Banner: Porcelain Grace, Meryl Ruth, Fine Art

 

  HAR-TEA HAR HAR, A CERAMIC TEAPOT


Har-tea Har Har is a ceramic teapot in the form of a young giraffe surmounted on a giraffe patterned Western boot.

  • This is a hand-built stoneware clay teapot made in the form of a baby giraffe emerging from a cowboy boot.
  • It is a major modification of its prototype Sweet Tea, which showed a sleeping giraffe snuggled in repose in a similar setting.  Both the giraffe and the boot are different in design, form and embellishment.
  • The interior chamber is waterproofed with a layer of glossy glaze. The outer layer is embellished with faux fur giraffe-skin pattern using underglazes, glazes and China paints.
  • Construction Sequence:
    • First firing to cone 04 in greenware state.
    • Black glossy cone 5/6 glaze is applied to inner surface of teapot.
    • Black underglaze is also applied to the boot and the excess is rubbed off to enhance the leather markings and pattern.
    • Colored underglazes to the outer surfaces create details of the giraffe's face and body, the leather boot and the faux giraffe-skin motif of the cohesive design.
    • Refired to cone 5.
    • China paints are applied in layers to enhance the coloration.
    • The work is fired three more times to cone 018. Each firing is done after a layer of China paints is completed.
  • Exhibited at Cedar Creek Gallery National Invitational Teapot Show IX,
  • Creedmoor, NC.
  • Date: 2014.
  • Size:  17.5" x 13.5" x 3.5".
  • Museum purchase by Kamm Teapot Foundation, Sparta, NC.

 

 


ENLARGED VIEWS

Enlarged view.

 

Enlarged view.

 

Enlarged view.

 


CREATIVE PROCESS

 

 

 

Early phase of construction showing baby giraffe emerging from cowboy boot.    

 

  • The teapot in its early construction phase demonstrates its future general contours and composition.
  • The cowboy boot consists of a press mold made from an actual boot, with details of its various elements, such as zipper, buckle, leather tooling, heel and sole delineations, carefully preserved and enhanced. The boot represents the main chamber of the teapot.
  • The baby giraffe is sculpted from a block of stoneware clay to fit the opening atop the boot. It has been hollowed out to ensure against expansion damage during kiln firing after the construction phase is complete.

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    Advanced construction with handle and spout and sculptural details added.

 

  • The construction phase nears completion with the addition of handle and curved spout, both made of extruded clay that is altered as needed to give them artistic verity.
  • A  lid is formed by decapitating the giraffe and modifying its neck to fit the opening thus formed for it.
  • Sculptural details are also worked into the surfaces of the giraffe and the boot.
  • The work is allowed to air dry completely to its greenware state in preparation for its first firing.

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First firing completed, teapot is glazed internally with black glossy glaze and externally with underglazes for the faux giraffe-skin pattern.

 

  • First kiln firing of the teapot to cone 04 is completed successfully.  
  • Black glossy glaze is applied to the interior chamber's inner lining to make it watertight and nonporous.
  • Work is next begun, as shown here, to apply underglazes to the outer surfaces.
  • This will create the details of the giraffe face and exposed portion of its body, the leather boot and the extensive faux giraffe-skin motif.

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Black glaze is applied to the boot and rubbed off to enhance the boot markings; additional underglazing is done for the surface pattern.

 

  • Black underglaze is applied to the boot and then the excess is wiped off to expose the boot's texture and patterning.
  • The faux giraffe-skin underglazing is extended to incorporate handle, spout, lid and boot into a cohesive design.

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Overall giraffe-skin pattern completed, the work is ready for its refiring.

 

  • Surface embellishment with overall giraffe-skin pattern, except for eyes, heel and sole, is achieved with underglazes..
  • The work is now refired to cone 5.

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The work is completed with applications of glazes and China paints for the faux fur surface coloration and multiple glazes to cone 018.

 

  • The external surfaces are decorated with glazes and China paints for purposes of enhancing the faux fur of the giraffe and matching boot pattern.
  • After each layer of China paint is applied, the work is fired again to cone 018, to complete the teapot.

 


 

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