Teapot 4

Okay, I know I’ve kind of fallen off the “Quest for the Perfect Teapot” wagon that I built for myself.  Two reasons for this are:

Secondarily) My obsessions run in circles, and right now my penchant is for pitchers.

Moreover) I am lazy.

Sixth and lastly) Some of my teapots have had embarrassing flaws, and I’ve been putting off sharing them.

And to conclude:  despite these reasons, I’m still very committed to transparency as far as being honest about my mistakes.  My experience as a potter and my successes are still tempered by inexperience and failure, which I would rather talk about than hide.  I’ve just been putting off the revelation of said mistakes.

So anyway, Teapot 4!  She’s a beaut.

I recently submitted the above photo in an application to a juried art fair, as one of five examples of my work.  It may or may not have helped get me accepted. . . . (I’ll be posting details on this fair closer to the date–September 9-11.  Yay!)I really enjoyed doing the handle for this one; it was attached to the pot in one big loop, cut in two places, reattached to itself, then the tips of the cut places were curved up and tapered.  I plan to refine this technique on future pots.The glazing turned out pretty awesome, I will say, although I’m getting a little tired of the blue-brown I put on the lower half of this pot–it’s a fickle mistress, coming out blue on about one out of ten pots, and brown on the other nine.  I did seem to get an equal mix of blue and brown on this one, but it’s a little too faded for my liking.  (I’ll be posting pictures soon of my favorite new dark teal blue glaze!)My one beef with this pot (which is actually a beef with its maker) is that I once again did not get a good handle attachment, and there are slight cracks along the inner edges of the handle.Embarrassing, very.Now, I don’t think this poses a serious threat of breakage–the handles are still attached, the pot is vitrified (basically turned into a rock), and they are just surface cracks that weren’t covered up by glaze.  However, they constitute a weak point visually.

Let me say that this pot is already a couple of months old, and I’ve made several larger pots with handles since then that have had no cracking–I’ve paid more attention to seams when attaching handles, sometimes adding an extra little roll of clay around the attachment area and smoothing it in.  This physically strengthens the unity of the parts, and also helps the item look strong.  I’ve heard and experienced this:  the handle needs to appear strong for the person using the pot to be confident that it is, indeed, going to be able to hold up a vessel full of liquid (especially if that liquid is hot!).Here’s another weak point, albeit a minor personal pet peeve:  I hate what I did to the bottom.  The glaze looks insipid and watery.  There, I said it–now I’m done.The spout untwisted a little too far (see post about Teapot 3 where I discuss the mechanics of this), and it doesn’t pour perfectly.  Darn.  I’m currently obsessed with pouring edges, especially for pitchers because they’re easier to form while wet, and will be writing more about this later.I do love this convenient little thumb-rest I’ve created, although it is a bit difficult to tip the pot the whole way without needing to slide your hand to the back of the handle.  I may re-configure this handle type on future pots, with this in mind.The crowning glory: another successful locking lid. So you can tip the pot without fear of the lid splashing into your tea!

Well, there she is–I may or may not be posting her for sale, but if I do it will be at a discounted rate to acknowledge the flaws which I have so emotionally revealed to you all.  I do still love this teapot, though.  It represents the beginning of stretching a few boundaries with handles and glazes, not to mention helping me get accepted to my first juried art fair (!), and I hope to make more in the same style.  Thanks for sticking with me!

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