Banner: Porcelain Grace, Meryl Ruth, Fine Art

 

   FRENCHIE'S TEA TOTE, A CERAMIC TEAPOT


The work consists of a teabag with faux fabric with a French bulldog emerging.
  • This stoneware ceramic teapot is hand-built. It is another in the series of teabags, a term I coined to represent clay teapots created in the form of designer handbags, many with pets emerging, as in this case.
  • The French bulldog's head and paws for this piece are sculpted in wet clay; spout, handles, leather straps, buckles and clasps are formed from extruded clay reworked to shape.
  • The faux fabric exterior surface of the teapot's body is made by press mold to emulate silk brocade.
  • Clay sculpted dog bone figure at back of dog's neck serves as teapot's lid.
  • Construction sequence:
  • Shown at Critters, University of New England Art Gallery, Portland, ME, 2011; Texas Teapot Tournament, Houston Potters Guild, Clay Art Museum and Educational Organization (CAMEO), Houston, TX, 2012.
  • Date: 2010.
  • Size: 16.0" x 9.0" x 7.0".
  • Sold to a Hong Kong buyer.

   ENLARGED VIEWS

Enlarged view.

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Enlarged view.

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Enlarged view.

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   CREATIVE PROCESS

Early construction phase showing press mold surface and beginning sculpting of the bulldog.

  • Early development of this work involves hand-building the basic structure by means of clay slabs.
  • The surfaces of the body of the teapot are fashioned with press mold technique to impart a fabric pattern.
  • The French bulldog emerging from the interior of the teabag (a coined term for a teapot created in the form of a handbag) is sculpted in place.

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Spout, handles and hardware are added.

  • Further construction enhancements are made with addition of spout, handles, straps, buckles and clasps of extruded clay reshaped to design.

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Fired successfully, underglazing of the work is begun.

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Additional glazing and another firing carried out.

  • Underglazing is completed by painting and air-brushing the glazes onto the surfaces of the work. In the course of this process, some of the glaze is removed by means of a sponge to reveal and enhance the surface texture.
  • The piece is then subject to refiring to cone 5.

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Further coloration with China paints and opalescent overglazes.

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Piece is finalized by a last luster firing.

  • The work is almost completed by firing it one last time for vitrification of the luster coating.

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Cold finishes enliven the coloration of the completed work.