Tag: teapot

Handmade Ceramics: Alphabet Mugs, Nursery Rhyme Teapots, and Flower Bowls


Alphabet Coffee Mugs

These last few weeks have been a blur of late afternoons, clay, pottery wheels, handmade ceramic pieces, glaze, encaustic wax, and glass.

My recent decision to join the newest addition to the Atlanta retail scene, Crafted Westside, meant I needed to produce pottery. My long afternoons began, my second job as working artist started as soon as my first job, art teacher, ended for the day. Every day I stay pumping out decorative bowls, teapots, pitchers, and mugs. I love seeing the similar glaze colors coating each pot create a unified, body of work.

I don’t think I have ever made so much pottery.

As I begin each creation I try to think like a consumer. Who will buy my products? What is their taste? What will compliment the overall look of the shop? Generally the consumer I visualize is me, shopping for my Mom on Mother’s Day, my sister for Christmas. When it came time to create my “c” alphabet mug, I couldn’t help but include a coral shade, after all my sister Christy is a bright, pink personality.

My goal in the coming weeks is to complete the entire alphabet in mug form. I am currently up to letter m, with letters n-u waiting to be fired and glazed, and letters v-z waiting to come into reality via my B mix clay and pottery wheel.

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In addition to the many mugs I have created in the past few weeks, I have also been hard at work creating more decorative bowls. My house is scattered with ceramic bowls. If a tabletop looks empty, I plop a bowl down to jazz it up. I love crisp white contrasting with a bright interior. Over the years I have developed a knack for making flowers out of clay. A pinch here, a pinch there, a score and a slip, and out comes a hydrangea, rose, or camellia. Just this week I added a dot bowl and a hydrangea to the mix at Crafted Westside.

Dot Bowl

Hydrangea Bowl

My absolute favorite thing to make on the pottery wheel has to be teapots. There is something about seeing the spout, lid, and handle come together that makes me smile.

Teapots

I knew I wanted to add a couple of teapots to the shelves of Crafted. Luckily, at the time I was also about to begin a teapot lesson in my 3D II class. It was the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone; demonstrate how to make a teapot to my students, and create a teapot I could turn around and sell.

First came my bird teapot. I want to create a small bird to serve as the handle of my teapot lid. After some brainstorming I decided to go a more abstract route when glazing, and drew lines to represent telephone lines, and glazed in between the lines. The end result almost looked like a plaid shirt wrapped around my little teapot. When you first take a glance at it, it looks like a random pattern. But, when you give it a closer look the telephone lines and bird silhouette begin to emerge.

For the second teapot I opted to stick with a stamped letter design, which was already incorporated into a handful of mugs and bowls at the shop.  I put my teapot together, and thought about what to stamp into it. After looking at my small little pot, I decided the perfect quote is from the childhood song, “I’m a little teapot, short and stout.” It was perfect, it was nostalgic, and fit with the short and stout nature of my teapot.

There is something about teapots. They each have their own personality. As I put them together I feel like I get to know them.

The final addition to my space at Crafted Westside is my brand new business card holder. With the creation of my new identity, Sweet Celadon, came a need for advertisement and contact information in the form of business cards. While I waited for my order to arrive I decided I needed a handmade ceramic item to hold my new cards. Out came this simple, flower and hand stamped card holder.

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I can’t wait to see my table at Crafted Westside continue to fill up. I hope in the coming weeks I continue to move items through the door and create new items to replace them. In addition to the handmade ceramics I have focused on for the shop, I have also been prepping for my next craft fair, the annual Wesleyan Artist Market, coming up May 1st-3rd. More information will come soon!

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help me spread the word about the brand new shop, Crafted Westside, and my blog my sharing this post with others.

Ceramics: Alice and Wonderland Tea Set

 

My niece Riley is about to have her first birthday, it seems like yesterday she was born and I can’t believe this day is already here. Her birthday theme is “onederland” and my sister-in-law asked if she could borrow a few of my teapots for decoration. I thought I would do one better and make her an Alice and Wonderland themed teapot with two teacups for a birthday present.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wanted to make sure I included every character in the original Disney movie, so I created a scene that wrapped around the teapot, a quick progression of the movie. I started on the right side of the spout and had the characters go in order of their appearance in the movie. Besides Alice, the characters that are seen throughout the movie are the white rabbit and the Cheshire cat. Because they are such important characters I decided to turn them into the teacups.

       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I started with a tree that wrapped around the spout. I decided to do an upside down, right side up tree… Which means If you hold the pot upside down it looks like the top of the tree, and same if you hold it right side up. Essentially the roots on both ends turn into the branches. I did this because Alice falls down a rabbit hole, and her world is turned upside down. I have her cat sitting on the upside down side of the tree, to show where she started. From there I did the door, key, and cracker that made her grow. I then added the do-do bird sitting on top of the door.

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum I moved to the White Rabbit’s house with the lizard that tried to get Alice out of the house. I decided to include the White Rabbit a little further in my progression, because he is shown throughout the movie.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the house and the lizard I moved to the garden with the roses and pansies. This was one of my favorite parts of the movie growing up, and I wanted to make sure it was part of the teapot. Of course the caterpillar had to make an appearance, and I have him towards the top of the pot, stretched out on a leaf, holding his hookah.

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cheshire cat is a big part of the movie, and I knew I wanted him to be a big part of the pot. To do this I added him to the handle and had his tail wrap around it. Since the white rabbit is also a big part I have his pocket watch wrapping around the handle on the opposite side.

       

       

After the pocket watch I moved into the tea party, which celebrated all of the characters “un-birthdays”. Of course I had to include the Mad Hatter, hare, and field mouse, this was another of my favorite scenes. In addition to having the characters I also included teapots and teacups scattered around to reflect the tea party. I included minor characters as well as major characters, and one thing that has always stuck in my memory was the butter bread butterfly. Because this stayed with me since childhood and wanted to make sure it was part of Riley’s teapot.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally the white rabbit makes an appearance on the teapot! I have him running towards the section with the dreaded Queen of Hearts. The chain on his pocket watch stretches all the way from the handle to his pocket, to make it lo0k like it’s flying behind him while he is running. Above the white rabbit is the Queen’s rose tree, being painted red by the black playing cards. They are shown holding paint buckets and brushes, looking awfully frighten because the Queen is approaching.

      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To finish the decor I have the King of Hearts, Queen of Hearts and the flamingos used to play croquette. Behind all of the characters I have the colors progress from blue to pink to purple back to blue. I did this to show a progression of the day as well as a progression in the story.

To finish off the teapot I added Alice on top as the handle for the lid. She is the main character of the movie, and is in every scene, and I thought there was no better way to include her than on top of everything, watching it all happen below.

I made the body of the teapot and lid on the pottery wheel first. I then made the handle by hand and attached it by scoring, slipping, and blending the ends of the handle to the body of the pot. I have some characters painted on, others stick out, and some have a little bit of both. To create this affect I sculpted some characters and then attached them. To create the painted on affect I used underglaze, then coated the entire teapot and lid with clear glaze. Underglaze doesn’t move when you fire it, it stays exactly where you put it, which gives you the ability to paint designs.

I know a one year old won’t be able to play with a fragile ceramic tea set. But I hope it will be something she will cherish and have forever… and hopefully one day be able to use. I loved making it especially because it was going to someone I love so much!