Banner: Porcelain Grace, Meryl Ruth, Fine Art

 

  A STITCH IN TEA TIME, A CERAMIC TEAPOT


Early stage of construction for A Stitch in Tea Time ceramic teapot.
  • This teapot is a third iteration in the evolving series begun with the prototypical free-form sewing machine representations, Treadle Kettle and Domestici-tea. Yet to be made is another variant, to be called Singer's Soothing Tea. A Stitch in TeaTime duplicates the Domestici-tea in most respects at the request of the gallery at which I was invited to exhibit a new teapot with no major changes in design.
  • It is hand-built from stoneware clay by a number of techniques. These include slab construction (detachable teapot base as sewing machine base). press mold (machine body as main teapot chamber), slip cast mold (teapot lid as a spool of thread), sculpting (teapot details) and sculpted extruded clay (control wheel as teapot handle).
  • After construction is completed, the work is allowed to air dry thoroughly to its greenware state.
  • Once dry, the teapot is fired in an electric kiln to cone 04.
  • Black cone 5 glaze is then applied to all inner surfaces of the teapot to ensure the main chamber is watertight and, therefore, functional. Black underglaze is applied to all exterior surfaces and the sewing machine base.
  • Multiple additonal firings are done after each layer of decorative silkscreened decals, lusters and China paints are added.
  • Construction details:   
    • The teapot is initially fired to cone 04.
    • Internal surface of teapot chamber is coated with black cone 5 glaze; external surfaces of teapot and base are coated with black underglaze.
    • Refiring is done to cone 5.
    • Teapot and base are coated with low-firing black satin glaze.
    • Another firing follows to cone 05.
    • Decals are created with silkscreened designs and then applied to the teapot and the base.
    • Firing is done again with a programmed slow, gentle kiln heating and cooling.
    • Metallic lusters are then added to handle, base plate and clay "hardware" on teapot and base.
    • Refiring is done to cone 018.
    • The spool of thread (teapot lid) is colored with purple China paint.
    • One final firing to cone 018 completes the work.
  • Exhibited at Cedar Creek Gallery International Invitational Exhibit, 2017, Creedmore, NC.
  • Date: 2017.
  • Size: 10.0” x 9.5” x 6.5”.
  • Available for purchase. Price: $900.
 


ENLARGED VIEWS

 

Enlarged view.

 

Enlarged view.

 

 

 


CREATIVE PROCESS

 

 

   

 

Early stage of construction of Stitch in Tea Time

 

  • Early stage of construction of a ceramic teapot in the form of a semi-abstracted sewing machine is shown in composite views.
  • Stoneware clay is modeled into the teapot body shape by various techniques, including slab construction (for the base, not shown here), wheel throwing (for the handle-wheel) and sculpture (for the spout-machine arm and the lid-thread spool).
  • When completed, the work is allowed to air dry to its leather-hard state, and then kiln fired to cone 05.
  • The base is hand-made separately from stoneware clay using slab the technique.

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Completed work with separate base and teapot, fully embellished with glazes, lusters and decorated decals.    

 

  • After the construction phase is completed, both parts of the work, base and teapot shown here assembled, are embellished with decorated silk-screened medallion-decals, glazes, metallic lusters and China paints.
  • Advanced phase at completion with decorative coloring is shown, front (left) and rear (right).
  • Multiple firings are needed between each coloring layer.

 

 


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