Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tea Set

I finished up yet another teapot today. The main difference between this teapot and past ones is the lid. I made more of an inset lid on this one. My hope was that the lid would look more part of the pot; however, I don't know if I like it. I think that I might need to make the gallery deeper as to make the lid sit lower. This teapot is a little bit smaller than the ones I have been making (only 2lbs of clay) I like smaller teapots because I can actually see myself using them.

I have been focusing on making the strainers better on my teapots as well. I know that it is difficult to make a strainer that would actually strain loose leaf tea but I think that they should at least look good. For some reason it is difficult for me to make all of the holes aligned and symmetrical so I have to focus on this in order to make it the way I want (even though nobody will ever see this)

I also made the handle on this teapot a little bit taller. On the first series of these teapots I made the handles too short which made it difficult to remove the lid. On the second series I made the handles about the right size and I am thinking this time I made it too tall. I want to make some teapots with handles on the back as opposed to over the top. I also may try some Japanese style side handles(maybe). I am still very much working out all of the kinks with this form but I definitely like were it is going.

I have been thinking a lot about designing pots recently. By this I mean finding what you like to do to your pots, what original ideas you bring to make it 'your' pot. I have been thinking, specifically with this teapot rampage I have been on, what do you do after you have come up with a design that you are satisfied with? Do you just produce a bunch of the same form over and over again. I have seen people do this a lot, most of the more well known potters in America (not all).

This seems limiting to me because when I am making pots, even ones I have made lots of, I almost always find something new that I could do or change. I feel that if I had a standard form or design of say a teapot that I was known to make and had made lots of I would be expected to continue with this design. This may cause me to disregard a new idea that could make a better pot.

The whole idea behind the philosophy I follow of working in a series is to grow and better your pots throughout the series. It seems that maybe once you get the potential of a form maxed out then you come up with your interpretation of this form. This becomes your 'style'. But once you come up with this do you just become a machine and keep reproducing the same pots over and over again?

I think I will stop rambling now (this post is about teapots, right?)

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