Recently someone said that traditional shaving is extremely inspiring. Yes indeed, it inspires me in a completely different area – pottery.
There are various types of shaving mugs,lathering bowls, scuttles etc. I tried them all except the “Moss” scuttle (mug with double bottom and walls keeping warm water in between). In my perception it is not practical for home use. It would be excellent for barbers who reuse it often in a day. It is also hard for throwing on the pottery wheel – feasible but hard. I suppose that many makers develop them on molds.
Long time ago, someone send me a request to make the below presented, very strange mug for shaving. That was an old porcelain item sourced from ebay.
But the proportions could not work for lathering. Then I forgot all the story. However, I used to watch Simon Leach throwing his mugs and tankards. One day he demonstrated a regular butter bell. Soon, following Simon, I made it formyself, as a first pot from “manual” kicking wheel.
I made a number of shaving mugs and bowls, but was not pleased. Too much space taken on the shelf by all these AS, bowl and shaving cream/soap boxes. Most of all I took them not that practical for myself. I’m not saying that they are wrong in general – for many users they may come perfect. But I kept on seeking something different. Therefore ended in lathering again straight on the face.
The illumination came when driving, on my way to work. Why not to merge the soap box and scuttle with a landing place for the brush? That would save space and create space for making nicely matching set of shaving accessories. Butter bell (called also French butter dish) in not known in my country but still used in US. Let’s put all together.
As always showing it in action says more about how it works than a page of text. See the below video clip.
The above photo shows the result of the first attempt. Not bad? It is worth noticing that the whole idea is that the soap sticks inside the bell, can be put upside down, so the remaining water do not stay inside. The second part of the scuttle is used for lathering. It can be used as a lid for the bell part or other way round. Up to your preferences. On both, bell and scuttle, there is landing space for the brush on the bottom. It is still too shallow and will be improved on future releases. See the below video show.
Next, I made more of them trying to master the shape, usability and look. Here is one of them. Fresh new, but I have used it already and will be using it for daily shaving. Actualy, the brush is in daily use already for months.
Some people say that this is a new idea in traditional shaving. I cannot confirm, but believe or not – I have never seen it before. Potters may want to reproduce it. Yes, for sure. I cannot forbid it. As I followed Simon, others may follow this idea in his/her own pottery studio. However if you enjoy it please mention me…