Snail Scott claywork at flying-snail.com
Sun Aug 1 13:32:36 UTC 2021

> On Jul 31, 2021, at 2:39 PM, paul gerhold <gerholdclay at gmail.com> wrote:
> The question that arises in my mind is if the earliest clay vessels were not made in baskets why are the bottoms so often round?  Round bottoms make very little practical sense for cooking vessels. See any in your collection of pots and pans?

Actually, round bottoms were ubiquitous for historical clay cooking vessels in all pot-making cultures, because the stresses of unequal heating are better accommodated by a curved form. Flat-bottomed pots are subject to greater stresses, as there is no inbuilt curve. Some cultures add three legs to that round-bottomed form to permit standing even when not nestled in coals or dirt, but round is a more resilient and stress-distributing shape. (Flat-bottomed clay cooking pots are usually ovenware, heated evenly from all sides.)

Metal cooking vessels have higher tensile strength, so flat bottoms are no issue, and modern cooktops - gas or electric - are flat to match. A flat-bottomed metal pot is easier to stamp or form than a round one with attached feet, and can sit on a flat trivet.  


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