“A Sentence of Teapots” 2014 Photo: Richard Stringer
I’ve pursued a passion for vessel making since being introduced to pottery by Milton Moon and David Smith in the mid 60s. Initially focused primarily on wheel thrown functional ware my interests have expanded to include the infinite possibilities of slab building and casting.
In particular I have been using these methods of construction to interpret the traditionally spherical form of the teapot as a cubist painter might by squaring it up and transposing curved surfaces into planes and angles. These geometric versions provide flat surfaces for pattern making and light reflection, and the objects become increasingly more decorative than functional.
I find enormous pleasure in bending convention to the verge of impracticality. But not so radically that l miss the challenge of producing a form that still incorporates most of the elements of a properly functioning teapot, such as the height of the spout to the pot, the ease of filling, emptying, and handling.
Surface decoration plays a vital role in reinforcing the abstraction. Bold areas of black underglaze are applied with distinct boundaries dictated by the form’s angles and planes. In pairs or ad hoc groupings the teapots react with each other and the spaces between to present complex geometric patterns.
High firing produces a dense, almost vitrified body and the surface quality I admire without the need for glaze. Although some with more functionality may be glazed inside.
STUDIO: Kelvin Grove, Brisbane, Queensland, AUSTRALIA