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teapot rap

updated fri 28 feb 97


Brad Sondahl on sun 2 feb 97

I've been thinking about teapots. An article in the paper on a local
show had a quote about teapots are the niftiest thing at functional
shows because they have so many parts, etc. Personally, I quit making
them years ago because I spent a half an hour on each one hand
rattanning the handles and always reduced them to second status if the
last drip rolled down the spout instead of daintily doinking into the
cup. Anyway, in Ceramics Monthly and some of the websites I've visited,
teapots have become harlequin clowns. The thought of anyone using one
of them is hilarious.
So my personal take on this is that when Dadaism deconstructed modern
art, the crafts have been slowly dissassembling also, and teapots,
representing the English and Japanese cultures of high tea, have taken
hits as the most "respectable", and thus easiest to lampoon. (This
follows from a theory of humor that makes the British with their stiff
upper lip traditions the natural people to spawn Monty Python, with
their routines such as the "Ministry of Silly Walks.")
Anyway, I'm prejudiced against nonfunctional functional pottery
(including reliquaries, "vessels", and lace vases), but this rap helps
me keep my sanity about the issue and is good for 10 minutes off at my
next group counseling appointment.
Brad Sondahl, stir crazy in Idaho