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ceramic design. handles. dimension and proportion

updated mon 20 aug 01


iandol on sun 19 aug 01

This has been an interesting discussion which is indicating the =
diversity of ideas associated with such a simple appendage.
The handle/no handle debate shows that we know little about the history =
of our calling. Going back to the Beaker Peoples of the Neolithic =
cultures shows that there must have been a point at which the notion of =
carrying became prominent in the needs of the people and so handles were =
invented. But a handle is not a necessity for a drinking vessel. Those =
who have access to the European museums have excellent resources for =
research into this aspect and if anyone can get to Sheffield, then they =
may find some of the answers in Museum at Western Park.
The idea of always gauging the location of a handle at a fixed distance =
from the lip is also interesting. I must admit to using two fingers on =
my 12 oz pots, which tend to be tall, parallel and slender. On those =
where I belly the form out to get greater volume the insertion point is =
dropped by about half a finger. For shorter forms the distance from lip =
to handle insertion is diminished. My argument for doing this is that as =
the proportions of the object change, the centres of rotation and =
gravity move. This affects the perceived centre of balance at the point =
of suspension where the handle rests on my finger. Moving this point up =
as a pot gets shorter and down as it gets taller compensates for this =
change. If the distance is fixed this compensation is prevented and the =
effect seems to make the pot feel heavier as it is rotated. My suspicion =
is that this occurs because the length of the effective lever is =
increased in proportion to the ratio of the total height to the rim to =
insertion distance.
So, is it better from the point of view of design to use a fixed =
distance or to adjust the dimension according to the profile and =
capacity of the vessel to maintain a constant proportion ?
Best regards to all, remembering that Design provides intellectual =
functions which enable us to exploit our Artistic concepts.
Ivor Lewis. Redhill, South Australia