57. “The Eccentric Teapot: four hundred years of invention” by Garth Clark.

This Friday, May 18 OCAC Metals Department will be hosting their Annual Tea Party featuring teapots handcrafted by the 3rd year students from the Metals Department. In the 3rd Year Teapot Class, students design and create – through raising and forming, large scale soldering and fitting processes – a functional, sterling silver teapot in this intensive course. They make decisions about construction methods and design, choose materials for handles, and study historical and contemporary examples of teapots and other hollowware. The course, essential to the vocabulary of a metalsmith, has traditions dating back to ancient history that are still practiced today. Techniques associated with creating a hand-made teapot give students the opportunity to leave OCAC and make a living through creation of utilitarian objects.  They also come away understanding design and function and how to balance these two components.

image: Lizzy Gladstone, 2011

To celebrate this annual event and possibly entice readers interested in the subject to explore more about teapots and teapot making, the library has selected Garth Clark’s amazing book on the subject, The Eccentric Teapot: four hundred years of invention. As the stated in the book cover, this book “introduces us to some of the most sublime, outrageous, and exotic teapots ever to grace a Mad Hatter’s tea party”! There are portrait teapots of Oscar Wilde, Brooke Shields, and Queen Elizabeth. Teapots that resemble lions, tigers, and bears–Oh My! And teapots that are “so far removed from the concerns of function that they resemble nothing so much as drawings of teapots”! The result is a fun and exhilarating romp through a colorful gallery of idiosyncratic designs that begin to boggle the imagination and stretch one’s notion of the relationship between form and function! Also the concept of beauty – or what is beautiful – since many (at least IMHO) of the results are profoundly ugly but always always always provocative and thought-provoking!


Check it out!


Come check out the Diem Chau show!

Meet artist


THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 4 – 7pm,

at the Oregon College of Art and Craft | 8245 SW Barnes Road

A Vietnam native, Diem Chau and her family came to America as refugees in 1986. Drawing on memory and strong family ties, Chau stitches on translucent organza a narrative of personal history, family memories of her homeland and moments forgotten and faded.

She and uses found objects such as porcelain cups and plates to frame her work. Ms. Chau’s work has been exhibited in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Portland, and Seattle. Wieden & Kennedy, US Cellular, Safeco Insurance and the Wing Luke Asian Museum have all commissioned work by Diem Chau.

Sianne Ngai quote: “I’m interested in states of …”

“I’m interested in states of weakness: in “minor” or non-cathartic feelings that index situations of suspended agency; in trivial aesthetic categories grounded in ambivalent or even explicitly contradictory feelings. More specifically, I’m interested in the surprising power these weak affects and aesthetic categories seem to have, in why they’ve become so paradoxically central to late capitalist culture. The book I’m currently completing is on the contemporary significance of three aesthetic categories in particular: the cute, the interesting, and the zany.” (45)

Jasper, Adam. “Our Aesthetic Categories: an interview with Sianne Ngai.” Cabinet: a quarterly of art and culture. Issue 43 “Forensics,” Fall 2011, pgs 45-51