After several years of fascinating journey with pottery I have noticed that majority of my trials, experiments and finally artefacts is addressed to the narrow community devoted to traditional shaving (TS). This page documents my approach, scope of works and specificity of ceramics for barbers.
The leading theme and key value of TS gear is “fit for use”. If something is not comfortable for daily use it gets rejected by users immediately. I have the pleasure to keep in touch with the users and benefit from their guidance and criticism, not mentioning that I use it daily as well. Many factors affect the level of practicality of the artefacts. For example: type of shaving (hot/cold), method of lathering, type and length of the brushing knot, size of the palm, types of cosmetics. Sometimes the selection of the form and finishing depends on the other TS artefacts already possessed by the end user e.g. unique historical razor.
Selection of the clay, size and form, surface finishing firing method are extremely important but secondary to the practicality of the artefacts. With the variety of the users’ preferences it ends in use of various techniques and materials. Limiting myself to a single pottery “style” would be detrimental.
The below photos present wide variety of utilitarian concepts. It is not possible to address the nuances of traditional shaving in this article, self practice seems necessary to appreciate or contest different designs. Some of the considerations have been presented in the other article TeGe miski. To cover all, the reader shall refer to TS forums (see links below). In addition, many new designs and ideas materialized since then. New surfaces, new forms, new sets. The article documents just flagship ideas. Some of them are new to TS community e.g. my transition of butter bell into shaving bell.
This subject gives a lot of space to potters for their creativity.
Finally I would like to share with you typical dilemma. Cichy (Cichy Custom Art) made beautiful and handy razor, of very specific finish. I call it frankly “stove lid”. It deserves proper companion. Hence the question is – what material shall be used, what form would fit it, what glaze and finished would be the best. I tend to think about ash glazes but that requires specific wooden stove….