Ceramic teapots in the 2018 Identi-Tea, 16th Biennial Teapot exhibit; II. Mild elaborations on the traditional teapot shapes.

Photos and reporting by Robert Kokenyesi, Ceramic Artist, Beachfront Pottery, Godfrey, IL, 62035, USA.  If you enjoyed this post, then give me a “like” on my Facebook page.      There is additional information about Beachfront Pottery on my web site.

The Venue


The 16th biennial teapot exhibit took place from  January 12 to March 18, 2018,  in the galleries of Craft Alliance in University City, MO.  Check out the current offerings from them on their web site.The picture on the left is the view of the entrance to the gallery and the store from Delmar Blvd.





Here is the wall surface with the exhibit title.  This is what you saw as you entered the store, and turned right to enter the gallery.





The Call for Entry

The call for entry called for works in all craft media from both emerging and established artists. Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design invites artists nationwide with an interest in demonstrating their investigation of the teapot form and any aspect of the topic of personal identity.

The Ceramic Art Pieces

There were a few non-ceramic teapots in the exhibit, so that’s why the title emphasizes that I review here only the ceramic ones.  This second part includes teapots that depart mildly from the traditional teapot shape.   The first part of my report included teapots that retained the traditional shape.


“Teapot and Base” by Stephen Heywood, Jacksonville, FL

On his web site Stephen explains that he references in his works barns, water towers, factories, silos that are often run down.  “Chimneys, windows, vents, smokestacks and piping are integrated in my work as decoratively charged elements of visual interest. ”  The screw as the base of the teapot does add to the weathered look of the teapot itself.






“Genie in a Pot II” by Joy Jones, Riverton, WY


On her web site Joy states that “her focus is on beautiful, colorful, functional ware that can be used every day while adding aesthetic appeal to any home.”  I’m not sure if this teapot could be put on a stove top to make tea, but it could perhaps withstands hot water for brewing tea.  I liked the graceful lines of the spout and the handle, and the detailed carved decoration.




“Soda Fired Teapot Set” by Anthony Borchardt, St Louis, MO
“Soda Fired Teapot” by Anthony Borchardt, St Louis, MO

Anthony states on his web site that “In my creations I try to achieve a whimsical style that questions the use of my work as a functional item.  A lot of my inspiration comes from the art of fine cooking and food presentations. ”

I liked the wavy carved surface on these teapots.




“Zaftig Lavender Indigo T-pot” by Susan Speck, Mission, KS

Susan states on her web site that “When addressing surface, I flaunt the nature of the clay by adding stamped and rolled texture before building.  I also stress the clay building effort by filling negative spaces with textural elements and revealing seams.  Pieces are colored with stains, underglazes and washes to emphasise those textures. ” For some reason this teapot reminded me of an elephant head.  The true colors are a lot more brilliant than on this picture.




“Branch” by Daniel Barnett, St Louis, MO



I couldn’t find a dedicated web site for Dan, but a recent exhibit had this about him: “Dan Barnett’s pieces reflect an ingenuity and creativity built on decades of experimentation with all kinds of technical craft, from forging metals to designing furniture, electronic devices and even kilns – all extensions of Dan’s remarkable curiosity and deftness in many fields.”  I liked this teapot, because of the forward-leaning shape, and because the spout continues the line of the body.





“Teapot” by Shana Salaff, Fort Collins, CO

On her web site Shana states that “I am attempting, via my work, to enter into the very personal space of the viewer/user’s home, thus participating in the intimate (and very necessary) rituals of another’s daily life. From the consumption of food to the decoration of the home, function and aesthetics can co-exist in all aspects of life.”  I liked the color combination, and the almost egg-shaped body.




“Purple Teapot” by Mark Johnson, South Portland, ME

On his web site Mark states that “It is my desire to restate the value of the handmade object and to see this object as a metaphor for the importance of the individual and the value of shared human experience.  This effort forms a bridge between the traditions of the past and concerns of the present to create a springboard for future work.  Each piece offers the opportunity to improvise and to discover new relationships.  A successful piece of pottery reveals itself over time to be a blend of visual, tactile, and conceptual messages.”  I liked this teapot, because it looks that it is assembled from several mismatched pieces. In my eyes this is tilted more towards the abstraction of a teapot.


“Underwater” by Marina Smelik, Palo Alto, CA

On her web site Marina states that “The inspiration for my works always comes from nature. There is nothing better and stronger than it. The more I observe and explore the world around us, the more I marvel at its originality and uniqueness. ”  The hand built form is decorated with underglaze painting.  I’m partial to ocean-themed pottery, so, naturally I liked the coral-shaped handle and spout, and the fish on the body.




“Constructed Teapot” by Eric Hoefer, Edmund, OK

On his web site  Eric states that “Many of my vessels are influenced by Deconstructivist-Style architecture with the use of freedom of form and a visible display of complexity in the structure, rather than strict adherence to functional concerns and formal design elements. Unpredictability, non-rectilinear shapes, which distort and displace elements of the composition, controlled chaos and fragmentation are all features employed in the formulation of my ceramic vessels.”  This teapot surely has that controlled chaos feel to it.  And that great looking abstract feel.






“Overtop Handles” by Andrew Koester, Collinsville, IL

I found many Instagram posts from Andrew.  What I learned that while he is not a tea-drinker, teapots are one of his favorite ceramic forms.  He has been experimenting with the “double-handle” teapot construction, and this one looks very attractive.   The glazing on the body helps a lot.











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