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Sip Tea Accordionly, A Ceramic Teapot in the form of an accordion.
  • This stoneware clay work is in the form of an abstract accordion. It is a musical instrument theme I have explored in a number of prior clay compositions, including Fiddlesticks (violin), Fit as a Fiddle (violin), Lara's Theme (balalaika), Tea-sharp Harmony (English horn), Mel-oh-tea-us (violin) and Tea Tootaler (trumpet), among others.
  • However, I have never attempted to make an accordion as a teapot. It proved to be quite a challenge. In this iteration, I hand-carved each indentation of the bellows and each bass button. Every section of the treble keyboard is slab constructed individually.. I have ideas about constructing these components in future works in a similar theme by means that are not so labor intensive. All these details are made twice, for use on both sides of the teapot.
  • The teapot's spout is wheel thrown and altered. The lid is a slip cast mold.
  • The most difficult aspect of the long construction process is to keep the clay wet enough to allow me to continue to work on it. This is especially important because I had to work on certain sections in isolation, while the remaining sections are maintained in a sufficiently wet state.
  • When construction is complete, the accordion is assembled, using the score and slip method, and is allowed to air dry thoroughly to the greenware state.
  • When dried, the work is subjected to its first kiln firing at cone 04.
  • The internal cavity of teapot is coated with a non-porous glossy black cone 5 glaze. Outer surfaces are painted with black and white cone 5 glazes where appropriate.
  •  The teapot is refired to cone 5.
  • I design original ceramic decals on the Procreate app on my iPad to look like undulating accordions on a granite stone-like surface. The decals are then made for me by Milestone Decal Art. The decals are applied and the work is fired once more.
  • Another more complicated firing is done to about cone 015. 
  • Lusters are applied to areas of the teapot, including the lid. 
  • Several more firings are done at cone 018.
  • Finally, silver and other metallic leaf cold finishes are applied. 
  • Construction details:   
    • After drying to its greenware state, the teapot is fired to cone 04.
    • The interior teapot chamber is coated with nonporous black glaze.
    • The exterior surfaces are glazed in black and white glazes.
    • The teapot is refired to cone 05.
    • Ceramic decals are designed, made, and applied, as shown.
    • Further firing is done to cone 015.
    • Lusters are painted on external surface areas, including the lid.
    • Firings are done to cone 018.
    • Various metallic leaf finishes are applied as cold finishes to complete the work.
  • Date: 2019.
  • Size: 16.0" x 14.0” x 5.5”.
  • Available for purchase. Price: $1,100.





Enlarged view


Enlarged view


Enlarged view.










Meryl in process of sketching preliminary drawing of Sip Tea Accordionly.



  • A preliminary drawing is made by Meryl Ruth, in progress above, to sketch out the details
    of the anticipated structure of this new work, a ceramic teapot in the form of an accordion.



Early stage of construction of Sip Tea Accordionly, A Ceramic Teapot.


  • The work is to be made entirely of stoneware clay using hand-building slab construction techniques, here shown in an early phase of its development.
  • The indentations of the bellows and the bass buttons are individually hand carved.
  • Each section of the treble keyboard is separately slab constructed.
  • The spout for the teapot is wheel thrown.
  • The lid, not shown here yet, is to br made using a slip-cast mold.

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   More advanced stage of construction prior to first firing.


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Further advanced coloration of and pattern application to Sip Tea Accordionly


  • After successful first firing, glossy nonporous black glaze is applied to the interior teapot chamber.
  • Glazes are also applied to external surfaces in black and white.
  • Refiring is done to cone 05.
  • Decals are designed, made and applied, as shown.
  • Another firing is done to cone 015.
  • Lusters are applied to various external surfaces, including to the lid.
  • Another series of firings are done to cone 018.
  • Various metallic leaf, including silver, is applied to complete the work.



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