Saturday, 15 September 2012

Making Pouring Bowls

Turning or trimming base
In the past couple of days I’ve been making a small batch of batter bowls or larger pouring bowls. These are bowls with a pouring lip that prove really useful around the kitchen when cooking. I use one of my own pouring bowls regularly for beating eggs to make quick omelettes. They’re about the size of a normal breakfast bowl so they’re very handy to have around compared to traditional mixing bowls which are often huge cumbersome things stored at the back of cupboards. And of course having the lip just means they’re satisfying to use – which is the main thing of course.

Lifting Bowl off wheelhead after turning

These larger pouring bowls are really ‘a size up’ from my small drizzle bowls. So basically they follow the same shape and design but on a larger scale. Back in April I made a variation on my drizzle bowls by adding a small thumb handle. I called this variation ‘bird bowl’ pouring bowls because the handle seemed to look like a bird tail. They’ve proved quite popular and I’ve been asked to make a larger version of them. So in the same batch I’ve also made a couple of test bowls to see how feasible they are on a larger scale.

Making thumb handles

So far this larger bird bowl design seems to work. Sometimes scaling-up changes the nature of a pot so much that different sizes don’t always seem to relate to each other. Happily at the moment they have the same sort of vibe as the little ones do. I had to reconsider the design of the thumb handle so it could withstand the extra weight. An odd feature of making pottery is that logic, maths and ratios don’t always make sense: just doubling the size of the handle for instance wasn’t going to function well or look right. Instead I extended the width of the tail to accommodate the whole thumb and give support. Hopefully this will retain the function as well as keep the ‘feel’ of the little bowls. Of course I won’t know if they work as a design until they’ve been glazed.

Larger 'Bird Bowl Pouring Bowl'
Anyway, I’m quite pleased and excited by this larger size. When making pots I always think it’s a good sign if you feel the urge to keep one for yourself.

Detail handle and lip


  1. Lovely bowls. I really like their simplicity and the large size does work doesn't it. Know what you mean about up scaling things.
    I've had some near impossible requests lately, sometimes other people's ideas for your work are just not meant to be. But this idea for your bird bowls does very much work.
    Your thrown work is enviable

    1. Thank you Naomi - that's very kind! I'm glad you think they work - I've yet to see if they feel light or heavy-handed when fired. And yes, it's sometimes difficult to explain to people why their idea won't work in practise. The trouble is manufactured ceramics makes people think anything is possible!

  2. I love your works, do you know this?

  3. Hi I've just blogged about your page over on mine. I also used an image to try and encourage folk to call in. Hope that's OK, but if not just let me know. Helen