[Bordermarch] Pinch Bowls

Lathrop, Dave David.Lathrop at valero.com
Tue Jul 17 05:44:37 PDT 2012

Greetings Bordermarch,

Somehow HE Elisabeth, myself, and m'lord Thengut of House Moynihan ended up at HE Therese's pottery studio last night; we made pinch bowls.

Although the pinched clay bowl was not invented until the 9th century by the Byzantine monks of South Wales out of a need to perfect their style of hair-cut, the original process of pinching clay is old beyond reason, it is still used extensively by the modern potter, but not so much for hair-cuts anymore.

HE Therese' started the evening off by cutting up some large chunks of hard clay with a homemade garrote. She then proceeded to slam the slabs of clay down on top of one another while shouting, "One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato-Four!" She does this to soften up the clay and fill it with her awesomeness. HE Therese' and m'lord Thengut then took the slammed clay and began to wedge it.
Wedging clay is when you roll it around and fold it over on itself like a big dough ball, this was supposed to get the rest of the air out of the clay.

The fully wedged clay was divided and formed into seventeen individual 2lb balls.

HE Therese' instructed us to each grab up one of the balls of clay and place it gently in the palm of our hand and then brutally ram our thumb right down into the center of it until we were almost all the way through the clay. We then ever-so gently started to thin out the walls of the clay by pushing it between our thumb and fingers. One thing that was drilled into our heads by HE Therese' was to always keep your thumb on the inside of the clay while you're forming the bowl, "Never, Ever, Ever!" thin the walls with your thumb on the outside of the bowl; she said that this rule was written in the Potter's Proverbs.

HE Therese' easily transformed her lumps of clay into perfect symmetrical bowls that she adorned with clay likenesses of sea shells and other things of great beauty.
HE Elisabeth's pinch bowls were also very nearly perfect, she went the extra mile and coiled up some clay rope to blend into the bowls to make sturdy bases.
M'lord Thengut made a bowl that looked for all the world like a dog dish except for the small statue of a pig head glued onto the rim of the bowl.
My bowl came out looking like one of those hard taco shells you get a taco salad in.

All-in-all we made seventeen pinch bowls for the soup-bowl sale at BAM this year. The soup-bowl sale is where anyone who purchases one of the bowls will also get it filled with some fresh homemade soup!

We plan on making about four thousand bowls for BAM, and will be returning next Monday evening to the HE Therese's to knock out another batch of pinch bowls.
We would ask that any who would like to join us to please feel free to do so. No prior experience in pinch-bowl making is necessary, but please limber up your thumbs before you arrive.

We have some wonderful pictures of the pinch bowl making process that we'll be sending to Lady Pandora for the Trumpeter so's all can share our joy.

HE Santiago

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