“Tea Time: An Exploration of Contemporary Teapots” exhibit at Edwardsville Art Center, Part 3

Photos and text by Robert Kokenyesi, Ceramic Artist, Beachfront Pottery, Godfrey, IL 62035, IL USA.

The Venue

The exhibit took place in the galleries of the Edwardsville Art Center, in Edwardsville, Illinois,  from May 26, 2017 to June 16, 2017.








The Call for Entries

This was an invitational exhibit that included pieces from local potters, and from the ceramic art collection of the Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE).      The curator of the exhibit, Carolyn Tidball, wrote: “the teapot has long been an ideal canvas for artists to express ideas, both conceptually and in design.  From ancient Japanese ceremonies to debuts on Star Trek, the teapot has outlasted trends and infiltrated the lives nearly every community.  My intention with this exhibit is to showcase a wide range of ways that artists utilize the teapot form to investigate ideas and explore design and composition.”

The Ceramic Pieces

Here. in Part 3, I will report on the recently made teapots that are strongly modified from the traditional teapot shape, and on the ones that have heavy surface modification (carving, sculptural elements).

“Teapot” by Mark Arnold


Mark recreates patterns he experienced in past BMX bike rides. In his decorations the softness of nature interacts with strong geometric forms.








“Teapot” by Lakyn Bowman
“Teapot” by Lakyn Bowman

Lakyn writes that the patterns on the surface of her pieces express the organization she has in her life.  On the other hand, the salt firing forces her to give up obsession with perfection.  While she enjoys producing functional ware, she hopes that the viewer takes notice the controlled effort applied to the design, and the colorful spontaneity delivered by the salt kiln.

The the color combination, the shape of the lid holder, and the layered/carved appearance is very attractive especially on the pot on the right.

“Untitled” by Susan Bostwick


Susan writes that she often finds “shards of pottery, remnant from an old car, and other odds and ends.   Those artifacts, family mementos, and the creatures with whom I share this land, provided inspiration for this work.”





“Rabbit in Red Teapot” by Jimmy Liu

Jimmy’s statement says that he is a representational artist of Taiwanese heritage.  He uses a combination of slab building and wheel throwing to create one of a kind functional pieces, specifically teapots.  He explores this functional object in the sense of traditional concept, but also in the sense of symbolic content that can be used for our daily contemplation.    I do see his tent at art firs, and his work is always very high quality, and very unique.



“Untitled” by Carolyn Tidball

This is one of the few explicitly stated work in earthenware plus mid/low fire glazes.   Carolyn states that this piece is a representation of a new direction for her, away from wheel thrown forms to hand built, pinched forms.   She feels released by the use of bold bright colors.   “What stayed constant for me is my pull to show a sense of movement within the object.  Leaving the process of my work apparent in the final piece is exciting to me.”






“Teapot” by Brandy Cloud


Brandy uses repeated shapes, patterns, colors from nature. Her pieces reflect her meditation on the things that make her happy.









“Sculptural Teapot/ Teapot Sculpture #1” by Richard Wehrs
“Sculptural Teapot/ Teapot Sculpture #2” by Richard Wehrs









“Reliquary for the Funerary Ashes of Earl Grey, Esq.” by Richard Wehrs

Richard writes that he doesn’t particularly likes tea as a drink, but he likes the teapot as a vehicle for expression, and artistic exploration it has enjoyed a rich history.  “Its familiarity, both form and function, provides easy accessibility to the audience.”  He has passion for forms from the architectural science and the natural world.  He combines that passion with curiosity about the interplay between art and the spiritual world.  Add to all that an     interest in religious iconography, and you have a series of very unique teapots.  I’ve seen Richard’s large plates at other exhibits, and those pieces, like his teapots, captivates the viewer with crisp borders between colors, and attractively structured surfaces.

“Urban Teapot” by Kodi Thompson


Kodi writes that he was impressed by graffiti in Chicago, and that he wanted to push that type of communication into three dimensions.  This piece provides information about the evolution and migration of graffiti.





“Space” by Drew Reynolds and Kodi Thompson


Kodi writes that he was impressed by graffiti in Chicago, and that he wanted to push that type of communication into three dimensions. The textured slabs in this piece create  between form and surface.  Drew writes: “when you make art you submit yourself to the waves, and you drift thrash in the currents of time. Your art is everything in that moment.”






“Thundercloud Teapot” by Joe Page


This porcelain teapot had a striking look, because of the shape and the contrasting colors.  According to his statement, Joe attaches a great importance to the porcelain bubbles; the convex language of the bubbles transfers a flux to the piece.








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