Yes, there are china teapots, but there are also textile teapots – really!
You wouldn’t think that there could be a textile teapot. After all, cloth usually lets liquid flow through it. However, a visit to the Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery disproved the notion of textile teapots being an impossibility. While the gallery normally exhibits objects made of glass, currently they are showing their annual teapot invitational exhibition: Teapots!10, which is “A mixed media show exploring the common teapot in uncommon ways.” So, along with glass teapots, there is the work of more than 60 artists in additional media, such as, ceramic, wood, metal and textiles.
In fact, there were approximately* 21 textile teapots made from materials typically used by fiber artists: felted wool, thread, fabric,paper, papier mache, seed beads… you name it! (*Approximate as this is counting via looking at the online catalog).
One of my favorite textile teapots was made of felted merino wool: Shelly Jones – ‘Roadrunner.’ Isn’t the detail work lovely? It reminds me of an ancient, three legged, Chinese bronze vessel.
Pamela MacGregor, who I’ve ‘met’ via Facebook, has two beautiful, intriguing felted teapots. They have all sorts of unusual attachments sewn on and remind me of mystery creatures. The title of this one is ‘Seussian Tea POD.’ You can see more of Pam’s teapots on her website.
Rae Gold, who dynamically and tirelessly organized Pittsburgh Fiberarts Guild’s Pop de Fleurs this past winter which brought needed spring cheer, has three felted pieces. She has changed the focus of her earlier work from creating wearable art, and is now devoting herself to nonfunctional, sculptural feltmaking. ‘Burning house’ is on the left and ‘Critter’ is on the right.
My favorite non-fiber teapot was by Cory McCrory. Yet, it isn’t exactly practical even though it’s ceramic! It reminds me of the Old Woman who Had a Shoe. There is even laundry on the line that can slide along a wire. It’s titled “It’s Not Always Sunshine and Roses, Sometimes you have to Wash your Drawers.” There was quite a lot of humor in the show!
Teapots!10 runs until May 28th, so don’t miss it! If you cannot visit Pittsburgh, the online catalog is excellent and can easily be viewed HERE.
Interestingly, I dragged my younger son along to the exhibit. He’s not much of a gallery goer but this show engaged his interest. He suggested that I enter the show next year with my own textiles teapot : and it could be one that doubled as a hat!
Postscript: the local newspaper has a piece on the show HERE.