Banner: Porcelain Grace, Meryl Ruth, Fine Art

 

  HARE LOOM, A MIXED MEDIA TEAPOT


Hare Loom, A Ceramic Teapot, part of a series of ceramic works based on the theme of Alice in Wonderland
  • This is another iteration of my "Alice in Wonderland"-themed series of ceramic teapots. Prior versions include March Hare Madness, Alice's Teapot and Dysfunctional Par-tea. Since it is a commissioned work, it has been modified by mutual discussions and agreement between the buyer and the artist.
  • Considerable innovation was required to satisfy the buyer's desire for me to clothe the hare in a fabric jacket and frilly lace collar, not faux material fabricated in clay as in previous items in this ceramic series. As described below, there were a number of challenges for me to meet and overcome in order to achieve this objective, particularly since I had never attempted such a complex process as this before.
  • This work differs in significant ways from the others in both design and construction. It represents the fictional March Hare seated backward astride a well-formed conventional teapot, mimicking the teapot's lid, but fixed in place for stability. This requirement makes the pot non-functional.
  • Construction involved wheel throwing and bisque firing the pot first to ensure sufficient structural strength to support the hare's substantial stoneware clay body against the possibility of slumping, distortion or collapse of the work during kiln firing. The hare is separately hand-built and sculpted, adding its jacket in clay to serve as a base for the cloth clothing desired by the buyer. The piece is dried to bisque state, and is later permanently affixed atop the previously-fired teapot by vitrification of the glazes applied to their surfaces. Refiring is then done to cone 04.
  • Glossy black glaze is applied to the interior of the teapot chamber and white satin glaze to the exterior surfaces. Colored underglazes are added to the hare's coat, face, paws, tail and ears.
  • Another kiln firing is done to cone 5.
  • The lid is wheel thrown, glazed and fired separately. My intention is to have it displayed alongside the teapot.
  • A set of clay decals, illustrating "Alice in Wonderland" imagery, is created. Decals are applied to the teapot and the lid. Vitrification is done by means of another firing to cone 015. Mother of pearl luster is applied to the teapot, which is then fired twice again to cone 018.
  • The royal blue coat is made stepwise by sewing and gluing fabric in place over the hare's clay jacket. Lace trim for the collar is added in the same way. Pearl beads are used for buttons. The stopwatch is assembled of multimedia parts. Its clockface is a button. The chain is formed from a portion of a necklace.
  • Construction sequence:
    • Teapot is wheel thrown of stoneware clay; handle of extruded clay; and spout thrown, sculpted and altered.
    • Teapot is allowed to dry to the greenware state and then fired to cone 04 to its bisque state.
    • Hare is hand-built of stoneware clay with sculpted details.
    • Hare is also dried to greenware state and the assembled work is refired to cone 04.
    • Decorative glazes are applied to both interior and exterior surfaces. Cone 5 firing follows. This causes vitrification of the glazes to permanently affix the hare to the teapot.
    • A wheel-thrown lid is made, glazed and fired independently.
    • Clay decals are made depicting "Alice in Wonderland" scenes. They are applied to teapot and lid, and then fired to cone 015.
    • Opalescent luster added to teapot and lid surfaces. Twice fired to cone 018.
    • Sections of the hare's blue jacket and white lace collar are sewn and glued in place.
    • Decorative pearl beads, assembled parts for the stopwatch, a clockface button, and part of a necklace chain complete the work.
  • Date: 2016.
  • Size: 8.5" x 8.0" x 5.0" (not including separate lid).
  • A  commissioned work.
  • Sold.

 


ENLARGED VIEWS

 

Enlarged view.

Enlarged view.

Enlarged view.

 

 


CREATIVE PROCESS

 

 

Preliminary sketch of proposed ceramic work.

  • Preliminary sketch, approved based on buyer's desires with regard to the design of the work, allows me full artistic freedom within those minimal constraints.

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Early stage of construction before structural completion and refiring.

  • Views of early stage of construction, showing teapot already fired in bisque state to cone 04. The hare is sculpted and permanently attached by score and slip method in place of the teapot's lid opening. It is allowed to dry thoroughly to the bisque state before refiring to cone 04.

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Views of the completed work with royal blue cloth jacket and white lace collar.

  • Special clay decals are designed to display imagery from "Alice in Wonderland." They are attached to the teapot and the lid and vitrified at high kiln termperature to cone 015. Two more firings to cone 018 follow application of mother of pearl luster to the surfaces of teapot and lid. The royal blue coat is made in sequential stages by sewing and gluing segments of cloth in place. Collar and trim of lace are added in the same way. Additional cold finishes to ocmplete the work include pearl buttons, an assemblage of multimedia parts for the stopwatch, a button with a clockface and part of a necklace for the watch chain.

 

 


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