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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    finished pot on a tray to rest.

    Does this "to rest" mean "to support the pot" or "for me to take a rest"? He made a pot and took this action.
    =================
    My elbows flapped like chicken wings as I wrestled with the clay. Dadu placed his hands over mine. “You must control it, Tara,” he said.
    Soon, I worked my thumb into the middle to create a mouth, shaping the sides up in a curve.
    At last, I set my finished pot on a tray to rest. Dadu asked if I felt better. I had thrown my rage on the wheel with the clay, but there was still plenty (which was) left inside of me.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: finished pot on a tray to rest.

    It's for the clay to rest. I believe that, after clay has been worked and moulded, it needs time to settle ('rest') before it is fired.


    Not a potter

  3. Skrej's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: finished pot on a tray to rest.

    Speaking as a long-time amateur potter, I have an alternate view.

    Clay does need to dry out to varying degrees for subsequent steps in the creative process after throwing, and needs to be completely dry before firing. Perhaps that is what is meant by 'rest' , but there's no chemical or physical reason for the clay to rest after throwing. Freshly processed or recycled raw clay does need to sit or rest for a few weeks to develop plasticity before its initial use, but not after it has been used.

    I would read it as meaning the potter is setting the finished pot aside so that she can rest. Throwing can be an exhaustive process for a learner. The prior text shows how she's fighting the process.

    The bit about flapping elbows is a spot-on accurate observation of mistakes made by those learning to throw.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

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    #4

    Re: finished pot on a tray to rest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    I would read it as meaning the potter is setting the finished pot aside so that she can rest. Throwing can be an exhaustive process for a learner. The prior text shows how she's fighting the process.
    What about the final sentence; "I had thrown my rage on the wheel with the clay, but there was still plenty (which was) left inside of me."

    This does suggest that she might be eager to proceed; she is not done yet.

    It could be that she is spent, as you say; then this final line would suggest that the expenditure of effort has exhausted her energy, but not her rage.

    However, the key phrase does seem to be written in a way that attaches "rest" to the pot.

    Is this perhaps a very old text? Forms of writing can be confusing in this way to modern eyes.

  4. Skrej's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: finished pot on a tray to rest.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChinaDan View Post
    What about the final sentence; "I had thrown my rage on the wheel with the clay, but there was still plenty (which was) left inside of me."
    Actually, there's a nice play on words here, although I'm not sure if the author intended it or not. The process of creating pottery on the wheel is called throwing, so there's a neat metaphor for creating something out of her anger, intentional or not.

    As to the other issue, I agree it's not completely clear whether she's resting or the pot's resting. I can see either interpretation to be honest, and we could be reading too much into the author's word choice.

    You could even suggest that creating the pot was like giving birth - both the mother (potter) and babe (pot) are tired after the birthing (throwing) process, although I'm fairly certain that's reading WAY too much into it.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

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    #6

    Re: finished pot on a tray to rest.

    Speaking as a non-potter.

    It is ambiguous, but as ChinaDan says, I just feel that there's something about the phrasing that makes me imagine it's the pot that's resting.

    I love Skrej's childbirth reading.

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    ...but there was still plenty (which was) left inside of me.
    So twins?

    It also makes me think of God (The Potter) and Man, especially:

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    I worked my thumb into the middle to create a mouth, shaping the sides up in a curve.

  5. Piscean's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: finished pot on a tray to rest.

    I thought I was right when I submitted post #2. Skrej, who knows far more about pottery than I do (not difficult) convinced me that I was not. I think that my reading is possible, especially to a non-potter, but Skrej's is more likely.

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    #8

    Re: finished pot on a tray to rest.

    Perhaps the writer of the text doesn't know as much about potting as Skrej does.

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    #9

    Re: finished pot on a tray to rest.

    I think the OP quote is one of those pieces that can be the foundation of an entire "Prose Appreciation" exercise. As we keep poking it, deeper and more profound imagery keeps being shaken out.

  6. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: finished pot on a tray to rest.

    Keannu, Skrej needs some help from Korean members here:

    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/t...s-carving-tool

    Please help Skrej there when you have time.

    (I'm sorry it's irrelevant to the discussion.)

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