Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Throwing Pots

In our pottery class a couple of weeks ago, someone asked the teacher where the term "throwing a pot" came from. I had never noticed the strange terminology before. The teacher had noticed, but didn't know where the term originated from. After my last post, the "throwing" just seemed too weird. I did a in depth investigation (google) on the strange term and found the following article. To throw. Potters at Marshall Pottery in Texas describe their work at the potters wheel as turning. They understand only the modern meaning of to throw and do not use it to describe their work. However, the Old English word thrawan from which to throw comes, means to twist or turn. Going back even farther, the Indo-European root *ter- means to rub, rub by twisting, twist, turn. The German word drehen, a direct relative of to throw, means turn and is used in German for throwing. Because the activity of forming pots on the wheel has not changed since Old English times, the word throw has retained its original meaning in the language of pottery but has developed a completely different meaning in everyday usage. Those who say they throw pots are using the historically correct term. Those who say they turn pots are using more current language. Both are saying the same thing.

9 comments:

Bag Blog said...

Wow, writing and research in the same post! Very nice. I do need to touch up those roots - and I don't mean root words.

Staci said...

Good Morning! Hope you are having some coffee - that's also my favorite thing to do in the morning - just sit around and drink coffee. I think that's why I like to go out to breakfast - because what's better than sitting around and drinking coffee? IMHO, it's when somebody else fills up the cup. :)

Christina LMT said...

See, I knew "drehen" meant to turn, but not that it was used in the sense of throwing pots! Thanks!

I learned something new. Nice pictures, btw.

Buck said...

Your Mom sent me. Heh.

Skybag said...

Thanks for your comments everyone ;)

Becky said...

Thanks for the research. I always thought it meant because you throw the clay onto the wheel. That's something I've always wanted to learn, too. Unfortunately, no classes around here.

By the way, I do read your blog every time you post. I'm just terribly lazy about clicking through and leaving comments. I'll try to do better.

joyce said...

I have never done this---does some splatter get spread around the room if your wheel goes too fast? Looks like fun. I love that Red River orange color.

Junk Diva said...

If throwing means turning and twisting, then when I throw a ball and it goes crooked I am doing it right. Who knew?

Jo Castillo said...

Looks like your mom is really intent on her pot. Good photo.