Friday, September 25, 2009
For the Grand Finale of the Ultimate Virtual Teapot Competition I present Yi xing teapots without exception and Australian ceramicist extraordinaire Bruce Nuske.
Yi Xing teapots are still being produced after ten centuries and my favourites are made of a beautiful, fine grained purple clay. These teapots are made by hand in many designs. The traditional Yi xing teapots feature raised sprigs and small sculptures representing "Good Luck" or "Money". There are hundreds of designs from pumpkin shapes through to more formal plain surfaces. The quality of a Yi Xing teapot can be seen in the slightly metallic surface which should make a clear ringing sound when struck lightly and the lid which should fit without room for a single hair between the pot and the gallery. The teapot absorbs the flavour of the tea and it is said that a good quality Yi Xing teapot will be able to make tea after many years by just adding hot water.
Australian ceramicist Bruce Nuske is my final choice. His beautiful/crazy teapots combine an encyclopaedic knowledge of ceramic history and techniques with a whimsy and emphasis on surface design. I love the way Nuske's pots quote from the grand industrial traditions of the Victorians while being defiantly handmade. The surface design references chintzes, Wedgewood and other familiar industrial patterns but on close inspection reveals amazing technical details such as the piercing on this dried leaf teapot.
To find out a it more about Bruce there is a great article by Stephen Bowers here....