Banner: Porcelain Grace, Meryl Ruth, Fine Art

 

 LOBSTER POT OF TEA, A CERAMIC TEAPOT


Illustration of Lobster Pot of Tea, a ceramic teapot in the form of an extended lobster.
  • This is a hand-made ceramic teatpot constructed of stoneware clay.
  • Its base is a wheel-thrown altered teapot to which are appended lobster claws and tail. Claws and legs are cast from molds made from actual lobster parts. The tail is hand-built.
  • Construction sequence: 
  • Exhibited at Sherwood Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA.
  • Date: 2009.
  • Size: 8.5" x 11.0" x 6.0".
  • Sold.

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Enlarged view of this work

 

Enlarged view of this work

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Enlarged view of this work

 

 


CREATIVE PROCESS

 

 

 

Creative process illustrated.   

 

  • Construction of Crus-Tea-Cean begins with preliminary clay “sketches” made with a wheel-thrown base for the teapot.
  • The structure of the teapot base is altered by means of indentations that will ultimately accommodate placement of the lobster’s claws and tail segment.
  • Two-part claws are separately cast from a mold made using a lobster claw as template.
  • These are attached as shown to the teapot base.

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    Creative process illustrated.

 

  • The lobster tail is hand-built in advance.
  • Although I tried to cast it, that process proved difficult because the shape did not lend itself to casting.
  • Sculpting the tail was not successful either. I therefore deconstructed the lobster tail into its component parts, making pattern pieces of each of its segments. I used a flat clay slab, cutting small sections to piece together into the composite whole, a satisfying result.
  • The preformed lobster tail, when completed, was attached to the teapot base.

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Creative process illustrated.

 

  •  As the preliminary clay sketch of this piece evolved, it became increasingly clear to me that intrinsic structural and design changes would be needed to satisfy my artistic sensibilities. I wanted the teapot to be larger and less squat than the prototype. I also felt the claws should extend to encircle the pot, rather than projecting out lateally, so as to approach each other. I envision the spout in nthe form of a lobster's head.
  • Therefore, this second version was undertaken, reincorporating the same tail construction, but with claws in a more forward position, a small lobster head and a taller teapot base. The teapot was again altered by paddling, but this time with a wooden paddle. The new lobster head was made part of the spout. A faux rope form was to become the handle.

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Creative process illustrated.

  • Rope form is fashioned in clay and added to the teapot base to create the handle. 
  • Still to come are the lobster legs that will be cast from molds to complete the construction phase of this piece.

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Creative process illustrated.

 

  • The lobster's legs aer cast and then attached to its body, completing the construction phase of this piece prior to its first firing.

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Creative process illustrated.

 

  • After its successful first firing at cone 06, the piece is embellished with underglazing for coloration.
  • Initial glazing of the lid decorates it in a black and white tablecloth design.

Creative process illustrated.

 

  • Further elaboration of the underglazing is under way. It is characterized by the fine detail work.
  • When the underglazing is completed, the piece will be ready for refining to cone 6.

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Creative process illustrated.

 

  • Underglazing is completed prior to refiring.
  • Cold finishes are added with China paints.
  • Final firing is done in an oven at 300 degrees F.

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