Monday, October 19, 2009

What's a Whittle?

If you aren't into fruit jars like I'm into fruit jars, the term "whittle" can be confusing when it's applied to glass. Etsians often ask me how a fruit jar can be described as having features that normally apply to wood. & the cute smarty pants who poke fun at me. Yes i sit on the front porch and carve jars out of sticks with my pocket knife while chewing tobacco. I think not. I choked through "Deliverance" once in my life, what a horrible movie.
The internet's many articles on the subject basically define a whittled appearance, as having a choppy look likened to whittled wood or pounded metal. Also referred to as wrinkles, or ripples.
Internet articles also go on to say the cause of whittle marks are the natural reaction of hot glass hitting a cold mold surface. But of course, actual people are always your best source for an answer on anything. The internet also defines "Deliverance" as a good movie, which we know is not true.
Members of my fruit jar group had a lot to say on this topic & I was pleasingly entertained by the banter & actually learned quite a bit. (Which is unusual for me to learn anything, learning requires thinking and i try to avoid any process of thought as it makes my head hurt.)

Comments from Fruit Jar Group members:

The explanation I always heard and which makes a lot of sense to me is that when the metal molds were cold, the hot glass would shrink when it encountered the cold mold which caused it to "crinkle" into the whittling we see today.

It is from the metal mold being too cold. The surface of the glass hardens slightly when it first hits the metal. With this "skin" on the surface, the glass does not flow smoothly into the mold.

~D. Cole
Muncie, Indiana

Many Many comments stemmed from the topic of whittling. Including the possible use of wooden molds to the way a jar is vented. My opinion is that of a mold being too cold to allow glass to flow smoothly. Like me and my old cold bones when I wake up.

Our Moderator Says: I suppose I've heard many stories concerning whittling and I think both the cold mould and trapped air theory are both the real story together.
~Bruce Wayne Schank

& special thanks to Scott:

When hot glass meets cold iron, well, its about like my warm butt , meeting a freezing cold toilet seat........ ......Instantaneous Retraction!
Some puckering might even be involved. :-)
~Scott Grandstaff

Thank you to the many others who contributed to the 'whittle' topic, i didn't include everyone, but i thank you all the same. Regards, Lisa


  1. I am continually amazed by how little I know about so may things, Thank you for contributing to my education.

  2. Hey Lisa, I love this, I remember that discussion, I like Scott's explanation best
    LOL... Luv, Shar

  3. Deliverance sucked - it was sooooo boring!
    Great whittling info tho :)

  4. deliverance totally weirded me out. I did like the dueling banjo part, it made me want to learn to play the spoons or the washboard...


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