Banner: Porcelain Grace, Meryl Ruth, Fine Art



Singer's Soothing Tea is a ceramic teapot in the form of a Singer sewing machine
  • This is the fourth and last of my teapot series themed to represent free-form antique sewing machines. The first three were Treadle Kettle, Domestici-tea and Stitch in Tea Time.
  • Its title is wordplay consisting of the interrelationship with the sewing machine manufacturer, a singing teapot and a human singer.
  • A Stitch in TeaTime duplicates Domestici-tea in most respects at the request of the gallery at which I was invited to exhibit it, based on the popularity of the desogn concept. This one is similar with a few modifications, such as a somewhat rounder body and longer armature.
  • It is hand-built from stoneware clay by a number of techniques. These include slab construction (for the detachable teapot base as the sewing machine base). press mold (for the machine body as the main teapot chamber), slip cast mold (for the teapot lid as a spool of thread), sculpting (for teapot details) and sculpted and extruded clay (for the control wheel as teapot handle).
  • After construction is completed, the work is allowed to air dry thoroughly to its greenware state.
  • When suitably dried, 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 make the main chamber waterproof and, therefore, functional. Black underglaze is applied to all exterior surfaces as well as the sewing machine base.
  • Multiple additonal firings are done after each layer of decorative silkscreened decals, lusters and China paints is added.
  • Construction details:   
    • The teapot is first fired to cone 04.
    • The internal surface of the teapot's main chamber is coated with black cone 5 glaze; external surfaces of teapot and base are coated with black underglaze.
    • The work is refiring to cone 5, a particularly high temperature, hazardous to delicate ceramic pieces. It survived the kiln experience intact.
    • The teapot and its base are coated with low-firing black satin glaze.
    • Another firing follows to the more gentle temperature of cone 05.
    • Clay decals are created with silkscreened designs and then applied to the teapot and the base.
    • Firing is done again with a programmed long, slow, gentle kiln heating and cooling to ensure against any damage to the piece or its component decorative additions.
    • Metallic lusters are then added in complex patterns to the handle, the base plate and the clay "hardware" on the teapot and the base.
    • Refiring is done once again to cone 018.
    • The spool of thread (serving as the teapot lid) is colored with purple China paint.
    • One final firing to cone 018 completes the work..
  • Exhibited at National Teapot Exhibit X, Cedar Creek Gallery , Creedmoor, NC, 2017.
  • Date: 2017.
  • Size: 10.0” x 9.5” x 6.5”.
  • Sold at Cedar Creek Gallery, Creedmore, NC.




Enlarged view.

Enlarged view.

Enlarged view.

Photographs by Nick Thompson of Berlian Arts                                                                     









Return to top