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surfing with helen bates - july 9, 2005 - uk, usa, australia)

updated sun 10 jul 05


Helen Bates on sat 9 jul 05

Surfing with Helen Bates - July 9, 2005 - UK, USA, Australia)

Pottery engine-turning lathe
Jonathan Rickard and Donald Carpentier article:

"The Little Engine That Could: Adaptation of the Engine-Turning Lathe
in the Pottery Industry"
> Sometime prior to 1770 a complicated machine known as the
> engine-turning lathe began to be used to produce surface
> decorations on earthenware and stoneware in England. By
> cutting shallow regular patterns into the leather-hard
> surface of pots as they rotated slowly on this machine,
> turners in the potteries embellished wares with remarkable
> precision. This ingenious machine produced extraordinary,
> geometrically exact flutes and ribs as well as graphically
> exciting patterns visible through the play of light or by
> the contrast of colored slips.

Keith Murray (1892-1981) (New Zealand-born Art deco designer and
architect lived and worked in the UK)
Potteries Museum (Stoke-on-Trent, England, UK)
Several pieces designed by Murray have elements that are turned on the
lathe. See especially the mug, with the deeply incised lines near the
bottom. This piece and several others have moulded handles (molded
handles) that would need fettling to clean them up, though the forms
themselves were wheel-thrown, I believe, not moulded. The coffeepot
has inscribed lines within the handle area. Either the handle was
added later, after the lines were done on the lathe, or the artisan
doing the turning had to be very careful and stop the lathe - no, I
can't believe that would be economic - the handle would have to have
been applied after the turning...
Keith Murray Collectors Club site:

"Potter's wheel" (Wikipedia)
(Describes the potter's wheel past and present)
From a hyperlink at the above site:
A neat Photo of a belt-driven potter's wheel with a foot-operated
brake:(the part that maintains the momentum is conical, not

Ceramics Today - The Origins of the Potter's Wheel (Illustrated)
This is from Victor Bryant's article on the subject, and originally
appeared on his own website:, and shows a
number of images from ancient Egyptian sources.

Peter Beatson (Experiments in Early Medieval Pottery) (Australia)

Meaders Home Place Pottery (Cleveland, GA. USA)
(Southern Folk Pottery tradition)

West Street Potters (Farnham, Surrey, UK)
(Pottery teaching studio and gallery in the Farnham Pottery Trust
property. Instructors : Christine Bull, Katerina Evangelidou Kathy
Mason, Richard Miller, Julia Quigley)

Ernest Aryee (Gurnee, IL, USA)
(The Aryees run pottery residencies in Ghana)
(Thanks to Jim Willet for this and other links)

Ian Dowling (Margaret River, WA, Australia)
(Carved (barium-glazed?) decorative stoneware vessels)

(Belleville, Ontario)

Helen Bates
Belleville, Ontario, Canada
Clayarters' Websites:
Surfing with Helen Bates:

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