Sunrise Reassembled Ring Teapot
10" tall x 22" wide x 8" deepPhoto by Ray Bub
This Teapot is For Sale
I started making this teapot by throwing an oval cross-section ring with raised ridges on each point of the oval. I wanted to see how long a line I could make with the cut-up arc sections, thinking back to my Blue-Green Pentagonal Cross-Section Reassembled Ring Teapot, but this time in a horizontal configuration mounted on an oval base. When I reassemble arc sections, I often put together all the sections into two separate assemblies, then join the two assemblies with one strong joint into the completed reassembled composition.
In this case, I had the 3 assembled arc sections on the left, and was ready to join them to the 2 assembled arcs on the right. I put them together, with all the inside curves of the arcs facing the same way, then realized that they wouldn’t fit into the kiln! Our electric kiln is 23” wide, and my reassembly was about 25” wide. This is a common size and shape limitation for ceramic artists—we have to make sure that our sculptural compositions will fit into our kiln spaces and onto our largest kiln shelves, or we have to seek out friends and colleagues with larger kilns, and transport our fragile sculptures to the new kiln’s location, or arrange to make the sculpture near the larger kiln. I had to collapse the composition 3” by sliding the right-side assembly to the left about 4” along the joint. This made the left end of the right side assembly protrude in front and above the oval base, and later this part of the reassembled ring composition presented itself as the natural place to add the pulled teapot handle.
After mounting the reassembly on an oval base, cutting out the lid opening on the left, and adding the spout and handle, I contemplated the teapot to this point. In the last two years I had made spiny and spirally additions to the “It Is Still; And Yet It Moves” Reassembled Ring Teapot, the Water Dragon Reassembled Ring Teapot, and the Taj Mahal Screen Upright Ring Teapot. Here I had a kind of horizon line to work with, so I added a tall wavy fin-like addition to the top edges of the arcs, thinking of shimmering heat waves coming off black pavement on a sweltering hot day. They looked heavy and klunky, however, so I cut them off. I added tall spines waving in different directions, and this was also unsatisfying, so off they came. I then added a shorter soft clay wavy fin to the top of all the arc sections, including running up the top of the teapot spout and onto the top of the handle, and pinched the top edges off sharply with my fingers. I cut down into the sharp-edged wavy fins with a knife tool, and tweaked them back and forth into a slightly wavy sharp ridge reminiscent of the raised sawtooth backbone of an Iguana lizard. Finally I added a higher pierced finlike wave (thinking of the Taj Mahal carved screen) onto the cutout lid for a finial. This looked good!
I made two leatherhard clay props (to be discarded after the glaze firing) for each overhanging end of the teapot composition, then dried and biscuited the teapot. For glazing, I first poured our opaque glossy white glaze over the whole teapot, then handpainted our glossy yellow over the whole teapot. I then painted in successive upward bands our orange, tangerine, and coral glazes onto the top quarter up to the wavy-fin edges of the arc sections. I dotted the very top of the sawtooth ridges with our teal blue glaze, and fired the teapot, expecting to probably have to re-fire it to correct glaze flaws.
It came out great the first time, however, just like the handpainted Taj Mahal Upright Ring Teapot did, and I set it on the worktable to see what I had made. Before glazing, my students were calling this the “Iguana Teapot,” and I probably could have gone toward that feeling with a green/blue/brown glaze treatment, but I wanted a dramatic bright yellow effect, and the title “Sunrise Reassembled Ring Teapot” seemed the right choice for this very nice sculptural reassembled ring teapot.