2017 is the year of the Rooster. The element is Fire, so this year's rooster is extra-feisty, and is best cooled down with a bit of Earth. These small porcelain teapots are made entirely by hand, individually. I had fun with suggesting the Rooster through a lid that looks a bit like a rooster's comb, plus some feather painting on the body of the teapot. The earth element comes in through the use of a soft yellow-brown base glaze. The teapots are 4 inches or less in height.
The Year of the Monkey begins on February 8. Here are six small teapots that I made to celebrate the new year. Each teapot is 4 to 5 inches tall, made individually and by hand of porcelain, hand drawn and painted. Each teapot has two monkey faces, one on each side.
I have just completed a set of 7 teapots for the Year of the Sheep, which begins in February 2015. In China, both sheep and goats belong to the Year of the Sheep. It's pretty different from the biblical perspective, in which the sheep and the goats are always being separated. These teapots are no more than 4 inches high, which is full size in China (tea is drunk very differently there than in the European traditions). All of these teapots are completely handmade of porcelain clay.
I've just finished some teapots for the Year of the Horse, which begins in 2014. These teapots are going to Shanghai for an international exhibition. Each teapot is made of porcelain and is about 4 inches tall.
I have just finished some new teapots for the Year of the Snake. I focused on the beautiful skin patterns that some snakes have. The teapots are thrown and handbuilt, from porcelain. The decoration is drawn and painted in underglaze, covered with clear glaze, and then touched with gold overglaze. Three firings were needed for each teapot. Each teapot is approximately 4 inches high, which is full size in China. The teapots will go to an exhibition in Shanghai.
I am making teapots to go to an exhibition in Shanghai. The Year of the Dragon will start in 2012, so I am making dragon teapots. My concept is to draw angular dragons twisting around smooth, rounded teapot contours. So, first I have to make the teapots. I'm using a porcelain clay.
Whether you make a teapot on the wheel or by handbuilding, it's essentially handbuilt - because there is so much fitting and attaching of the various parts. I like to handbuild anyway, so I've minimized the wheel part - I just used the wheel to get a nice, round form.
I find it takes time and concentration to make these pieces. I don't find the process easy.
And the lids are on. Each lid is pinched and then fitted with an inner flange that will keep the lid from falling off when the teapot is tilted. The decoration on the lids refers to some of the Chinese dragon traditions. Chinese dragons are sometimes shown with a flaming pearl (which is perhaps a source of heavenly strength). Chinese dragons also have strong associations with the number 9.
It's the Year of the Rabbit, and I have work in an international teapot exhibition in Shanghai that should be opening right about now. These are some samples of the work I sent. Each teapot is about 4 inches high (that's a full size teapot according to local tastes), made of porcelain, and has 2 rabbit drawings on it in underglaze pencil, one on each side.
Priscilla Hollingsworth, artist.