A well made teapot represents some interesting challenges for the potter. It has at least 6 or 7 parts that all have to work together, not only for a specific function, but they must also fit together visually. Some teapot designs emphasize the strictly functional aspects of brewing and pouring tea. Other designs make the most of the sculptural potential of joining together different parts in interesting ways. In my own work, I often shift the focus between functional and sculptural and try to find a happy balance between the two.

Stoneware teapot
This teapot is fairly typical of the pieces I sell to shops and galleries around Southern Ontario. I use a wide variety of glazes on my work. This particular teapot has a combination of iron and copper red glazes. Most of my teapots have handles that go over the top, like this one. I also make smaller teapots with handles that are attached to the side of the pot, opposite the spout, like the one shown below.

The small teapot on the left has a cobalt glaze with some added wood ash to make it flow. The piece on the right was made about 20 years ago. It has flattened sides and I used a simple glaze made up of wood ash and an iron rich local clay. It was one of the pieces I put aside for myself.

Every year I try to put aside at least a few pieces, partly for my own reference, but also in the hope that perhaps some future generations in my family will be interested in seeing what I had made.
Small teapotStoneware teapot

Teapot with trailing
This teapot is a combination of hand building and thrown parts. The lid and spout were thrown on the wheel, and the body and handle were hand built. The square, pillow shaped body was made in a two part, plaster press mould. Clay slabs are used in the mould to make the pillow shape. The piece is then taken out of the mould, centred on the wheel, and a small collar is thrown to hold the lid. The spout and handle are then attached and a lid is made. It was fired to cone 10 reduction and it's about 21 cm tall, 23 cm wide, and 18 cm deep. It has a copper barium glaze that is one of my favourites.

Teapot with trailing
This teapot has a black iron glaze, with a green trailed glaze pattern over top. It stands about 20 cm tall, and it was made in 2005.

Thrown and altered teapot
This teapot stands about 21 cm high and is glazed with a copper blue trailing. It was fired twice to cone 10 to get the effect I wanted, once in wood fire and once in a gas kiln. Feet were added at the four corners.

Wood fired teapot
This teapot was made about 15 years ago. It was wood fired to about cone 11. A thrown cylinder was added to the closed form of the body to make a neck for the lid. The spout was hand built. It has some splashes of copper barium blue, plus lots of wood ash development.
Steve Irvine
R.R. # 2
Wiarton, Ontario
Canada N0H 2T0
(519) 534 2175