Baseless Prejudice

X-base Offering Bowl ©2004 WTEK copper, NuGold bronze
X-base Offering Bowl ©2004 WTEK copper, NuGold bronze

Paintings have frames, statues have pedestals, and bowls have bases. So I was taught, anyway. This is one of those things that gets drilled into your brain in school that’s hard to shake off. A bowl isn’t complete without a base.

It makes sense. Lifting a bowl off the table imparts a special status. “This isn’t a salad bowl, this is art, ” it seems to say. Unfortunately this way of thinking also imparts a prejudice. It begins to say “that bowl’s not art without a base.” I feel like I’ve failed if I don’t add one, like I’m cheating.

Memory & Shadow 's base - bars view
Memory & Shadow ‘s base – bars view

Bases are difficult to design (for me at least.) Perhaps this also contributes to that cheating feeling. So it was difficult for me to leave this year’s bowl baseless. But that is what it needed. I had to work past my prejudice and do the right thing design-wise.

Memory & Shadow's base - chip view. You can see how I brought design elements from the bowl into the base.
Memory & Shadow’s base – chip view. You can see how I brought design elements from the bowl into the base.

A base would have either interrupted the flow of the pierced nickel part of the bowl or put rivets into the smooth bronze part, again destroying the look I wanted.

This doesn’t mean all bases are bad. It just means that they don’t define the “artiness” of the bowl. It also means that I need to try and finish my design conception – including the base – before beginning my next bowl. Maybe next time I’ll design the base first…

Ebb & Flow ©2013 WTEK bronze, nickel, brass
Ebb & Flow ©2013 WTEK bronze, nickel, brass