A Rainbow Of Trout Upright Ring Teapot
16" tall x 14" wide x 7 " deepPhoto by Jon Barber
This was the last teapot I made before my October 29-December 4, 2005 solo exhibition at the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester, Vermont. I needed a second teapot to fill the kiln next to “It is Still (And Yet It Moves.)” I made a diamond-cross-section ring in two parts, both open V profiles, then attached the two Vs together using clay slip and pressure on the inner and outer diameter edges of the two open V rings. I mounted this ring upright on an oval base, and cut out the top lid opening with an x-acto knife in preparation for adding the handle and spout. I was thinking of an ornate Viking shield, and was planning to add studs and needle-like sharp points to the inner and outer profile edges of the upright ring. I hadn’t decided what I was going to make for the lid finial. I was doodling around, making the inside tab of the lid which keeps the lid from falling into the teacup when you tip the teapot forward to pour tea, and I saw that the inside tab or hook shape was looking sort of like a fish tail. This gave me the idea to make the lid finial into a leaping fish, coming right through the lid, and only revealing itself when you lift off the lid. Of course I then had to make the spout into another fish, and I ended up adding three more fish heads and three more fish tails, all modeled after a picture of a rainbow trout I found in one of my animal picture books. This teapot took something like forever to finish, and then a lot longer to glaze. I ended up using 17 different glazes on it. After I painted many different glaze colors on all the fish, I painted hot wax over all the glazed fish parts, then dipped the teapot body into two different glazes to give a watery undersea feeling to the teapot ring. I completed the teapot after the firing by epoxy gluing iridescent reflective glass buttons into the eye sockets I had left hollowed out. The glistening fish eyes sparkle and change color and seem to follow you as you walk past this teapot!
This teapot is held in a private collection in Alta Loma, California.