Tuesday, March 27, 2012

West Coast Teapots

I stopped in to the gallery the other day to see the show called West Coast Teapots.

I had seen a show announcement and happened to walk by during its opening reception a few weeks ago. I stayed outside and gazed through the windows at the potters and collectors, many of whom I recognized, holding their glasses of wine and talking pottery. I couldn't bring myself to go inside and spend the evening explaining why I didn't have a teapot in the show and why I am manipulating cake instead of clay.

I heaved a sigh and walked on.

Someday, I swear, I will get back into my studio for more than an hour, if only to make replacements for all my dinnerware that has been broken in the last two years.

So I made a trip to the gallery to view the show knowing the pots were going to holler the Siren's call.

Teapots have always been a special challenge to potters. There are many design and functional elements to a teapot. The perfect pot will have all the elements working seamlessly together. The handle needs to feel comfortable and balanced in the hand while supporting the weight and tipping of the pot itself during use. The spout needs to be angled correctly and the lip of it finished carefully so that it doesn't drip when pouring. The lid must fit snuggly but not too much and that can really be a problem to solve. Throw in a desire for an imaginative design and glazes that complement the shape and the challenges mount. Then there is the possibility of warping, twisting or cracking of seams. When a gallery wants to bring out the best talent in the ceramic world, they have a teapot show.

I loved this teapot set which was made by the show's curator, a potter living just down the road from me, Jim Diem. This one asked me to take it home.

But this! I loved, loved, loved! The teapot was great but I really wanted the cups. The red glaze, so hard to get, is divine. The slip trailing, the finishing details....I want!

Another teapot by the same artist as the cups above, Jeff Morales (check out the pull chain desk lamp on his website- Amazing!) really wanted to come home with me.

I love the colors and simplicity of this set. It says Coffee to me rather than Tea.

Every element of this charmer fits perfectly with each other, the delicate feet under the weighty spherical shape gives it whimsy.

Funky and masculine.

So fun!

This has a beautiful blue celadon glaze with a classic carved surface.

This set really grabbed me with the careful sgraffito work. I loved the texture and subdued color as well as the salt glaze finish. Salt glaze gets me every time.

So this was my prize. It just jumped into my bag. I wanted the whole set, especially that teapot, but the wallet said No. I hated to break up the set by buying just one element but the gallery manager assured me it was fine.

Can you see the animal on this pot? What an imaginative design. Great glaze too.

If I could just cut back on sleep and showering, maybe I can get some time in the studio again.

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