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!