07-01-2015, 04:33 PM
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This review is recovered from the old review section for archival reasons

I almost exclusively bowl-lather.  Being a head and face shaver, I prefer to have a bowl for the extra volume.  Over the years, I've used various bowls from thrift shops and garage sale finds, but I've never actually owned a bowl that was intended be used for shaving.  In my experimenting with various vessels, I've defined some criteria that needs to be met, and they're pretty simple.  I need the sides to be relatively shallow so I don't ding up my brush handle should I get a little aggressive in my whipping up a lather.  The sides need to be designed such that lather won't easily creep over the sides.  It needs some form of ridges or texturing to facilitate lathering.  I need it to be easy to hold on to and for it to be an attractive piece because it's going to be in plain sight.  Finally, it needs to be thick to hold warmth.  I considered scuttles, but since I'm a shower shaver, I really needed a smaller footprint.
For months, I've perused eBay and Etsy along with the B/S/T.  There were some close calls in which I almost pulled the trigger, but I'm glad I waited.  On Etsy, I finally came across some very nice pieces by NicolePangasCeramics.  I won't go into all the offerings in her shop, but my list was narrowed down considerably.  She has a "Ghost Skulls" line that struck my zombie fanatic chord, but at least attempting to appear to be a grown man, I wanted to steer away from that line despite the coolness factor.  Then one bowl caught my eye.  Within the Ghost Skulls line I found one adorned with a more subdued version of the skull motif.  It stood out from the others in that instead of the skulls having a pale blue appearance, they were more grey and bled into the black base in a much more subtle fashion.  It's done in such a way, that you don't initially see the skulls, but then they catch your eye.  She provided excellent pictures in her Etsy shop, so I pulled the trigger for $40 plus shipping. I placed the order Saturday evening, and received it today (Wednesday).
The packaging could not have been more protective with rather dense wrapping with tissue paper followed by lots of bubble wrap and then peanuts.  All this was in their own box which was then mailed in a USPS box with additional packing.
I found no chips, rough spots, bubbles, or imperfections.  The glaze is uniform.  While it's clearly handmade, the handle doesn't reflect any irregularity, and the mouth is perfectly round.  The bottom has a faint "Pangas" signature impression before the glaze, and there are four evenly spaced patches left "raw" that effectively prevent it from slipping on nonporous surfaces.  The paint job and glaze look even better than her excellent pictures.  The 4 subtle "ghost skulls" are perfect.  The one thing that kept me from purchasing the Fine Accoutrements shaving bowl was that it looked beautiful hanging on a wall, but appeared a bit industrial when viewed from other angles. This bowl is attractive from all angles.
The inner diameter is 4-3/4", and the inner height is 1-3/4".  This does not vary from the description in her shop.  The dry weight of the bowl is 1.0 lb.  I can't effectively measure the thickness of the bowl due to the rounded nature, but it's much thicker than anything I've used before.  There is a moderately deep swirl in the bottom of the bowl and equally deep vertical ridges on the wall.  One attention to detail making it an effective lathering bowl is that while these ridges and swirls clearly facilitate turbulence, they have a fairly shallow crest.  As a result, the soap isn't trapped in these ridges.
She offers angled handles for left or right-handers as well as vertical handles.  Mine is vertical because this particular bowl wasn't available in an angled handle version.  However, she made the vertical handle large enough that it fits quite naturally and comfortably in my hand.
I proceeded to put my new bowl to work, so I washed it, then filled it with hot tap water and soaked my badger brush in it while I showered.  When I began to lather, I immediately realized what I'd been missing by not having a bowl with ridges.  Using a soap with which I'm familiar, I would say I managed to obtain a usable lather in about half the time.  Despite the absence of an appreciable lip around the top rim, the lather did not creep out of the bowl, and I use a rather large amount of lather for 3 head and face passes.  The warmth was maintained a little longer than usual.  I was probably nearing room temp on the third pass.
I couldn't be more pleased with this shaving bowl from NicolePangasCeramics.  I highly recommend it for it's perfect marriage of form and function.  If ghost skulls aren't your thing, she has a variety of other offerings.

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0 314
 07-01-2015, 11:31 PM
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A beautiful looking bowl If I did bowl lather I would get one alas I don't so I won't. Smile

12 2,061
 07-02-2015, 06:52 PM
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I have one of her bowls as well. I use it daily and couldn't be happier.


0 117
 07-02-2015, 07:30 PM
  • Razor OMR
  • Horse Shoes-Nukes & Shaving
  • Dallas tx
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Very nice write up !
Thx for the info.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

0 23
 07-02-2015, 08:55 PM
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Those are both very nice looking bowls.  Thanks for the review.

180 24,753
 07-02-2015, 09:16 PM
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(07-02-2015, 08:55 PM)Johnny Wrote: Those are both very nice looking bowls.  Thanks for the review.

And it lathers great!

0 117
 12-20-2015, 09:20 PM
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I have just pulled the trigger on the ghost skulls shaving bowl for right handers.  With shipping to Australia it came to $99AUD (so about $70US).  That is probably a lot for a shaving bowl, but it sure is a beautiful piece.

I am typically a bowl latherer and to this point I've only ever used the one bowl, the Aesop stainless steel bowl, which I've had for the last 4 or so years and absolutely love.  Can't wait to receive this one.

Thanks very much for your review.


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