Banner: Porcelain Grace, Meryl Ruth, Fine Art

 

... TEA-SHARP HARMONY, A CERAMIC TEAPOT


A French horn image is used to form Tea-Sharp Harmony as a ceramic teapot.
  • Tea-Sharp Harmony is a hand-built stoneware ceramic work intended to represent a detailed French horn in clay, with major modifications of another horn-based work, Tea Tootaler.
  • A preliminary sketch is made to guide me in erecting the complex structure.
  • Construction begins by wheel throwing a bowl in the shape of the horn's large convex opening. The horn's large, flared bell does double duty by serving as the teapot base.
  • The bowl is inverted and carefully tooled to round its edges without a foot. The bowl is then enclosed so it will function as the teapot body.
  • Creating this work involved making a large number of tentative bowl models, a sequence that yielded, after much trial and error, the ideal form I was seeking.
  • The selected bowl is then inverted to allow me to throw hollow tubular clay extensions, which are then bent into shape to conform with the distorted circular components of the French horn. The extensions are attached seamlessly by score and slip method.
  • The technique I used for throwing extensions on a Potter's wheel is, to my knowledge, an innovative use of wheel-throwing, and well worth exploring.
  • Subsequently, extruded clay coils are used to make the remaining fanciful small tubes of the horn. Valves are of sculpted clay.
  • The horn's mouthpiece is part of the teapot's handle. The spout of the teapot exits from the main bell extension located opposite the mouthpiece and pipe.
  • Construction sequence:
  • Exhibited at Signature Works, Crafthaus On-Line Exhibition, Evergreen, CO, 2012.
  • Displayed at The Makings of Music, Invitational Exhibition, Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA, 2012.
  • Winner of 2012 Niche Awards competition in the Teapot Category, Philadelphia, PA, 2012. Displayed at Niche Awards Exhibition.
  • Featured at National Ceramic Competition 2012, San Angelo Museum, San Angelo, TX.
  • Inspired Hands V, Maine Crafts Association Members Exhibition, University of Southern Maine, Lewiston-Auburn College, Atrium Art Gallery, Lewiston, ME, 2012.
  • Date: 2011.
  • Size:  11.0" x 16.0" x 9.0".
  • Available for purchase. Price: $725.
   

ENLARGED VIEWS

Enalrged view

Enlarged view of rear of work.

 


CREATIVE PROCESS

A preliminary sketch shows the intended ceramic teapot in the form of a French horn.

A preliminary sketch shows my intentions with regard to this work. The design of the French horn serves as the template for the clay construction to be undertaken.

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Convex bowl thrown on the Potter's wheel.

  • A convex bowl is thrown on the Potter's wheel. After it is formed, the bowl rim is tooled to round the edges, but without trimming the foot.
  • The opening is closed with a flat slab of clay to ensure a water-tight functional teapot body.

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Hand-building begins with formation of convex clay bowls on the Potter's wheel; extensions are added on the wheel to the inverted bowl..

  • The inverted bowl is then worked on the wheel so that tubular clay extensions can be added seamlessly by the score and slip method, as shown here.  The teapot's spout projects from the extension of the main bell (here the upper right-hand projection); the coils form the handle (here to the left).

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Additional minor tubes are added in a fanciful arrangement.

  • Addiitonal exttruded coils of clay are appended semi-realistically to the structure to provide whimsical distortion to the piece.
  • The horn's valves, pipe and mouthpiece are also added as scultped clay segments.
  • The sculpted lid projects up from the opening made for it along the top between the spout and the mouthpiece.

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Gold luster added to provide brass-like finish to the piece.

  • Clear glaze is applied to the surface of the teapot. Then it is fired to cone 5.
  • The work is further entirely coated with a gold luster. It is refired to cone 018.
  • Additional glazes are added to create the appearance of an old, faux antique tarnish and patina quality to parts of the piece.

 

Finished product showing front and back views.

 

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