Banner: Porcelain Grace, Meryl Ruth, Fine Art

 

   PEST-TEA, A CERAMIC TEAPOT


Pest-tea is a ceramic teapot showing two puppies in conversation on a loveseat.
  • This is a novel story-telling design of a ceramic teapot with two dogs interacting with each other while seated on a fanciful quilted couch. It is intended to represent a whimsical cross-section of modern suburban life.
  • The pups are depicted in "conversation," more monologue, in which the Chinese Crested Poodle is shown nagging, while the Chihuahua is responding with barely concealed disdain.
  • The Victorian couch is hand built, press mold and carved. It is hollowed to form the body of the teapot. The elongated left lateral extension of the back serves as the spout. An elaborate appended pillow on the right is the teapot's handle. The Chihuahua's head and collar are the teapot's lid.
  • The skirt of the couch is made by lace draping technique. The couch piping is formed of extruded clay.
  • Construction sequence:   
      First fired to cone 06.
      Underglazes applied.  
      Clear glaze air-brushed to couch's skirt.   
      Refired to cone 5.   
      Fired again to cone 017.  
      Lusters applied to Chihuahua's collar.  
      Final firing to cone 018.  
      Feathers added to Poodle's crestt.
  • Shown at Critters, University of New England Art Gallery, Portland, ME, 2011; at Maine Art Teachers Exhibit, University of Southern Maine, Lewiston, ME, 2012; at 100 Teapots VI, A Juried Exhibition at Baltimore Clayworks, Baltimore, MD, 2013; and at Teapots and Textiles, Meryl Ruth Solo Show, Maine Fiberarts, Topsham, ME, 2017.
  • Date: 2010.
  • Size:  9.0" x 12.75" x 5.0".
  • Ceramic work and drawing sold.

 

 


   ENLARGED VIEWS

Enlarged view

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Enlarged view

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Enlarged view

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Enlarged view

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  CREATIVE PROCESS

Preliminary sketch of proposed work.

  • A preliminary working sketch of the piece shows two dogs involved in an animated one-sided conversation, the Chinese Crested Poodle actively nagging and the Chihuahua visibly reacting with restrained annoyance.
  • The elaborate design of the couch is illustrated as well. Drawing sold.

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Beginning construction phase of love seat for the dogs.

  • The beginning of the construction phase is the cushioned love seat.
  • It is carved and hollowed out to form the body of the teapot.
  • The tufted upholstery is made by press mold technique.
  • The lateral extension of the back of the couch serves as the teapot's spout.

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Couch is completed with side pillow for handle and lace skirt drapery.

  • A freeform pillow is fashioned and appended to the side of the couch where it will function as the teapot's handle.
  • Piping and other detailwork are added using preformed extruded clay cords.
  • A lace skirt is draped in place to complete the sculpting phase of the couch.

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Dogs are sculpted, hollowed and attached in place.

  • Dogs are hand-sculpted and hollowed before they are attached in place by score and slip method.
  • The teapot's lid, shown here both in place and separated, is the Chihuahua's head.

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Images of work after first successful firing.

 

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Beginning of coloration phase with underglazing.

 

  • After the work has had its first successful firing, the coloration phase is begun with underglazes.
  • Clear glaze is applied to the lace drape skirt.
  • The piece is refired to cone 5.

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Work nears completion with additional coloration by overglazes.

  • Opalescent overglaze is applied to the couch surfaces. The work is then refired to cone 017.
  • Lusters are applied to the Chihuahua's collar. Final firing is done to cone 018.
  • Feathers are applied to the poodle's crest to complete the ceramic teapot.  

 

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