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By John G. Chapman

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One potter’s gesture could resemble lenses; another’s would appear knobbed at each end like thigh bones; another’s might look like teardrops. Gesture with its upward spiral is one of the configurations that tells the story of the wheel and the hands working in time to overcome the force of gravity. It can act alone or as a sort of subtext to the variations of wall thickness caused by the need for reinforcement. cylinders as pots Whatever the shape and structure of a cylinder, whatever the beginning and ending treatments, whatever the gesture and mood, all of the components must be unequivocal.

The outermost edges of a handle offer an opportunity to echo the shape and dimension of the top edge or the articulating edge of a turneddown cuff so the disparate parts appear to be made of the same stuff. 85 Continued horizontal movement in handle 86 40 p i t c he r s 87 88 89 A rim with a thickening or a fold below the top edge is a common way to introduce horizontal movement across the form and to strengthen the wall where the handle is attached. It is an excellent example of sculptural form within the wall of the pot itself.

Bottom/side thinking shows up as a hesitation in the curve or, even worse, as the dreaded beginner’s hump (figure 114). A beginner’s hump often shows up as a kink or a small, convexshaped bulge in the inner profile located at the point where the stemlike platform of clay changes to a cantilevered curve. This is an interruption in the curve that is the inverse of its overall dynamic. Unconsciously pinching in on the outside wall at the beginning of the curve will surely cause this problem. It is sometimes as hard to see the beginner’s hump as it is to get rid of it.

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