American Woodworker

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Turned wood teapot, to be included in an upcoming show at the Fuller Craft Museum – Part 1

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Some of you might be wondering if a real teapot be made of wood. The truthful answer is, unfortunately, no. Wood is obviously not the best container for hot water. Therefore, the piece that I will describe to you here is solely a decorative art piece rather than a functional tea pot.

It all began on an early spring morning back in 2002. I was approaching the Harvard Museum of Natural History for a quick visit when I noticed a group of pruned branches lying on the ground near an old Maple tree. Upon first glance, I was inspired to make something out of them. I grew quite excited by the interplay between their color, grain, and unique patterns of decay which, through my artist’s eyes, signaled a great deal for aesthetic potential. I knew immediately that I would like to turn them into something special.

I used the branches to create more than one piece.  I turned one into a bowl called "State of the Union" that appeared in 500 Wood Bowls (Lark, 2004).

Another branch was turned into a smaller bowl that was, unfortunately, broken to many pieces before I completed it. The remains of this bowl collected dust on a shelf in my studio for two years before I received (and accepted) an invitation to build a teapot for The Teapot Redefined show at Mobilia gallery in Cambridge. When I began to brainstorm ideas for the teapot, I recalled the broken bowl. After sketching a few options I realized it would be perfect to use as the foundation for the new piece. 

Another piece in the teapot puzzle I had to consider was the lid. In the spirit of using reclaimed materials, I recalled that I once found a lid made of silver, possibly from a sugar container. I thought that this lid might complement the design and couture of the pot. So, after a few more sketches a scale drawing emerged, charting my course of action.

 


Stay tuned to my next blog entry where I will continue to explain how I made this piece.