“It Is Still (And Yet It Moves)” Reassembled Ring Teapot

11" tall x 21" wide x 12" deep

Photo by Jon Barber

This Teapot is For Sale

Price: $4500

“It Is Still (And Yet It Moves)” Reassembled Ring Teapot
Cone 5 oxidation-fired stoneware

I had an idea that I wanted to make a Reassembled Ring Teapot covered with spiny tendrils so that after it was fired the Reassembled Ring would “hover” off the ground sitting up on these spines.  I knew I had to pose this Teapot on a clay rack strong enough to support the Reassembled Ring, and tall enough to hold the assembly up in the air so the spines could hang down and not be crushed or broken while the teapot dried, and during the biscuit and glaze firings.  I made a round cross-section ring and scored segments into it to look like a caterpillar body, then cut it into 7 sections and reassembled the ring on the rack, which had a wide clay slab base and 5 pier supports of varying heights holding up the teapot assembly.  I cut out the lid, adding the finial knob (inspired by butterfly antennae), and attached the segmented spout and the pulled handle, never once moving the ring assembly off the clay support rack.  I then started from the handle end and started adding the spines.  If you look closely you will see that the spines around the handle are pointy, but as I progressed I decided to make them taper to square ends, so I could twist and curl them into more expressive shapes.  It took me six days just to put on the spines, and there are probably about 300 of them on this teapot!  I made sure that none of the spines touched the upright support posts or the surface of the slab clay rack.  I decided to give this teapot a prickly stand-offish demeanor, ostensibly inviting the viewer to pick it up by the handle, but filling the space inside the handle with sharp spines, so that it is almost impossible to actually pick up–kind of a rose-and-thorns approach, very 20th-century “Art That Denies Itself”.

After a long drying process, I slowly slid the teapot mounted on its rack onto a kiln shelf and very carefully lowered the kiln shelf into the kiln.  When the teapot was safely in the kiln, I saw that I had left only about 1” clearance inside our 23” diameter electric kiln! The dimensions are quoted above as 21″ wide, because the clay shrinks in the firings as it melts. After bisque firing, I removed the spiny teapot from the rack and completely coated the rack with hot wax, so that when I poured glaze all over the teapot the glaze would not cover the rack and glue the rack and teapot together in the firing.  I first poured opaque glossy white glaze onto the teapot, then let it dry overnight.  I very carefully lifted the teapot off the rack, turned it upside down onto a folded towel, and handpainted the areas that were missed in the pouring process.  I then carefully put the teapot back on the rack and poured our Violet Purple glaze all over the teapot.  After another day of drying I again inverted the teapot onto a towel and painted the missed areas with the second purple glaze coat.  The glaze firing that held this teapot and the Rainbow Of Trout Upright Ring Teapot was a tense one for me, as there was so much work inside the kiln and so many ways that things could go wrong.  Both teapots came out super, however, and I am very proud of my artistic accomplishment.

Many people have told me that this teapot looks as if it is moving, so I chose the name “It Is Still (And Yet It Moves)” after the phrase that in 1633 that Galileo is said to have muttered under his breath when the Inquisitor, threatening him with torture, imprisonment and death, made him recant his Copernican hypothesis that the earth revolves around the sun.

Read About My Reassembled Ring Teapots: https://raybub.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/raybub_article_2002-Evolution-of-an-Idea.pdf
View a 16-minute video: A Conversation In the Studio With Ray Bub: https://vimeo.com/53699005

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