WRITE TO ME! firstname.lastname@example.org Come see me! Open studio HERE! November 25-26 (11-4 each day); Aurora Art and Design, daily until 12/24; Cooperstown Art Assoc. daily until 12/24; Ellis Hollow Community Fair, 12/10; December 10, Little Red Wagon at the Space at Greenstar. All material on this blog unless stated otherwise is copyright Gary Edward Rith 2016
Thursday, January 29, 2015
"man are you DUMB"
This teaset came outta the kiln yesterday and I was wicked pleased. I like ridgy pots, I like round pots, they go together very well, I think.
First: I got heavily into teapots when I was in college and my girlfriend at that time said "nobody should be able to graduate from this program if they can't make a dripless teapot", this after a demonstration of a senior whose teapot looked like a malformed rock and left more tea on the table than into the cup. Since then, I have made MANY teapots. They pour pretty well.....
Dumb? OK, I am gonna talk about my NOT BEST self. The other day at an online Q and A forum someone new to pottery asked "Why do any of us make teapots? They are so difficult, nobody probably ever buys them, and are you s'posed to put them on the stovetop to heat water or just pour hot water in?"
I WAS LIKE (to myself only) "Argggggggh, you are SO dumb! The schools are worse than I thought and there is something in America's tapwater or gene pool that is making us all STUPID!"
Now, that is not very nice of me. I like to try to be compassionate, I am a Quaker, which by the very definition we are FRIENDLY AND LOVING. So please excuse my first nasty response, which I never published (...except here and now...).
I LOVE teapots and make them all the time, and sell them all the time too. YES, teapots sell. They give you a chance to do something special. Why make a stack of brown bowls, boring as hell, when I can sit there fiddling with a special teapot? And people pay for them, admire them, use them, love them. Some men like to show off the HUGE pots they can make...well, I like to make a pretty teapot.
So, if you practice and learn, there is no reason they are any harder to make than anything else. And yes, people buy them. AND if you are a potter and know clay, how could you ask if you set a clay teapot on the stovetop to heat water? Of course you don't. That is a metal tea kettle. You put a little hot water into the ceramic teapot, swirl it to warm it, then your tea leaves or bags, then fill with almost boiling water and steep. The necessity and function of teapots go back to a time when a) there were no teabags, so you brewed leaves in a pot and b) you were making multiple cups, for the family and guests, just like today's glass coffee pot: it is a way to make a bunch of cups at once, for many people.
Other cultures have slightly different ways of making tea, but there you go.
Teapots also have become a chance for potters to make something special or whimsical, maybe not even used but a showpiece.
SO, these days, teapots are not always needed by the average American family with a coffee machine or teabags, but they are good for serving a nice afternoon gathering, or the whole family, or just being pretty and ornamental.
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