The intention of this thesis project was to begin an investigation of three dimensional form using the parameters that the utilitarian teapot imposes. Fifteen teapots were constructed for this project using refer ences from such styles as Art Deco, Memphis, and Deconstructivism. To this flavor was added from a blend of nineteen forties science fiction (old Flash Gordon comics), film animation, and sixties pop culture. Why the teapot? The making of teapots pose certain technical and aesthetic problems which engage my intellect, artistic ability, and sense of humor in a exercise that is personally fulfilling. Working in the format of functional teapots allows me to judge myself by the same criteria that a hundred generations of potters before me have. Peter Shire, one of the foremost emissaries of the Memphis move ment in the arts, states, "The teapot is often referred to as 'the holy grail of pottery', meaning it is one of the most complex and difficult exercises in clay. The joining of dissimilar elements, the issue of balance relative to the placement of the handle and spout, the fact that the teapot actually must pour tea without spilling or dripping, combine to make it a technical challenge."1 When asked the question of why it is so important that these pieces function as teapots Shire states, "If it did not function, it would be a less radical statement, a defeat by those who would wedge ceramics into the realm of sculpture."2 My reply would be that since these pieces are teapots, and teapots pour tea, they must pour tea. The objective was to work within the traditional format of the teapot bringing to it the views of a forty two year old artist living in the year nineteen ninety five. This firmly establishes this body of work within history and allows tradition the opportunity to develop.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Ceramic teapots; Teapots; Pottery--Themes, motives; Pottery--Technique
Department, Program, or Center
School for American Crafts (CIAS)
Mckenney, Frank, "Teapots" (1995). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus