Banner: Porcelain Grace, Meryl Ruth, Fine Art

 

 I'M A LITTLE TEASNOUT, A CERAMIC TEAPOT


 

Teapot in form of a Dachshund with a Western-tooled leather coat.
  • This ceramic teapot is completely hand-built of stoneware clay.
  • Clay slabs, cut to predesigned tagboard template forms, are press molded to impart Western tooling. The lid is made from a slip cast mold of an actual dog bone. Both head and feet are sculpted and carved. The head, made from a block of clay, is hollowed out and provided with a vent hole to avoid expansion damage during kiln firing. The tail (spout) is hand-built, formed from two press mold segments of clay, joined together. The handle is press mold. Extruded clay "cording" is added. Inlaid turquoise elements are set atop the lid and into the ornament on the front panel.
  • The design of this work mimics that of its prototype, Teanie Weenie, but with major modifications.
  • Among the changes are the following: the head position faces forward rather than to the side; the longer tail is more gestural and thinner in diameter toward its distal end, serving as the teapot's spout; a bandana adorns the dog's neck instead of a collar; the longer legs makes the teapot sit at a greater height; the dog bone lid is made with a new press mold.
  • Construction sequence:
    • First fired to cone 04.
    • Hand-applied underglazes are rubbed off to show textures, and then more underglazes are applied.
    • Certain areas are given a clear glaze coating; luster will be applied to these areas later.
    • Refired to cone 5.
    • Lusters added to the buckle and other hardware of the purse.
    • Fired yet again to cone 018.
    • Overglazes applied.
    • Turquoise stones added to buckle and front panel decoration..
  • Shown at Niche Awards Exhibit 2013,¬†Philadelphia Buyers Market of American Craft, Philadelphia, PA,¬† 2013; The Teapot Redefined Premiere, Invitational Exhibition, Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA, 2012.
  • Niche Awards Winner in Teapot Category, 2013.
  • Date: 2012.
  • Size: 10.0" x 4.0" x 15.0".
  • Sold to a Hong Kong buyer.

 


ENLARGED VIEWS

 

 

 

Enlarged view

 

Enlarged view

 

Enlarged view, detail

 

 


CREATIVE PROCESS

 

Early stage of construction.

   

  • The teapot body is slab constructed and hand-built. The slabs are cut in the shape of preformed templates. Their surface is decorated with Western tooled design by press mold. A slip cast mold of a dog bone forms the lid. The dog's head is sculpted from a clay block, hollowed and vented to avoid kiln damage. The legs are sculpted and carved. The tail is made of two press mold clay pieces, joined together to make a longer, more free-form tail to serve as the teapot's spout.

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   Construction phase completed before coloration begins. 

  • Detail work, including bandana and cording with extruded clay, completes the construction phase of the piece.
  • It is now allowed to dry thoroughly to the greenware state, prior to its first kiln firing.

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Beginning of coloration; black glaze applied and rubbed off to enhance interstices.

  • After successful bisque firing to cone 04, colorationof the surfaces begins.
  • Black underglaze is applied and rubbed off to leave traces to enhance the interstices in the hand tooling of the leather coat, the handle, the tail, the dogbone lid and the dog's face.
  • Following the underglazing process, the teapot will be refired to cone 5/6.
  • Lusters are added to the buckles and other hardware to provide a metallic finish.
  • The work is completed with overglazes to enhance the coloration and turquoise stones to the lid (dog bone) and the side buckle.

 

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