinning on her wheel.  The time between a kiln firing ending and the whole thing being cooled down enough to be opened is a tension-filled exciting agitated time.  A firing includes about 6 months of work.  Each piece inside can shatter or explode, not only wrecking itself but some of its neighbors, too.  So complete kneading to remove air bubble is important.  Yesterday, as she waited for the cooling to take effect, she created several new bowls, already beginning the next load for 6 months from now.

I was surprised to read that as most of humanity changed from hunter-gathering to stable agriculture, a food surplus became possible.  Calamities might be better faced with some stored food on hand besides the possibility that extra food could be used to feed those who did not produce food, such as soldiers and professional of various kinds.  However, extra food called for storage methods that could protect food from insects, vermin and infestation by bacteria and such.  Thus pottery enters the picture as important for society and new possibilities.

It took Lynn quite a few years to move from open bowls, such as you might use to eat soup or stew, to jars and objects with tight-fitting lids.  Not only must the lid fit the top, it needs a bit of a lip to fit into the jar for security.  You can see why the iconic canning jars with two part lids that can be completely filled and sealed tight would be an important technical step, especially for those homesteaders out on the prairie where the winters are cold and deadly.

We have the Empty Bowls project locally.  Potters donate bowls they have made and local restaurants provide various soups.  You can attend and select a bowl and a soup for lunch or you can have take-away, with a bowl of your choice and everything packaged.

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