Saturday, January 1, 2011

Teapot assignment (Int. and Adv.) 1/3/11


For your next project, you will make a teapot. The teapot is a favorite object of many ceramic artists. There is a lot of history and tradition world-wide regarding teapots and tea in general.

The "tea ceremony" can be found in both Western and Eastern civilization. In Asia the tea ceremony goes back hundreds of years. The Japanese tea ceremony is highly ritualistic-- everything must be done a certain way. Likewise, the British "afternoon tea" also follows a specific procedure. In both cases, the vessels, tools, and so forth are carefully defined.

So, when a ceramic artist sets out to make a teapot, there are several things to consider...

Traditional vs. Non-traditional

As mentioned above, there is a long tradition in teapots regarding style, form, etc. Some contemporary artists prefer to make their teapots within the tradition, while others use a more non-traditional or individualistic way of making a teapot. Over time, the teapot has come to be a way for artists to express themselves in any number of number of ways.

Korea, 13th century

China, 18th century



Functional vs. Non-functional

A traditional teapot will of course be functional. In other words, its main purpose and function is for making and serving tea. A non-traditional teapot may still be functional, but it does not have to be: this is where the artist can really get creative!

Non-traditional, but functional

Definitely non-functional-- 18 inches tall!

Your assignment for today:

Using Google image search (or something similar), find some teapots that you especially like. The idea here has two points-- first, to see what's out there in the world of artist-made teapots (not commercially manufactured), and second, to find some teapots that are particularly inspiring to you. Hopefully this will help you in coming up with some ideas for your teapots!

Image search keywords-- Try combining the word teapot with some of the following: stoneware, earthenware, traditional, contemporary, non-functional, abstract, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Ming, Tang, celadon, or anything else you can think of.


You are to make a "comment" on this blog post, and give links to at least five teapots. For each teapot, briefly explain why you selected it.

To make a comment, go to the bottom of this post and click on the word comments; you can then select anonymous from the pop-up menu, but YOU NEED TO PUT YOUR NAME ON YOUR COMMENT to receive credit for this assignment.

Also... you can also print pictures of a couple of teapots if you wish, but it is not required.


Be prepared to create sketches of designs for your teapot.