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: re: dripping spouts

updated fri 9 aug 02


iandol on tue 6 aug 02

Dear Vince Pitelka,

The idea of a pinhole has been around for at least twenty five years or =
so. I have yet to see it illustrated in any book or magazine. I cannot =
understand how you can make this and not have it clog with glaze. It may =
be a variation on an idea which was on a teapot my Grandfather gave to =
my Mother in 1940. A groove had been cut back down the gully of the =
spout. This made a channel about 2 mm deep and 3 mm wide. It might have =
prevented a dribble but it did not prevent a drip.

The idea of waxing the underside of the spout lid is also ancient, but =
updated in recent years with the substitution of Silicone Grease which =
has a longer life span. Conscientious cooks and butlers always clean =
pots thoroughly so the grease gets lost. One excellent solution is to =
shape a knife edge at the tip and to fair the lower edge of the cut =
which makes this, to remove the edge between the interior wall of the =
tube and the sliced face of the spout tip. This eliminates a place for =
the last drop to sit before it slides over the edge as a drip. Care is =
needed in use. A quick turn to answer a question while washing up and =
"snick", a new razor edge!!

I do a trick with cardboard milk bricks. I form the spout as instructed =
and cut at almost right angles to the side of the carton. The folded =
spout with forms always pours with dripping and it never dribbles, a =
superb well shaped stream of fluid. Back rotation causes immediate =
cessation of flow.

There were articles a couple of years or so ago in PMI on this topic and =
the solution I have described is illustrated there.=20

Best regards,

Ivor Lewis.=20

iandol on wed 7 aug 02

Dear Snail Scott,=20

Capillary activity is a curious phenomenon.

A glass tube drawn out to give a bore of somewhat less that 1/10 and =
1/100 of a millimetre can give a capillary lift of about ten centimetres =
or more. So we would expect water to flow out of a tube of similar =
diameter but shorter length. It does not and I cannot explain that. But =
a Physicist might and also provide the mathematical calculations to =
validate the proposition.

Until I do some experimentation with some spouts I would not like to =
comment, other than to say I think there is a design feature which we =
are not giving credit for.

Best regards,


Paul Taylor on thu 8 aug 02

Dear Ivor

My solution for the dripping spot is to have the bottom edge of the cut
spout turn down slightly. Its not the drip that causes the problem but the
drip traveling down the spout onto the table cloth. The small down turn at
the bottom of the cut spout makes sure that the last drip falls into the cup
the down turn is very subtle and not very noticeable .

I can not imagine explaining a hole in the spout and capillary attraction
to customers ( some people are a bit sensitive to that sort of harassment).

The teapots I make do not drip but my heart is still in my mouth every time
a customer ask's me to test one.

I have heard that some potters whipe the bottom of the spout across their
forehead to pick up a little bit of grease just before they test the pot for
the customer - of course I would never do such a thing.


Regards from Paul Taylor

phone 098 21239

Paul Taylor
Westport pottery
County Mayo

'They' have filled the world with ugliness by taking craftsmanship out of
art and art out of craftsmanship.

Tommy Humphries on thu 8 aug 02

I have found that any spout that ends with a droop will drip...if you want a
dripless spout let the lip of the spout be proud and point upwards, this
will let the fluid run back into the pot. The droopy spout will drip
because the fluid that is on the lip will continue to flow outwards even
when the pitcher is sat back on the table. Thinner lips will also drip less
than fat rounded ones, so a combination of thin, upward pointing spouts will
not noticably drip.