Banner: Porcelain Grace, Meryl Ruth, Fine Art

 

... HAND BAG, A CERAMIC TEAPOT


  • This stoneware ceramic teabag (a teapot in the form of a purse) is the product of a long series of attempts that i undertook to satisfy my artistic objective for a piece with specific design elements included, most particularly simplicity of line. I persisted through a number of failed trial and error explorations. Some of them are pictured below. In due course, I was ultimately successful in creating this work. It reflects the essentials of the design I was seeking. 
  • The teapot body, made entirely of clay, represents a leather-like hand-built construction made from simulated leather gloves.
  • The simulated leatherwork continues in the teapot's strap handles.
  • A thrown altered spout and feathered lid are added to make the teapot functional.
  • Design embellishments include faux leopard skin and patina finish.
  • Construction sequence:
    • When I finally achieved the exact shape I desired for this piece, it was first fired to cone 06.
    • Black glossy underglaze was then applied to the internal surfaces.
    • Black underglazes were applied onto front and back panels were then rubbed off to provide background coloration.
    • Leopard-skin design glazes hand-painted onto side panels.
    • More leopard-skin and black glaze were applied to the handle and to the foot of the teapot.
    • The work was refired to cone 5.
    • Opalescent glazes were then applied. Another firing followed to cone 017.
    • Luster gold added to the lid and parts of the handle. Final firing to cone 018.
    • Overglazes applied, including a patina of turquoise on selected areas.
    • A feathered lid was designed and made for the teapot.
  • Size: 16.0" x 10.5" x 5.0".
  • Date: 2011
  • Sold.

 

              

 

 

 
 

Enlarged Views

Enlarged view.

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Enlarged view.

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Enlarged view.

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Creative Process

Preliminary sketch of proposed teabag.

  • Preliminary drawing of the proposed teapot shows the teapot body formed of leather gloves.
  • In addition, I anticipated making a centered spout and a feathered clasp for the lid.

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A series of failed trials preceded the final choice of design.

  • I made a number of clay sketches to try to bring my design concepts to fruition.
  • What I was seeking most of all was simplicity of line, which proved difficult to obtain.
  • Some of these failed versions are shown here.
  • Because none quite reached the level of creativity I wished to achieve, I rejected them all until I was able to create one that met my artistic objectives fully.

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Handbag images press mold relief onto the surfaces of the teapot body.

  • Press molds are made from leather gloves, Both front and back glove surfaces.
  • These are used to decorate the exterior surfaces of preformed clay slabs.
  • The slabs are used in turn for hand-building the teapot body.

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Handle, hardware, spout, and lid are added.

  • Handles are formed of extruded sculpted clay.
  • Hardware is formed by sculpting wet clay to form.
  • A spout ias wheel thrown and altered.
  • The lid opening in the purse's clasp is cut to accept the lid.
  • A  lid is designed and sculpted to fit the preformed opening at the top of the teapot body.
  • With the construction phase completed, the work is first fired to cone 06.

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Black underglaze is applied and rubbed off.

  • To provide an dark background coloration to the interstices of the front and back panels of the teapot body, glossy black underglaze is appied and rubbed off.

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Leopard skin design applied to side panels.

  • A faux leopard-skin print design is applied with colored glazes to the side panels of the teapot body.

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Additional embellishments are added to enhance coloration and design wth focus on experimenting with lid construction.

  • Additional enhancements of coloration are made with black and leopard-skin glazing of the handle and the lid..
  • Focus is directed on experimenting with variations in structure and design of the lid, here shown tentatively.
  • Refiring is done to cone 5.
  • Opalescent glazes are added  before firing once again to cone 017.
  • Gold luster is applied to the lid and parts of the handle. Another firing is done to cone 018.
  • Overglazes are applied to complete the work, including a turquoise patina to verious sites on the teapot body.
  • A  unique feathered lid was designed and created to fit the preformed opening in the clasp.

 

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