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John Foster

The Essence of a Teapot


If you had to guess what is considered to be one of the most collected archetypal forms in the craft world, what would it be? Before you spend too much time with that question, I will tell you. It’s the teapot. While the traditional teapot should be at the very least functional — that is, have the ability to hold and pour a liquid, I recently viewed an exhibition that turns all that on end with the “idea of a teapot.” This is exciting, for if you take the most basic functional elements of what defines a teapot, it boils down to three things: a vessel-like shape with an opening at the top, a handle, and a spout. Take those elements (and throw in a lid if you like) and you have the essence of a teapot.

This conceptual exhibition is at Craft Alliance in St. Louis. Here you will not find a teapot that your grandmother may have owned, but “teapots” that are more art than craft. With this exhibit and throughout the year, Craft Alliance is celebrating its 50th Anniversary with their beloved “Biennial Teapot Exhibition, Fif-TEA,” featuring over 50 artists who create innovative teapots made of clay, metal, glass, wood, and fiber. Additionally, for this special anniversary exhibition, each artist created a teacup to accompany the teapot.

This is the 14th year that Craft Alliance has been exhibiting nationally known and local artists who are challenging the functional and non-functional concepts of the teapot form.

Fif-TEA opened January 6 and closes March 23, 2014. Twitter: @CraftAlliance


teapot
Brett Freund      
Teapot, 2013      
6.5” x 4” x 4.5”       
Porcelain      

teapot
Nancy Gardner & Burton Isenstein      
Teapot, 2013      
7" x 6" x 2"      
Red earthenware      

teapot
Christa      Assad      
Super Transformer Teapot, 2011      
17.5" x 17.5" x 7"
Porcelain, underglaze, glaze      

teapot
Cliff Lounsbury      
Red + Blue, 2013      
10" x 8" x 10"      
Dyed and carved wood      

teapot
Debora      Muhl      
Nesting Teapot II #1344, 2011      
13.5 x 22 x 17 w/ branches      
Coiled sweet grass      

teapot
Eileen Braun      
She's So Hot, 2011      
11" x 7" x 8"      
Porcelain, matches      

teapot
Susan Filley      
Petite Teapot, 2013      
6" x 4.5 x 2.7      
Altered porcelain      

teapot
Fong Choo      
Messed Up On Purpose, 2013      
5.5” x 4” x 5.5”      
Porcelain clay. Fired to Cone 6 oxidation      

teapot
Jo Stealey      
Cirque de Vert Teapot, 2013      
13" x 10" x 5" cup: 4" x 3" x5 "      
Handmade abaca paper, waxed linen, river willow, vintage wheels, mixed media      

teapot
Joe Bova      
Skinny Frog Teapot, 2013      
8 ½ x 8- 1/2  w 5"      
Stoneware, 10 sodafired      

teapot
Kate Anderson      
SUMMER TEAPOT / front – Alex Katz, 2013      
7.75" x 11.75" x 2"      
Knotted linen, stainless steel, wood

teapot
Kate Anderson      
SUMMER TEAPOT / back – David Hockney, 2013      
7.75" x 11.75" x 2"      
Knotted linen, stainless steel, wood      

teapot
Barbara Knuth      
Teapot, 2013      
10.5 x 7 x 3      
Sewn and formed copper mesh      

teapot
Malcolm & Mary Ann Owen      
Tea-mmm Work, 2013      
4.5"h x 7" w x 6"d      
Copper, sterling silver, books      

teapot
Michael       Parrett      
Teabag-teapot, 2013      
5" x 6" x 8"      
Steel, kozo, iron      

teapot
Ruth Ann Reese      
The Scroobius Pip: A Teapot of Unknown Taxonomy, 2013      
Dimension of teapot: Height: 7" x depth 3 1/2" x width 6 1/2";
Dimension of covered cup: Height: 3 1/2" x depth 2" x width 3 1/2"      
Porcelain      

teapot
Robert      Adams      
Industrial Teapot #127, 2013      
21" x 9" x 9"      
Ceramic, aluminum, brass, steel      

teapot
Eric Serritella      
Meoto Yunomi,      2013      
4.5" 3.5" 3.5 and 4" x 3.5" x 3"      
Ceramic      

teapot
Steve Shelby      
Ambiguosaurus, 2013      
8" x 4"x 6.5"      
Hammered copper      

teapot
Susan Taylor Glasgow      
Queen Anne's Teapot, 2013      
11" x 11" x 2"      
Glass, mixed media      

teapot
William Archer Rimel      
Professor Film Flams Miracle Tonic, 2013      
7.5" x 15" x 7"      
Red earthenware, polyorylic, gold luster, found object      


Posted in: Accidental Mysteries, Art, Craft

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