Recursive pottery

Yesterday evening, my girlfriend and I had an interesting discussion about pottery techniques. She’s studying archeology, so she has a real interest in pottery and techniques used. I in contrast have my interests in different subjects, but this method of potting we came up with was so funny that I thought I just had to post it.

Let’s say you want to create a vase.

Our method involves the following steps:

  1. Gather a vase that looks exactly like the one you want to build.
  2. Fill the vase with something that gets hard quickly, but crumples easily.
  3. Wait for that material to dry out, then destroy the original vase.
  4. Put clay around the hardened up filler material.
  5. Wait for the clay to dry up and burn the vase.
  6. Remove the filler material.
  7. Obviously this method will never allow you to produce more than one vase as in the process of creating one, you are destroying the other.

    We continued our discussion of how such a method of pottery could have interesting side effects. One is that the only way for a potter to generate revenue of his work is by renting out his current vase. And should the vase be returned defective, the whole business of the potter is over – until he receives another initial vase to continue working.

    Of course, getting hold of that would be quite interesting a job if every potter only used this method.

    And the question remains: Where do you take the initial vase from?

    Stupid. I know. But fun in its own way. Sometimes, I take great pleasure in inventing something totally stupid and then laugh at it. And believe me: We really had a good laugh about this.

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