Red Frost Reassembled Ring Teapot

9” tall X 15” wide X 11” deep

Photo by Jon Barber

Red Frost Reassembled Ring Teapot
Cone 5 oxidation-firing.
This teapot is held in a private collection in Boston, Massachusetts.

The cantilever, or overhanging segment of a building attached vertically to a buried protruding “foot,” is a familiar modernist architectural design element. With my Red Frost Reassembled Ring Teapot I wanted to preserve the circularity of the triangular cross-section ring, so I cut out only one small arc segment and attached it crosswise above its original place in the ring. Instead of my more familiar vertical ring positioning, I then oriented the ring assembly almost horizontally on the oval base, which for this teapot serves as the cantilever foot. I sculpted the lid finial to almost mirror the cutout arc segment, and attached it to the lid, adding the handle and spout opposite each other in line with the oval base. Because of the fragility of the unfired clay, I placed a removable clay prop under the ring below where the spout is attached when I bisque and glaze-fired the teapot. I dipped the opaque white glaze over the whole teapot, sponge-printed the pale green glaze on all the edge features, then poured the pink glaze over the whole teapot surface. I expected this teapot to fire to the pink color you will see on my “Strawberry Pink Reassembled Ring Teapot.” However, the element wires in our electric kiln were almost 3 years old and quite worn. Because the kiln temperature failed to increase, the automatic-program kiln control system shut off the kiln twice during the firing of this teapot, causing the kiln to be on 7 hours longer than the usual 12 to 14 hours needed to complete a cone 5 firing. I finally got the kiln to temperature by shutting off the automatic temperature-raise feature in the program, and I was quite apprehensive about what I might find when I unloaded the kiln the next day. The pots in the firing looked good, however, and our normally pink glaze was a wonderful deep frosty red on this teapot. I don’t think this glaze color can be duplicated! You may also notice that the spout side of the ring curves almost a full inch above the handle side of the ring. The ring sagged down on the right side of the removable prop, kicking up the end to the left of the spout because of the long hot soak time the teapot spent in the 21-hour firing. I like this slight upward-spiral effect very much, although I did not plan it. I took apart the kiln and replaced the six element wires before the next firing, and it is back to working normally.

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