Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Teapots: a potter's challenge

Since college days, when I made my first teapot, I have always believed that the teapot was the final exam for the functional potter. The more I have studied on the process from articles in magazines to pages upon pages in books that seems to be very true. No other functional form has had so many pages written about it. Both of these teapots are from a few years ago, and are characteristic of the work I was doing then, and during the time I spent doing the show at Penn State Arts Festival. 
Since then the forms have changed, but the basic proportions still remain the same: large lid to allow for proper cleaning, and a tapering galley inside of the pot to ease placement of the lid. A deep galley usually assures the lid stays on without a tab while pouring. There is always a  wide funnel base to the spout for pouring with a narrow straight part near the opening to compress the flow of the tea to arc out of the pot.  The handles are either from the side or over the top, but both have to function well with a male or female hand.
I have changed clay to a darker brown called hazelnut brown. This has a richer looking base color where the clay is unfired, and causes changes in the glazes.  This has encouraged me to try a white slip over the clay when wet, and then exposing the darker body through the white. Glazes at this point are also dark for some people, and I am going to work a whole set of test tiles this summer for new glazes and glaze combinations. I hope to be able to post the new teapot series, and these test tiles this summer.

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