Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Square Bottles

Something that developed out of the 52 Form Project in Week 3 was finally getting around to squaring up some bottles. I have long admired case bottles as an historic glass form- squared bottles for storing in a box- and also love the German Westerwald squared bottles.

Book, Steinzeug, Kunstgewerbemuseum der Stadt Koln

Picture the dark part of the bottle being bright, vivid blue!
I lived in Austria and traveled through Germany in the summer of 2007, and went to as many museums and potteries as I could stuff into my time. The book above is one I picked up and am glad I did. It includes photographs of all kinds of German stoneware ("Steinzeug" means "stoneware"), and includes photos of squared bottles.  I saw numerous squared bottles, all highly decorated across Germany. I suspect that the squared bottles were not exported as much as other vessels were, because to my knowledge, there have not been any archaeological excavations with German squared decorated bottles here in the States.

I noted the downfalls of faceting in the aforementioned blog post, and decided to not go the route of faceting the bottle to be square. Instead, I whacked it a few times or more into a nice shape. I made a narrow, ovoid bottle, and as it the clay set up began working it into shape.

I brought back a technique I had not used in several years and mentioned in a 2010 blog post- basically taking the flat end of a tool and by rocking it, created fan and floral patterns on the piece. I used both blue and red slip for the patterns over a white slip ground.

I am excited to see how these turn out in the kiln! 

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