Banner: Porcelain Grace, Meryl Ruth, Fine Art



A ceramic teapot in the form of a peacock.
  • This is a commissioned work of a free-form peacock representing a functional teapot made of a combination of stoneware clay and real peacock feathers.
  • The ceramic component is constructed by hand-made sculpting, paddling, inscribing, carving, wheel throwing, and pulling techniques.
  • A series of holes are made along an arc at the base of the handle and body. These holes are intended to accommodate the peacock feathers that will be placed in them at the conclusion of the teapot's construction, glazing and kiln firings.
  • The surface is sanded to impart smoothness to the clay after it has been dried completely to its greenware state, a technique I had not used before at this fragile stage.
  • Construction details:   
    • After construction is completed, the work is allowed to air dry completely to the greenware state.
    • The first kiln firing is done to cone 04.
    • Coloration is begun by applying black glaze to the Inner compartment to make the teapot waterproof and functional.
    • Blue and chartreuse underglazes are airbrushed onto the entire outer surface.
    • Refiring to cone 5 follows.
    • Embellishment continues with overglazes and China paints for color enhancement.
    • Multiple firings to cone 018 are done after each layer of China paint is applied.
    • ...
    • ...
    • [More details to be inserted]
  • Date: 2017.
  • Size: 10.5” x 9.5” x 4.5”. [Tentative; final measurements to be inserted after last firing.]
  • A  commissioned work.
  • A  work in progress.



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Preconstruction drawing of the intended work.


  • Preliminary sketches are made based on the desires of the buyer. The tentative design, shown here, was chosen for this work and later modified.

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Early phase of construction showing the peacock form of the teapot and lid.


  • The teapot is hand-made of stoneware clay. Its body is wheel thrown and alterd by paddling. The body is hollowed to create the main teapot compartment. A  spout is opened on the neck and spout's lip is sculpted in place. The handle is made by extruding and pulling the clay and then affixing it to the body by the score and slip method.
  • Three feet are sculpted. Holes are made for use later after the work has been kiln fired and glazed. My specific intent here is to elongate the feet so they look more fragile and delicately bird-like. I contemplate using an armature of wire and polymer clay for strength, and then mounting the work on a wood panel base.
  • The surface of the clay body is carved and inscribed to provide the impression of the short body feathers.
  • A  linear series of holes is provided along an arc at the base of the handle near the rear of the peacock's body. These will be the sites where the peacock feathers will be placed after the ceramic construction and decorative processes are completed. This relocation represents a different design from that depicted in the original sketch (see, above), namely, feathers projecting from the teapot handle.
  • The lid is separately wheel thrown and altered.
  • The bird's head is sculpted. Its crown is pierced to accommodate a crest, which I anticipate will be made of wire and feathers after all construciton and embellishment is done.

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Further refinement of the work at a later stage.


  • After the work is allowed to air dry completely to its very fragile greenware state, its surface is gently and carefully sanded to impart smoothness to the clay. I had not sanded at this stage before because of the vulnerable state the work is in at the time, but it works quite successfully.

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After first firing, glazing is begun.


  • After the teapot's surface has been smoothed by sanding in its greenware state, it is successfully kiln fired for the first time to cone 04.
  • The inner chamber of the teapot is coated with cone 5 glossy black glaze to make the work waterproof and functional.
  • The process of applying blue and chartreuse glazes by airbrushing has begun, as shown here.

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  • [Additional images and captions to be inserted]




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