Banner: Porcelain Grace, Meryl Ruth, Fine Art

 

 HANGING LOOSE TEA SERIES, CERAMIC TEAPOTS


Slumber Tea Party, a hanging teapot in the Hanging Loose Tea series.
  • These six newly-designed hanging stoneware and porcelain clay teapots constitute a series of works I was asked to make by an art gallery curator. Each is different, but all are intended to be small functional teapots that serve as wall hangings, rather than stand-alone teapots. They are modifications of the earlier innovative prototype, Teeny Tea Party.
  • The works are all hand-built using clay slab construciton methods. The slabs are formed from press molds shaped to conform with precut tagboard templates. The press molds for use in these pieces are based upon the knit sweater impressions or leather-like finishes.
  • Although intended as hanging art works, functionality is ensured with spout and lid, which are made by press mold and hand sculpting.
  • The handles, from which the pieces hang, are beaded.
  • Additional decorative elements are used to finish each piece, including some with beads embedded onto the side panels where tiny holes receive them.
  • All the works in this series are equipped with handles, from which they are intended to hang, made of wire and beads.
  • Construction sequence:
       After underglazes are applied, firing is done to cone 06.
       Further glazing and refiring follows to cone 5/6.
       Layers of China paints applied to enhance coloration.
       Multiple refirings to cone 015.
       Various cold finishes are added to complete each work.
  • Displayed at River Gallery, Chattanooga, TN; The Teapot Redefined Premiere, Invitational Exhibition, Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA,.
  • Date: 2010.
  • Sizes are entered below for each piece separately.
  • All sold, except Mistle-tea.  Available for purchase: Price $200.

 

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   ENLARGED VIEWS

  

   Slumber Tea Party

Slumber Teaparty enlarged views.

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    Mistle-Tea

Mistle-Tea enlarged views.

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  Swinging  Sassy Satchel

Swinging Sassy Satchel enlarged views.

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  Striped Tealet Wristbag

 

Striped Tealet Wristbag enlarged views.

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  Wallflower Teabag

Wallflower Teabag enlarged views.

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   Just in Case

Enlarged views of Just in Case.

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   CREATIVE PROCESS

    

   SLUMBER TEA PARTY

Preliminary sketch of Slumber Tea Party.

  • Preliminary sketch of the first iteration of the first piece in this new series of hanging teapots, Slumber Tea Party.

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Template prepared of tagboard.

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Beginning construction of the piece using preformed clay slabs with knit-like surface treatment based on press mold.

  • Construction advances using the preformed textured clay slabs to create the teapot's body.
  • Press mold slabs are sculpted and added to form the lid and the spout.
  • Small pieces of clay are added along the side, provded with holes where jewelry ball posts will later be mounted.

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Coloration is applied by underglazing.

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Multiple layers of China paints are applied and a beaded handle added to complete the hanging teapot.

  • Multiple layers of China paints are applied to enhance the coloration.
  • The work is refired after each layer of overglaze.
  • Cubic Zirconium crystals are attached to the side panels. 
  • Cold finishing details include use of colored pencils and gloss varnish.
  • The beaded wire is added to form the handle for hanging.
  • Size: 8.75" x 4.5" x 3.0" .
  • Sold.

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     MISTLE-TEA

Construction of this piece with press mold body, lid and snout.

Construction of this piece with press mold body, lid and snout.

  • The second work in this series continues the cable-knit sweater theme with variations in design from the original.
  • Instead of the button-up front, for example, this is made in the form of a pull-over type of sweater. Its cap, which serves as the teapot's lid, is decorated with a button.
  • The name, Mistle-Tea (with wordplay on a teapot with echoes of Kissing Under the MIstletoe), is chosen for the work's bright holiday coloration specifically created for display at a Yuletide gallery show.

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Coloration is applied by underglazing.

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Layers of China paints added and multiple firings done.

  • Multiple layers of China paints are applied to enhance the coloration.
  • After each layer, the piece is refired to cone 015.

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The piece is finished with the addition of a beaded handle for hanging.

  • After the last round of refirings, a beaded wire handle is added for hanging purposes.
  • Cubic Zirconium crystals are added to the sides of the work.
  • Final measurements: 9" x 5" x 2.5".
  • Available for purchase. Price: $200.

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   SWINGING SASSY SATCHEL  

Construction of this work with shirred leather-like panels.

Continued construction with side spout and belt clasp added.

  • Swinging Sassy Teabag is another in the series of small hanging teabags hand-built of stoneware clay.
  • It  departs from the sweater design rather markedly. It takes the form of a leather clutch with shirred side panels.
  • in its more advanced construction phase, shown in the lower panel, a side spout and belted clasp opener are added.
  • After the lid has been made for this piece, it will be ready for its first firing to cone 06

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Cording is added to embellish the leather-like design of the piece.

  • Cording of extruded clay is added to embellish the leather-like surface design.
  • An opening, shown in the view at the right taken from the top of the teapot, is made at the top of the purse to accommodate the lid.

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Leopard design glazes applied to surface.

  • Underglazing in a leopard skin pattern is applied and the work is refired to cone 6.
  • Metallic gold luster is painted on the buckle.
  • A further firing is done to cone 018.
  • Cold finishes are added to provide more depth to the coloration and to impart the quality of fur.

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Completed piece with multiple layers of China paints and beaded handle added for hanging.

  • Multiple layers of China paints are added to enhance coloration.
  • Refiring done to cone 5/6 after each layer. Gold luster applied and fired for last time to cone 018.
  • Cold finished with colored pencil and gloss varnish.
  • A beaded wire handle is added for hanging.
  • Final measurements: 6.25" x 7.0" x 2.25".
  • Sold.

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      STRIPED TEALET WRISTBAG

Another hanging teapot with transverse stripes.

  • The fourth hanging ceramic teapot in this Hanging Loose Tea series is constructed to a different whimsical design.
  • It is  hand-built using colored porcelain clays, alternativng long black and white slabs to form contrasting horizontal stripes on the body and spout, vertical stripes on the base, and variegated stripes on the fanciful lid.
  • Red porcelain clay details are to be added for their festive effects.
  • The work is fired in bisque state to cone 06

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Layers of China paint are applied and the piece is refired multiple times.

  • Multiple layers of China paints are applied to enhance coloration and design.
  • After each layer, the piece is refired to cone 015

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Work is finished with overglazes and a beaded handle.

  • Multiple layers of China paints are applied to enhance coloration.
  • The piece is refired to cone 015 after each overglaze layer.
  • A twisted beaded handle is added to facilitate hanging.
  • Final measurements: 8.0" x 4.5" x 3.25".
  • Available for purchase. Price: $200.

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   JUST IN CASE  

A hanging teapot in the form of a small photo silk-screened violin case.

  • The fifth hanging teapot in this series is designed in the form of a small violin case. The piece was inspired by prior work on Mel-Oh-Tea-Us, which was a large teapot in the form of a deformed violin. My intention was to use the same silk-screened images for this hanging teapot, placed on the case instead of the body of a violin. Several versions were begun, but only this one proved effective and exciting for the piece i had envisioned. I feel it is the most sophisticated work in this series.
  • It is hand built by slab clay technique. The body is assembled of clay slabs cut to preformed tagboard templates.
  • Its exterior is photo silk-screened with images of violins, front facing for the front of the piece and rear facing for the rear.
  • It is first fired in the greenware state to cone 06 to bisque.

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   Just in Case is completed by photo silk-screening surface embellishments, China paints and glazes. 

  • Lugs are added in clay to accommodate the wire handle that will evenually be added.
  • Glazes applied and the piece is refired to cone 5.
  • China paints are applied in multiple layers. The piece is fired repeatedly after each layer.
  • Beaded handles are appended to facilitate hanging on a wall. Gold luster coats the clay lug. Last firing to cone 018.
  • Final measurements after application of the handle: 10.5" x 4.0" x 3.25" (9.0" length without handle).
  • Sold.

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   WALLFLOWER TEABAG

Wallflower Teabag is a small wristlet bag in the form of a flower-shaped teapot.

  • Wallflower Teabag is yet another piece in the Hanging Loose Tea series.
  • It consists of a hand-built ceramic teapot in the form of a small flowered wristlet.
  • Clay slabs for construction are created from preformed tagboard templates.
  • Press mold provides the shirred leather appearance. Stitching and clay cord piping trim are added.
  • The side panels are equipped with faux zippers.

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Sculpting phase is completed with the addition of a spout.

  • The construction phase is completed with the additon of a wheel thrown and sculpted spout, clay loops for the handle (later to be given a metallic finish), and lid details.

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Completed teapot has been decorated in multiple layers of red China paints and fitted with a beaded handle for wall hanging.

  • After bisque firing to cone 05, the piece is underglazed, andrefired to cone 5.
  • It is finished in multiple layers of red China paints, and fired again after each layer is completed to cone 015.
  • The handle of strung beads over wire is attached for hanging the teapot.
  • Final measurements: 9.25" x 5.75" x 2.25".
  • Sold.

 

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