Philip Poburka on tue 28 aug 01
Dear Ron and All...
I have been enjoying these considerations upon notions of Handles...
When I used to do more Carpentry, I had made my own Hammer Handles...for old
Heads that I admired...intended for their respective tasks: Frameing (Sturdy
and long, thick...but sculpted...Heavy-Head)Sheeting (Handle slender and
long, and having some 'whip', lighter Head) Finish (Shorter, no whip,
The 'reason' why there is a sectional departure from 'round'...is one of
One may know the correct disposition, the lay, of the Hamer Head bye the
feel of the handlein one's grip...one will hold it and know...if the handles
were round, one would have to visually check and orient this...every second
or two even....as one use it, it would shift.
..having an ovoid or similar section, shape...one knows bye feel in holding
it, just what the orientation of the Poll...the Head....is...and...it does
not shift, or rotate in the Hand.
Chisel Handles are round...one will allways 'look' anyway, and...there is no
telling how one will need to orient the blade...equaling, to orient as
rotate, the handle in the hand...
A Hammer and it's handle are kept in the same hold...one orients the Head
bye a twist of one's fore-arm.
Shovel Handles...Hoe Handles...any as are 'round'...one orients them, bye
turning 'them'...the arms stay the same.
Axe, Hatchet, Pick...these are allways oval...you know bye feel, what is the
attitude or lay of the Axe Head...Hatchet Head...Pick Head...and you better!
A round Handle on an Axe, would be very trying...and would not 'feel' right!
And, truely... it wouldn't 'work'...
An oval shovel Handle...wouldn't 'work' very well either...no one who 'Digs'
would want one!
Hocky sticks too, I would guess - I have never played - is also where one
needs to know...bye feel...the attitude of the crook or whatever it is...the
'Business-end' of it...where it is a-pointing...
With that...'Oval' handles...one can tell in pitch darkness, if one
wanted...where the Head of a tool is pointing, and to a fine degree...
Round handles admit having tools at various axial angles so-to-speak...IN
the same grip of hand...and where one visually evaluates or guides those
angles...where the Tool is not married TO a certain relationship of
how-it-lay, to the arm...in an axial plane I suppose we'll say...
My favorite 'Mugs' have been those made in factories as 'Hall' and
whomever...maybe about a hundred years back...before that, and maybe more
recent even...thick...simple...and have a Handle, like a
Teddy-Bear-Ear...round, and of Round section...whose thickness is about that
of my ring Finger... like a three-quarter Circle...little hole...almost or
just big enough...for the middle knuckle, of my middle finger, to
not-pass...where the knuckle of my index finger, will.
Now...these are what I was allways most innocently drawn to...from my
earliest memories of having any notice at all.
I like very much, some other of Mugs too, and they are doing something
'different' than the old, 'pragmatic' Hall exemplars or other I am referring
So far as essence and function of the thing...for me...this
rings-the-bell...no one makes them.
No one ever notices them...if they did, they would say, 'Oh...old 'diner'
And...well...yes and no...mostly no...actually, an emphatic 'no'...
I have seen many old 'Diner Mugs'...most are variously agreeable...few have
a 'round-section', 'Circular' handle...as this...as the one I am drinking my
Coffee from one...as I write this.
Some days I drink from one of your sweet Tem-oh-koo Cups of some years
back...some days from a Tony Clennell Cup which has a sort of
'dinasaur-skin' way about it...I love these two as well...and they are very
different from eachother...AND they are 'cups'...they have their
mood-about-them, and they are just right to be with some of my moods, so I
am a lucky boy...
I would say that they are 'perfect'...and specific in their way,
defferential to...how the mood and feel they have goes so nicely with
certain times and situations...'moods' of mine...
I think that Cups as a form, lend themselve to almost endless variations of
expression, and that is good for Potters!
To me...a 'Mug' is thick...heavy...and it would seem...to me...that it lends
itself not, to much variation, if it is to be 'in' the magic of things
And is and is of...a different mood...a different 'role'...a different
presence...they were meant to be "Sturdy"...
A Cup may be large, or small, tall or squat...very mutable perameters...and
it will be 'light'...
I think potters may have a conflict with aspirations to make Mugs...because
(To me, at any rate, bye definition, or maybe rather connotation!) Mugs are
'heavy'...and Potters are used to 'light'...or at least NOT 'Heavy'...not
Potters speak of 'Mugs', but I allways see 'Cups'...
This old 'Hall'...and it's few bretherin I have on my Cup-Board...to me are
'Mugs'...the walls may be a half inch thick...more...little round
handle...'Mug'...some were slip-cast 'whole'...some have the Handle
attatched, and appear to have been made in two pieces, and assembled...
If you lived closer, we could have Coffee!
And...it would convey my observation much better than my attempts to
In thirty odd years of looking...more...as it were...I have found three of
these...and...I am allways...'looking'...
I could send a 'jay-peg'?
As a 'form'...these do not lend them selves so readily to the ways a Potter
likes to make things...one could 'throw' and pull and curl and fit..and make
these...and it...the magic-of-shape IS subtle with these...they are nor
'forgiveing' I do not think...they are so Humble, that I doubt anyone would
want TO make them, or if they did...that hardly anyone would notice them!
Mine are some old 'tin' white...or also of a Cobalt 'Blue'...very deep.
I saw one that was exactly like mine...in a museum...from the belongings of
an officer, killed in the 'Indian Wars'...Cobalt Blue...'teddy-bear-ear'..
Mine came from a ghost town 'dump'...I got it from a scrounger...who had
excavated near a Gold MIne...that had pooped out in the eighteen eighties..
But maybe...this 'form' if one pause and let it have it's say...would become
> Janet's comment got me thinking again - bout handles and how they are at
> the heart of design and function.
> Nice thing about your hand - right there at the end of you arm - handy -
> good for testing handles - make one that fits yours and it will fit - I
> guess - fit about 90% of humanities.
> Sometimes we get so wraped up in what we want or how we want to be thought
> to be - we lose our perspective. We think the handle we like is what
> everyone else will like - not always true I fear.
> It would be good for us to come back to earth once in a while and ask
> someone to try these five handles and ask them which one they preferred.
> Just the way it feels in their hand - not the colour - not the shape - not
> the hole - just the way it feels and would they want to put their finger
> there again.
> Do they have to hold tight or can you hold and lift the mug with a relaxed
> grip - and does the mug tend to tip or wobble.
> Notice most handles where you have to hold the tool steady are not round
> the way - take a look at a hammer - or a hocky stick.
> Mug as tool - to get liquids from table to mouth - best handle wins.
> >Seriously, I spent a long time thinking about handles
> >and came to the conclusion that to find the perfect
> >shape every person on the planet would have to squeeze
> >a lump of clay until it suited their grasp, then have a
> >handle mould made from that which would then be their
> >own personal handle. Just like the shoe lasts which
> >are/were made to measure, you would then just order mug
> >X or jug Y or teapot Z with your own handle fitted in
> >at the correct point.
> Ron Roy
> RR# 4
> 15084 Little Lake Rd..
> Ontario, Canada
> KOK 1H0
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