The Bowl Limit I

Where is the limit of a named figure? A piece of pottery that we call a bowl, if it were too wide, would better be called a plate. And if it went from narrow and vertical, it would look more like a glass. If, even keeping the same shape, it increased in size, it would better adopt the names of punch bowl or salad bowl. If it had very wide walls, it would be a mortar. If it had an added element, such as a handle, we would call it a cup or a bowl, depending on its scale. And we have not even noticed its use, which would multiply the denominations, only slightly in its form.

When we create a bowl on the lathe we need to know where that limit is. How far can we stretch it? How much could it go up? What about its thickness? What adornment would make you cross the line of your denomination? What parts are essential? What characterizes you? Who decides all this? Is there any universal description of what a bowl is or should be beyond languages? And, if so, does that definition transcend us as a species? Which is the same as wondering if the language and concepts that populate and flow between our heads are above our human minds.

Perhaps by creating what I think are bowls I will be able to solve some of these questions.

Top image: Hilleström , P., date unknown. Stilleben med skinka på tennfat, fajansservis samt skål med krusbär och vinbär . Oil on canvas, Nationalmuseum .