Ceramics

unfired teacanThey are called Tea-cans. Inspired by petrol and kerosene containers, my forms possess all the attributes of a teapot. There is a spout, a lidded opening, a pouring handle, and a chamber that could hold liquid. Tea-cans have the retro-look of machine fabricated, industrial metal-ware. Despite this, the Tea-can manages to be attractive. This says much about the influences inherit in our industrialized society. Our culture has evolved a unique aesthetic that gives objects, like a Tea-can, a sense of acceptable engineered beauty, balance and design respectability.

Process: The Tea-can construction process is long, challenging and labor intensive. Some parts are thrown on the potter's wheel, some are hand built from a lump of clay. There are no shortcuts. The clay artwork takes eight to ten hours to create from raw clay to fully assembled green ware. The assembled piece is dried slowly for approximately one month.

Graphics and colors are all glazed by hand. No decals are used. Logos and graphics are created from intricate hand cut stencils. For each glaze color needed, I create a stencil mask. The mask is positioned and temporarily glued to the bare bisque surface. Using a sponge, the glaze is applied to the exposed areas. When the glaze is dry, I peel away the paper mask and apply another mask for another color. This continues until the graphics are complete. The aged patina comes from careful application of additional glaze layers. Glazing takes about 4 hours.

The artwork is raku fired at least once but sometimes it takes two or even three times to achieve the perfect aged impression.