Project of the Month: November 2021

2. Locked pots

I’ve had several ideas for puzzling pots from decorative optical illusions through to 3D clay jigsaws. Late last month my mind was buzzing so much with challenges to attempt I began to list them to narrow down my options. I quickly dismissed the notion of a 3D jigsaw pot as the snugness of fit is, I feel, beyond my skills and experience at present. But I have made progress on my original three in one idea of a clay sewing set by starting afresh but more on that next time.

The three in one ideas were the main source of ideas so I am now thinking of a version of a Chinese puzzle box but instead of wood, it being made of clay. Wooden boxes have sliding locking devices which require you to slide or turn parts in the correct order to be able to open them. To do so in clay would again be beyond my current abilities but two inner pots that can only be released from the outer pot might be through a series of clay pegs and holes.

The first step was to scribble the ideas down. So below are the 4 ideas I have narrowed down my ideas to. The first being a traditional puzzle jug, the second, a form of jigsaw, the third a puzzle box and lastly the design that kick started all the aforementioned, the sewing 3 in one pot.

How far have I got? Well I’ve quickly made these ones below to see what if I could handbuild a puzzle jug. You can but it’s easier in theory to use a thrown form so next time I’ll be focussing on that. Having only recently had success with throwing at all, I’m not optimistic. But it wouldn’t be a challenge if it was too easy for me. High time I had another go on the wheel anyway. The jigsaw idea I think I will abandon for this month leaving the 3 in one designs for next time too.

Thank you for your interest.