Banner: Porcelain Grace, Meryl Ruth, Fine Art

 

  KIT-TEA, A CERAMIC TEAPOT


Teapot formed of a leopard on a boot with integrated leopard-skin pattern throughout.

  • This functional teapot is based on the prototype teapot, Fit to a Tea, but with a number of modifications from the original. It shows a faux leopard-skin boot with an emerging leopard, combining and integrating the leopard skin pattern into both the boot and the animal figure. Changes include the following: The tail is thicker in diameter; the hind legs are more muscular; the leopard's face is quite different from the first iteration; the spout exits off the left shoulder rather than the left ear; and the lid is angulated and set lower on the leopard's back.
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  • A tall, smooth-leather boot is used to make a mold from which a clay boot could be cast. The boot mold is made in several sections. The process involves using a rubber mold with an outer plaster mold for reenforcement. The segments are then joined together by score and slip method. The assembled negative mold is used to make a positive clay replica of part of the boot; the remainder is sculpted. Press mold corrugated boot sole and heel are made and affixed.
  • Sculpting the leopard emerging from the boot is done next. It is hollowed before being permanently attached in place atop the boot. An extruded clay handle is attached as well; it does double duty as the leopard's tail. The tail's distal end is appended in place at the base of the lacings on the front panel of the boot. The spout projects from the leopard's left shoulder.
  • After all the structural details are completed, the work is allowed to dry thoroughly in air to the greeenware state. It is then firied to cone 04.
  • Detailed embellishments with glazes and China paints cover the surfaces of both the leopard and the boot with a leopard-skin pattern.
  • Construction sequence:
    • Bisque fired to cone 04.
    • Thick black underglazes are brushed on and wiped off; the surfaces are then painted with faux leopard-skin pattern in underglazes; heel and sole are hand painted in black glaze; details of leopard's face are decorated in colored glazes; grommets, zipper and buckle (lid) are coated in clear glaze.
    • Refired to cone 5.
    • Gold luster applied to hardware elements.
    • Fired to cone 018.
    • Cold finished with clear glossy Pebeo Porcelaine glaze.
  • Displayed at the Texas Teapot Tournament juried exhibition, Houston, TX, 2015; Fired Up National Juried Exhibition, Harlow Gallery, Hallowell, ME, 2015; National Teapot Exhibit X, Cedar Creek Gallery , Creedmoor, NC, 2017
  • Date: 2014.
  • Size: 14.0" x 10.5" x 4.0" .
  • Available for purchase. Price: $900.

ENLARGED VIEWS

 

 

 

 

Enlarged view.

 

Enlarged view.

 

Enlarged view.

 

 

 


CREATIVE PROCESS

 

 

 

      Early stage in construction.    

 

  • Illustration of an early phase of construction in which the sculpted leopard is shown sitting atop the cast Western-style leather boot.
  • The teapot's handle is the leopard's tail. The spout exits from the leopard's left shoulder. The lid is a removable buckle set midway upon the leopard's back.

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Details added to the work, mostly affecting the leopard's head, prior to allowing it dry and undergo its first kiln firing.

 

 

  • Surfaces are worked to inscribe details, especially on the leopard's head.
  • When this phase is completed, the teapot is allowed to dry completely to its greenware state prior to its first kiln firing to cone 04.

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Glazing begins to impart a leopard-skin pattern to the leopard's coat.

  • Thick black underglazes are brushed on and wiped off. 
  • The surfaces are then painted with faux leopard-skin pattern in underglazes.
  • The heel and sole are hand painted in brown glaze.
  • Details of leopard's face are decorated in colored glazes.
  • Grommets, zipper and buckle (lid) are coated in clear glaze.
  • The boot's heel and sole are glazed uniformly in brown.
  • A matching leopard-skin pattern is hand-painted with glazes on the leopard. It will be continued on the leather boots.
  • Refiring is done to cone 5.

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Completed work with overall pattern on both leopard and leather boot.

 

  • Gold luster applied to hardware elements.
  • Fired zgain to cone 018.
  • Work is glazed overall with leopard-skin pattern for both the leopard and the leather boot.
  • Cold finished with clear glossy Pebeo Porcelaine glaze complete the artwork.

 


 

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