Squaring the circle

The term “squaring the circle” originates from ancient developers of geometry and refers to the challenge of constructing a square with the same area as a given circle. It was proven to be impossible in 1882, when pi was proven to be a transcendental, and not an algebraic irrational number. 

It is now used sometimes as a metaphor for trying to achieve the impossible.

On a much more down to earth note, I was practicing throwing bowls on the wheel yesterday and when I finished one I thought it would be interesting to hake a square topped bowl just for the sake of it. So, this is the first stage of my impossibowl, as I wait for it to dry a little before further manipulation…



I’ll have a P please, Bob

Any British followers may know that today’s post title refers to a long running quiz show, Blockbusters, that was hosted by the late Bob Holness, the veteran radio and TV presenter and erstwhile James Bond (at least on radio). During the show contestants would have to pick their way across a lighted board by choosing letters and it became almost a rite of passage to use a variant of the phrase  “I’d like a P please, Bob”, in order to elicit a giggle from the young audience through the use of the great British double entendre.

Anyhow, for totally unrelated reasons, and more for the use of corny alliteration, my blog description centers around words beginning with the letter p, and yesterday I added another one –Pottery!

In my continuing quest to seek out new activities, expand my skills and broaden my mind’s artistic capabilities I have started a pottery course at Chester County Arts Association.  I think it has been over 4 decades since I played around with clay and last night was great fun. We were given a basic introduction to different art pieces and “practical” pieces being made in clay and I proceeded to make a couple of hand made pots and a few stamps for use in the future. Then the highlight of the evening – I was shown how to use the potter’s wheel.

Again, for those British readers, “The potter’s wheel” was an oft shown piece of film in the bygone days when the TV was not being broadcast 24/7/365. This black and white short film used to be shown on the BBC during the program “interludes” from February 1953 and throughout the 60’s and showed the work of Georges Aubertin. Although it predates my TV viewing by a decade or so this iconic short was occasionally shown during the 1970s and it stuck in the back of my mind.

So, with the visions of great pots and bowls being made I embarked on my training from my instructor, Meghan, and following an initial failure, I was pleased to have produced this as my first ever pot from a wheel!  


The strange thing is that, basic as this is, I felt so pleased at having been able to do this – almost like a young schoolchild again, coming home with a barely functional pinch-pot ashtray that I had made and glazed all those years ago. I think I am really going to enjoy the next few weeks of pottering about in pottery!


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