Banner: Porcelain Grace, Meryl Ruth, Fine Art

 

   FIT AS A FIDDLE, A CERAMIC TEAPOT


Glazes applied after the second successful kiln firing.
 
  • This is a functional stoneware teapot in the form of a humorously distorted violin made to mimick a cowgirl in Western tooled apparel. It is a major modification of the more formal prototype violin teapot, Mel-Oh-Tea-Us.
  • It is hand-built, sculpted and press mold with details in extruded clay. The teapot lid consists of a slip cast ceramic fiddle peg.
  • Underglazes are applied and rubbed off the belt and the boots. Meticulous hand painting created the faux wood surface. Several firings were undertaken, especially after layers of China paints had been applied to enhance coloration. Ruby and gold overglazes added to belt and boots. Silver luster applied to buckle, gun and belt. Cold finishes added.
  • Date: 2010.
  • Size: 16.0" x 9.25" x 3.5".
  • Displayed at National Teapot Invitational, Cedar Creek Gallery, Creedmoor, NC. Viewers' Choice Award.
  • Sold.

ENLARGED VIEWS

Enlarged view.

Enlarged view.

Enlarged view.

Enlarged view.

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   CREATIVE PROCESS

Meryl drawing the preliminary sketch for this work. 

  • Preliminary sketch of a new teapot in the Melo-Tea Series in which a violin is morphed into the form of a cowgirl dressed in Western garb with leather belt and boots.

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Templates are cut and clay slabs fitted to shape in the hand-building process.

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Meryl Ruth sculpting this work in its early phase.

Addiitonal details include adding piping trim in clay, and scultped boots. .

  • Trim is added in the form of extruded clay piping.
  • Sculpted Western-style boots are also appended in place to do double duty as feet for the teapot.

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    Boots are formed by slab construction and details added.

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The teapot's handle is added in the form of the tuning scroll of the violin.

  • Creating a more flowing gestural handle was considered important, so a number of different templates were made before a satisfactory one was chosen for this piece.
  • Two clay slab matching parts were made and attached to the body of the work, draped over the base of the teapot and attached in place by slip and score method.
  • Additional sculpting and carving was done to embellish the handle as well.

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Meryl working on the belt to add to this piece. 

Details added includ tuning component, kerchief, belt, buckle, holster and guns.

  • Several sculptural details are formed and appended to the developing piece, including tuning component, kerchief, belt, buckle, holster and guns.
  • The tuning components added to fiddle's handle are created of a slip cast mold from an actual violin tuner, rather than sculpted separately as in the prototype piece Mel-Oh-Tea-Us.
  • A  few small details are added to complete the sculptural phase of the teapot's construction.

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Meryl sculpting this work. 

FIne details are added to complete the sculptural phase of the teapot construction. Coloration with glazing follow.

  • The last few sculptural details of the teapot are added, including triggers for the guns and more tooling details to the belt.
  • The piece is now allowed to dry to the greenware state before its first kiin firing to cone 06.

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Glazes applied after the second successful kiln firing.

  • A series of underglazes are applied. These are rubbed off on the press mold areas, such as the belt and the boots. Other areas are meticulously hand painted with underglazes to create the faux wood surface treatment of the violin.
  • The work is fired successfully a second time at cone 5.
  • Multiple layers of China paints are applied to provide enriched colored embellishments. Refiring is done after each layer.
  • Opalescent ruby and gold overglazes are applied to belt and boots. Firing is done once again to cone 017.
  • Silver luster is painted on the buckle and other detailed parts of the gun and the belt. Final firing to cone 018.
  • Varnishes and cold finishes complete the work.  


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