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handles and history/story

updated tue 20 oct 09


mel jacobson on mon 19 oct 09

the one thing about potters that is amazing, is they
keep up with the times.

ancient potters were no different.
handles came about because they were needed.
it was not a big hooozah, they just got incorporated
as the need presented itself. who cares what date?
it just happened. all around the world.

since the start of time and humans, people have been
using clay as a survival tool. they sure did not
have art in mind.

they made things that were needed. the storage bottle
or pot for seeds was vital. water containers, things
for the of all sorts led to pots and fire.
the perfect example...`the dead sea scrolls.` pots saved them.

take for example.
early pots from around the world had round bottoms.
people sat around a fire, on the earth. the pots tucked
into sand or ash.

when the table became fashionable, the bottoms of pots
became flat. (you know, the round bottomed pots rolled off
the table...easy adjustment, make them flat.)

when the orientals invented painted surfaces, the foot ring
became available. and then it was polished. `no scratches please`.

think of an early soldier with a bottle of soup, it was survival.
food and water in the same was C rations. those that
had it survived, those that did not died. if you had food and water your
group could fight a half day more than your enemy. you win.

think of sailors with stored food and water in clay vessels. amazing.

potters were vital to the community, and they had to have been
great business the blacksmith, they were vital.
and, they were the keepers of scientific advancement. fire and heat
and control of clay was the highest technology of any time.
today....the silica chip, the nose cone, the tiles of the space shuttle.
the computer...all clay technology. super conductivity...will be the
next great breakthrough. it never ends...heated ceramic...our future
is held in that concept.

i may be a dirt potter, but i am also a seat of the pants scientist.
i am an observer. i change as needed. `mel, can you make me an 11"
flat cake decorating plate...flat as can be with tiny am i=
a contest.` sure. now i have to think. i have to be creative and
develop a new idea. it is very important to my friend david, a dear
gay man (his partner just died.) that wants to win a cake decorating
contest, and he needs
me to add an element that no one else has. one hundred years from now
someone will pick up that plate and say `martha, what the hell was
this for?`

i made a big flat tool yesterday, with a i could use it as a fl=
rib, pressure rib. this cannot bow in the middle.
and, it will be heavy.

many of us invent brand new things universally. about 50 potters
from around the world work with shino and think they are alone.

i worked on mel's orange for about 10 years...the day i finally opened
a kiln and there it was...perfect.
and cm came that day..and on the cover was a big a pumpkin.
orange as can be. i just smiled. i was not alone with orange.

so, it is interesting to look at old pots, study them..but there is a long
line of pots, millions of them, broken and in deep earth. they are still
there, we just have not found them yet. and many of them will
have a story that we will not understand. they were needed at the
time, and the time changed.

from: minnetonka, mn
clayart link:
new book: