Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Plettttthhhh-a -rah of Tea Pottttthhhs

(Think Daffy Duck.........)

How I got from this--------

To this.
("China Tea")

The top picture is of a first-time try at working with this form. The lid is thrown as is the spout--old familiar shapes I had used in round teapots. The glaze is layers of three different greens applied thickly and at random. I still have this pot and still love it.

The second try has a three-part constructed spout.

This handle is similar to one I made for a basket form but on the teapot, I didn't feel like I had complete control of the balance between the bulk of the pot and the handle.

Although the negative space is nice. It wasn't weighty enough to balance the strong volume of the pot.

The supports for the handle are long strips of clay manipulated into 3-D and veeeeeery carefully dried. Once dried, fired and glazed they are extremely strong, though they look rather fragile.

The next one was this:

I invented a new spout based on a tropical plant leaf, threw the lid a bit rounder and still struggled with the handle. By modifying and editing the supports, it looked stronger, but still just wasn't it.

Not bad negative space between the handle and lid. And I like the supports. I may try this again, but with a different top part.

With a couple of successive pots, (not pictured) I modified the flat handle to a large rounded one and flattened out the curve slightly. Unfortunately, I don't take photos of those before they sold.

The rounded handles looked better, but still were not it.

Then, I dumped the handle idea all together and tried cane.

This teapot was a success. I named it "Malachite Tea" because of the wonderful glaze result. It was in a show about 4 years ago and a slide had also been submitted to 500 Teapots, along with a couple of other teapot examples.

The teapot sold. After the book came out, I asked the gallery if I could have the name of the buyer so I could tell them their pot was included in the book. They either couldn't or didn't want to give me that information. It's really too bad. I would have liked the buyer to know.

Finally, I came up with "China Tea". By making the handle hollow (with lots of hidden holes to release steam and air) and could suspend it with the strip supports to create the look of heaviness and lightness.

The negative space between the lid and handle worked. The handle now had enough 'weight' to balance and relate to the body of the pot.

I've made several variations of the basic idea of "China Tea". Every one except this example which I've kept, were sold.

Along the way, changed glaze color and added a bit of surface decoration. I dropped the thrown lid and started making hand-formed lids. In this example and for this form, the lid works no matter how it is placed on the pot, the vine form links up with the side design on both sides of the pot.

It's also amazing the difference between one of these pots sitting flat on the surface and one lifted on legs.

Between these examples, I made a few other experimental pots, but didn't photograph them.

All of the above teapots were constructed in stoneware, electric fired at cone 5-6. Since these were made, I have switched to porcelain and, although the clay is slightly more temperamental, the results are basically the same.

1 comment:

Sister Creek Potter said...

Jeanetter, I've told you this before but I just gotta say it again: Your blog is so instructive, generous and stimulating and I am so grateful! Gay