Before beginning to work with clay, the word teapot was quintessential cute. I mean – short, stout, handle, spout – come on, how could you resist? Maybe subconsciously the little nursery rhyme had something to do with it, but I never failed to be charmed by the traditional form of a teapot, whether or not I could identify the form as the element that drew me to it. Now, knowing what I know, it could be the proportions of each component part to the whole, including a great, round belly with a slight lift that suggests abundance accompanied by complimentary, swooping handles and spouts, and a domed lid to top it off. Seems so simple… but is it ever really?
As soon as I was forced to really consider what makes a teapot successful (a.k.a. when I was assigned a project where I was to build one), I realized it can be far more complex depending on the preferences or intentions of the artists. Teapots, like any other form, can be hand built or thrown, symmetrical and round or disproportionate and angular, they can even be nonfunctional. There are teapots that can nest inside teacups, or have teacups stacked on top of them that act as a lid. Some of my favorite teapots are made from doughnut forms (Awfully appropriate if you like doughnuts and crumpets with your tea, don’t you think?). Some teapots don’t even look like teapots, but I suspect one of the primary reasons I am so drawn to their so pliable form now is their invitation for whimsy.
For example, Nick Joerling’s teapots are fun and whimsical and vastly different from teapot conventions. For instance, they are generally tall and slender, and not even remotely close to concentric. I love the undulations in the form and the surface designs that cascade in the same manner. Elements of lift are very apparent and incredibly successful, but the lift does not occur in the customary location; rather than seeing lift below a dominant belly of the teapot, it is evident in the upturned spout, handle, and lid as well as in the midsection of the form.
So naturally all of these thoughts are flooding my train of thought as I embark on Project Number Two: The Teapot. Yes, I have to make a teapot of my own. Time to get back to the drawing board (more like my sketchpad) and dream up all my teapot has the potential to be.
Traditional Teapot, English Tea Store: http://www.englishteastore.com/ets-2-cup-teapot-light-blue.html
Doughnut Teapot, PatsPottery: https://www.etsy.com/listing/38306621/yellow-ceramic-teapot-handmade?ref=shop_home_active_2
Nick Joerling Teapot: http://penlandpottery.com/pages/joerling-studios—nick.php