Banner: Porcelain Grace, Meryl Ruth, Fine Art

 

  ME TOO TEA, A CERAMIC TEAPOT


Me Too Tea is a ceramic teapot.
  • This is the first iteration of a new series of ceramic and fiber works based on an important relevant topic. It is inspired by the #MeToo Movement that is presently taking place internationally. This burgeoning movement stands firmly against the sexual harassment that has affected most women at one time or another in their lives. The phrase "Me Too" was popularized by Alyssa Milano. She moved me to this cause as a woman, daughter, mother and grandmother. To honor the cause, I am now developing this new series of works with a social message. Social art has never before been my direction, although in retrospect, I do see that influence in other works of mine. Heretofore, my principal goal has been to create beautiful and humorous works of art. Further, I have rarely in the past used lettering or words in my works; they are appropriately prominent in these.
  • My objective for this piece was to create a teapot with a vintage flair. I wanted it to be feminine, yet strong. I wanted the imagery to reflect those two attributes. I chose rows of the old and well-known Rosie the Riveter poster by J. Howard Miller from the World War II era. It clearly represents strength and drive in women. The teapot form is a vintage handbag design. My intention was for it to be elegant and simple in design. I was also influenced by Andy Warhol's multiple silkscreened Pop Art portrait images of Marilyn Monroe. I like the idea of showing rows of women in a variety of colors depicting a sense of wholeness, unity, fierce determination and racial ambiguity.
  • The teapot's body and lid are hand built of stoneware clay. In addition, I extrude faux cording around the edges of the handbag. I also throw the spout on the wheel and subsequenlty alter it.
  • Decals are made depicting the poster as a joint project done in collaboration with my daughter, Julianna, who helped me design them using the Photoshop application. The decals are affixed to the front and back panels by vitrification at high kiln termparatures.
    I add gold luster to the lid and hardware. A jewel is inserted into the hole made for it in the square lid. That hole was made early in the construction to ensure against incurring damage to the artwork during kiln firing.
  • Construction details:   
    • Hand built construction of the teapot body is done by the slab technique.
    • Cording is made of extruded clay.
    • The spout is wheel thrown and altered.
    • The lid is hand built of clay  slabs.
    • The work is allowed to air dry to its greenware state.
    • First kiln firing is done to cone 05.
    • Decals depicting the poster image, variously modified, are digitally made as a cooperative effort with my daughter, Julianna, who helped me create the designs using Photoshop. The decals are affixed to the front and back panels by vitrification at high kiln temperatures.
    • Glossy black glaze is applied to all unadorned inner and outer surfaces.
    • The teapot is refired to cone 5.
    • Gold luster is applied to the lid and the hardware located at the base of the handles adjacent to the clasp.
    • A final firing is done to cone 018.
    • A jewel is added as a cold finish to the hole made earlier in the lid to accommodate it.
    • This completes the work.
    • Date: 2018.
    • Size: 15.5” x 12.0” x 3.25”.
    • Price: $900.
 


ENLARGED VIEWS

 

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CREATIVE PROCESS

 

 

   

 

Early stage of construction.

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     Construction and coloration completed.

  • Decals are created in Photoshop to transfer the reduced-size poster images to the front and back panels of the handbag and vitrified in place at high kiln termperatures.
  • Black gloss glaze is painted on the inner surface to make the piece water tight and thereby functional as a teapot.
  • Black glaze is also added to the cording, side panels, clasp, handle and spout.
  • Gold luster is applied to the lid and the faux hardware at the base of the handle where it meets the body of the teapot.
  • The work is refired to cone 5.
  • To complete the work, a jewel is glued in place in the hole previously made for it in the lid.

 


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