To Teapot or Not To Teapot?

Saul Bell 2009 First Place—Hollowware Davina Romansky
Saul Bell 2009 First Place—Hollowware Davina Romansky

The Teapot – The Mount Rushmore of the metalsmith.  It seems that every great metalsmith (and ceramicist for that matter) has made a teapot at least once in their career.  It’s just expected.  It’s like the term paper everyone has to write in order to pass the class.  And I’ve never made one.  I haven’t even ever designed one.  And that haunts me.  OK, maybe it doesn’t really haunt me, but I do keep coming back to the question, “To teapot, or not to teapot.”

The funny thing is, not many people even use teapots, at least not in this country.  With the advent of the teabag, why would you need to brew a whole pot?  Just brew individual mugs.  And still, the teapot looms.  It’s become a collectible.  Some people have whole houses full of teapots.  And they’re difficult to make.  Sure you can create a container with a lid, a handle, and a spout attached to it, but will it work?  It has to be water tight and the spout shape and placement is critical if you don’t want it to dribble or shoot out hot tea all over the table.

Saul Bell 2007 Finalist—Hollowware “Identity Crisis” Chihiro Makio
Saul Bell 2007 Finalist—Hollowware “Identity Crisis” Chihiro Makio

Some people just decide to make non-functional (or dysfunctional) teapots, strictly for a conversation piece.  I’m not sure that I could do that.  My husband’s mother is from Ireland and teapots must be functional.  I have to say that I kind of agree with them on that point.  But then I think of how much fun it could be to do a sort of conceptual teapot – many more design possibilities.

That brings us back to why I haven’t made  a teapot.  I really just haven’t had the inspiration to design one.  I’ve tried forcing it, making it a problem to solve like a class assignment, but it always just seems forced.  And than there’s the idea that everybody has to make a teapot.  And we all know how much fun it is to do something that you have to.  I guess for now I’ll stick with my jewelry, bowls, and chalices until inspiration hits and the teapot comes to life.

Some Interesting Teapot Links:

Review of the Exhibition “Teapots: Object to Subject”

Steven Benezue – maker of Dysfuntional ware

The Exotic Teapot online shop

2 thoughts on “To Teapot or Not To Teapot?

    1. That is a really cool teapot. I love that you can see the tea brewing. I still need to come up with an idea that I love before I start seriously thinking about making my own though.


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