Banner: Porcelain Grace, Meryl Ruth, Fine Art

 

     BRIGHTEN YOUR SMILE, A CERAMIC TEAPOT


Brighten Your Smile is a ceramic teapot in the form of a toothpaste tube affixed to a toothpaste box.

  • This ceramic teapot is another in the Tubular Tea Series, of which Squeeze Me, Teas Me was the prototype.
  • The base is constructed by slab building method.
  • The rolled out clay slabs are dried, brushed with white underglaze, and photo silk-screened multiple times.
  • The teapot body and lid are slip cast. The handle is made of extruded clay.
  • The piece differs in significant ways from the original work in this series. The base is designed to stand in a vertical position. The handle is intended to represent extruded toothpaste. The coloration mimicks the swirl of toothpaste.
  • Construction sequence:
  • Date: 2010.
  • Size: 7.5" x 6.0" x 2.5".
  • Exhibited at Show of Hands Gallery, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Sold.

 

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   ENLARGED VIEWS

Enlarged view.

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Enlarged view.

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Enlarged view.

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Enlarged view.

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Enlarged view.

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   CREATIVE PROCESS

Initial silk-screened images of toothpaste boxes on clay slabs.

  • Photo silk-screening produces decorative clay slabs for use in slab building.  Flat slabs are silk-screened multiple times in different directions with different amounts of ink to yield images of depth and variation.
  • The images are similar to those used for Squeeze Me, Teas Me, but used over and over again to produce a much more complex result. After the silk-screening is done, the templates are cut from the slab to build the toothpaste base in the form of a crushed toothpaste box.

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Slabs assembled to form the toothpaste box base of the teapot.

  • The teapot base is built vertically in the shape of an upright ceramic toothpaste box from the preformed clay slabs that had first been photo silk-screened with several relevant images of a toothpaste box.

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Toothpaste tube teapot body is created by slip casting.

  • The teapot body is separately constructed by slip casting to resemble a toothpaste tube.
  • The handle is of extruded clay fashioned to represent toothpaste extruding from the squeezed tube.

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Toothpaste tube teapot body is underglazed and kiln fired.

  • The teapot body is fired for the first time in its bisque state to cone 06.
  • After the successful kiln firing, undeglazing is done in a matching pattern.
  • With this additonal glazing, it is now prepared for refiring to cone 5/6. .

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Toothpaste box base is kiln fired as well.

  • The base toothpaste box is also fired to cone 5/6.
  • A coating of clear glaze is applied to seal and protect the surface.

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China paints are applied to enhance coloration of toothpaste box base.

  • Layers of China paints are used to decorate the base of this work.
  • Multiple reirings are done to cone 015 to vitrify the paint layers and fuse them with the ceramic surface as each is completed.

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Mulitple layers of China paints are applied, after each of which refirings are done.

  • Additional layers upon layers of China paints. The rear side is shown here.
  • After each paint layer, the piece is refired to cone 015.

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Brightly colored glazes are applied to the toothpaste tube teapot body.

  • After successful firing, bright coloration is applied to the toothpaste tube teapot body, lid and handle.
  • The piece is refired multiple times to cone 015 after each layer of China paint is applied to achieve the bright patterning.

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The toothpaste tube and toothpaste box base are assembled to complete the work.

  • The piece is assembled by permanently affixing the base to the teapot body and thus complete the work.

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  DETAILED VIEWS *

A collage of detailed views.


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