Teapot 5

Teapot #5 is done!  (Yes, we’re a little out-of-order.)  I love its shape and the way the glazes look–but there’s just one small problem.

Any guesses as to how I can do this?Yes, indeed.  We have a beautiful teapot with a jammed-tight lid.  I ask you, is there anything more tragic?

I have no idea how this happened.  The pot and lid fit well together and should have shrunk at the same rate, and I don’t think they were tight before they went into the kiln–but then I’ve never had this problem, so I probably wasn’t paying attention.  I’m definitely paying attention now.  I want no more tragic pots.

Luckily, lots of help is available to me at the studio where I glaze and fire my pottery.  The wonderful lady who fires the kilns taught me the “bang” method for getting stuck lids off, which is just what it sounds like–you hold your precious teapot by the lid, take a piece of wood and try to hit the pot off the lid.  If that doesn’t work, you try to expand and contract the pot quickly by alternately running it under hot and cold water.  If that doesn’t work, you put the pot in the freezer.  (Note–these are all things that I advise customers NOT to do with the pots I have sold them, as they may, all three, cause the pot to shatter.)

I’ve tried all of the above, and I still have not seen the inside of this pot.  I’ll work up the courage to try again in a few days.

On the positive side, I’m pretty happy with the glazing.  This pot was sprayed with a combination recommended to me, of three shino glazes layered one on top of the other, then sprayed with another glaze, and finally some wood ash sprinkled on top (that’s the lighter spotting you see).  I think next time I try this I will spray the glaze a little thicker, as I ended up with a bit of the sandpaper-y roughness that I so despise, but all in all the natural, speckled, and variegated look of the pot was just what I wanted.

Also, if you can’t tell, the body of the pot is roughly octagonal.  I did this by tapping the sides in with flat piece of wood while the pot was still fairly wet.  (I could have made more distinct bevels, but I’m still a little wary when I alter pots from their perfect wheel-thrown shapes–the clay and I are working on this.)

I’m also a big fan of the bottom of this pot.  I added three feet to give it a tripod of sorts, just to try something different and give the otherwise bottom-heavy shape a little lift.

For obvious reasons, I have not been able to test the pouring ability of this pot.  Frowny face.

Anyway.  Number 5 is another I’m-ashamed-to-admit-this-happened teapot, but hopefully our success-to-failure ratio will improve soon.  At least I’m learning something with every mistake, namely, expect great things, but also be able to accept failure.

I’m not quite there yet.  I think I’ll go hit this pot repeatedly with a stick.

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