Banner: Porcelain Grace, Meryl Ruth, Fine Art

 

  ROYAL TEABAG, A CERAMIC TEAPOT


Royal Teabag, a ceramic teapot in the form of a handbag.
  • This teabag (a teapot in the form of a handbag) is a further development in the Queen of Hearts series of teapots. It is the fifth in the series and second made in the size of an actual playing card. In this work, my experimentation with porcelain Keraflex took a new direction. For Royal-Tea Tote, Design differences include elongating the teapot, making a longer and more gestural and fluid spout. The feet are in tart form as before based on press mold. The spout is thrown and altered. The handle is of slab construction. The body is also slab constructed and press mold. A Kerflex skirt isnewly added at the rear. The lid has a feather embellishment to replace the Keraflex fan created for the Royal-Tea Tote lid.
  • I had sculpted the teapot completely in cone 10 stoneware clay and then adhered the porcelain tiles in place before firing the entire piece to cone 10 without a preliminary bisque firing. By contrast, for Royal Teabag, I first completely sculpted the teapot in cone 10 stoneware. This high-fire stoneware clay has many advantages. The surfaces of the teapot body are quilted by means of press mold of a quilted fabric. Initial firing is done to cone 04.This process helps stablizie the clay body in anticipation of adding the Keraflex laminate in place.
  • Images of both sides of the playing card are photo silk-screened onto Keraflex tiles that have been cut to playing card size. Silk-screening involves three-color separation for this piece. Subsequenlty, the Keraflex is adhered as a laminate, each section first cut and shaped to enhance the quilted pattern. Attachment is done using porcelain slip specially formulated to accommodate Keraflext tile, using the score and slip method. The teapot is then refired to cone 10.
  • Adhering the Keraflex laminate worked well on the back panel, but not on the front where it curled during the kiln firing. The latter were therefore removed and later reattached in place after all firings were complete.
  • After firing to cone 04, extensive underglazing is hand painted before adding the Keraflex lamnate. After the lamination, several refirings were done to cone 018 to vitrify the gold luster on the lid and the China paints applied to the body surface.
  • In addition to the feather on the lid, feathers are adhered to the back skirts and to the Keraflex on the skirt surface. Porcelain overglaze is also applied. Gold leaf is added as a cold finish to the sides of the teapot body as well as the back and front panels in areas in which there is quilting but not Keraflex laminate.
  • Exhibited at 100 Teapots VI, A Juried Exhibition at Baltimore Clayworks, Baltimore, MD, 2013.
  • Date: 2012.
  • Size: 11.0" x 5.5" x 5.0".
  • Sold

 


ENLARGED VIEWS

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CREATIVE PROCESS

 

 

   Early construction phase.

  • The teapot is sculpted almost in its entirety in cone 10 stoneware using slab construction technique.
  • The body surface is press mold with a quilted pattern. Feet are formed by press mold of tart shells. Keraflex porcelain tile skirt is added at the rear. 
  • The spout is thrown and altered before being attached. The handle is of slab construction. It is now prepared for its first firing to cone 04.

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    Beginning of glazing phase after kiln firing.

  • After successful kiln firing, Keraflex porcelain tile --- predecorated with photo silk-screened image of a playing card and cut to fit the surface areas between the interstices in the quilting --- are lamnated in place by score and slip method. Another firing to cone 04 is done.
  • Then decorative underglazes are painted on the surfaces of the body, spout, handles and feet.

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 Completed teapot after surface embellishments.

 

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