Ahhh, I love the inferences here, and the topic does pull on me in some odd ways. As my understanding of the terms asymmetric vs symmetric goes if my memory serves me: Symmetry is base more on geometric balance, whereas asymmetry it more of a visual balance. No where in any of this is there a judgement, only visual vs geometric, no right or wrong, perfect or imperfect.
Now to return to the original topic of ware that is - unrefined, vs. refined, I do have some thoughts that relate to my personal preferences in choosing or making pottery for my own use. First a little of my own search in my own work. I have been a very tight, symmetric wheel thrown type of potter, who has always much admired work that showed more of the movement of the wheel with some natural decoration that relates to that movement. I have been trying to get more of an unrefined look in my own pottery without losing certain aspects of symmetry while allowing some of the piece to by asymmetric.
There are certain aspects that I believe are better when dealing with any type of functional pottery. I have seen all of the arguments about cups for holding for those that walk with a mug never setting it down, but those individuals are few.
- So my first requirement in functional ware is a solid base, where as most of us sit at tables, and eat out of dishes on the tables, even flat bases on the bottoms of ware allow for balance in the food-staying in place, and stability in cups that don't tip over.
- Secondly, I have also found that rims on drinking vessels are usually better if round or close to round or to some degree rounded. It seems to fit better with the mouth-to be more specific, the down profile of the rim.
- Bowls are something that I have a quirk with. There are (to me) bowls and dishes. Bowls have a rounded inner curve that goes from the rim down to the center and back up to the rim on the opposite side. Dishes have a curve that moves from the rim to a flat base inside of the bowl. In both cases a well thrown dish or bowl has a curve that is constant, not reversing or having a high area, more constant and even. This does does not mean the bowl is symmetric or asymmetric, just following an even curve.
Over the years, when I think of pots I eat out of, those requirements seem to hold most true. I have eaten out of all sorts of other pottery, some held better in the lap, some designed to set in a bed of sand, some meant to be held like a palette and many others. Yet I always return to what works in the most circumstances. . . sitting at at table eating without the worries of tipping, enjoying the food, the hand made pottery, and good company.
- GiselleNo5 likes this