I first touched clay in 1967.

For the last 20 years I have been exploring the handthrown ring form, making and altering uniquely shaped, cross-section hollow rings on the potter's wheel, then completing the Upright Ring Teapot form by adding a base, neck, lid, finial, spout and pulled handle.

In a related series of teapots I have been cutting the leather-hard hollow rings apart and reassembling the separate arc sections into a pleasing composition with handbuilding methods and adding handthrown, handbuilt, and pulled elements to form a Reassembled Ring Teapot.

In 1978, my wife and business partner Susan Nykiel and I started Oak Bluffs Cottage Pottery at our home/studio in Pownal, Vermont. I currently continue to make ceramic art and I also teach clayworking skills to others.

I STILL WORK WITH CLAY EVERYDAY.

ABOUT THE
REASSEMBLED RING TEAPOTS

I have thought about ceramic teapots for a long time! I have come to understand that my Reassembled Ring Teapots are both teapots and sculptures that refer to teapots, in the same way that a sculpture of Martin Luther King refers to that famous and revered person, but is not actually Dr. King. A conventional round teapot, one of whose attributes is that it is very efficient at brewing tea, is also a sculpture in the shape of a teapot.

EVERY HUMAN-MADE OBJECT IS A SCULPTURE...

Every human-made object is a sculpture with attributes which fit it to or diverge away from the role that object is perceived to play in our lives.

We can say that a conventional utensil such as a teapot is actually that utensil, but it is also one example (manifest as a sculpture) of an idea we more or less share about what that utensil is or should be.

We judge all objects by how their attributes reinforce or stray from our beliefs of what that utensil-object "should be."

In my opinion, if it has a handle, an interior chamber for tea, a lid that covers the opening at the top of the chamber, and a spout, it is a teapot, even if it may not be very efficient at brewing or serving tea. More specifically, it is a sculpture in the shape of a teapot.

If it is not the "most functional" utensil for brewing tea, I can only hope that my Reassembled Ring Teapots have other attributes that make them worthy of contemplation.

ADDRESS

Oak Bluffs Cottage Pottery
Pownal, VT

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