A chip here, a crack there...it happens to the best of our tea cups. But there are so many uses a cup can serve. Cracked cups can be broken into pieces to make a mosaic jewelry box or planter, even using the handles for decoration. Cups are perfect for small flower vases especially for dinner parties since it is so easy to tie a ribbon and place card to the handle. Or, if you have the proper instruction and tools, your spent cups can be used for lighting fixtures!
The Exotic Teapot Blog
Amazing Tea and Teaware to wow your senses.
Just as important as the quality of tea is the water used to make it. Artesian water is the purest. It is sealed underground by a layer of ice, sand or volcanic rock. The water does not come into contact with pollution. This type of water can have no additives but each brand may have a different taste depending upon the aquifer it came from.
Falling snow in the darkness of night was the thought that first came to my mind when I saw these teapots. I suppose Yoshiro Ikeda, the artist, would be pleased of my reflection as the goal of his pieces is to initiate weather conditions and dance form. Preferring freedom, he hand builds his teapots then weaves a sense of motion using a variety glazes.
Decorative tea boxes, or tea caddies, in Britain date back to the early 18th Century. After tea became more accessible and affordable, in the second quarter of the century, a variety of box styles were introduced. At first, most were made of mahogany or walnut and offered in single, double or multiple tiers. By the late 18th century, caddies were made of pine, oak or mahogany and skillfully veneered in different woods. It is no wonder that today there are numerous admirers and collectors of these beautiful designed antique pieces.
Learning to use a potter’s wheel requires balancing clay, water and motion in order to form the desired shape. Artist Julie Cline believes there is much more to creating an appealing teapot. It requires: (1) the correct mixture of smooth red earthenware clay, (2) just the right proportion of eastern and western influence design, (3) then, selecting an accurate mixture of varying tinted glazes and lusters to create stripes and patterns. This is what she believes is the ‘ideal balance.’
The pottery made in Tokoname City in Japan is known as Tokoname-yaki. During the 12th and 13th centuries an estimated 3,000 kilns were built. Today this pottery region, located on the Chita Peninsula, still has 1,200 ancient kilns in operation. It wasn’t until the 19th century that teapots were introduced. By using rich red clay and artistic embellishments, tokoname teapots still remain durable, affordable and visually appealing.
These teapots are just two of Bruce Noske’s astounding designs which reflect the Victorian days of chintzes and Wedgewood with a minimalist Oriental twist. His pots are meticulously developed, all with similar shoulder, base, lid, unique handle and spout. Because he has always enjoyed doodling, or sketching, patterns of leaves and animals, Bruce applies these to teapots via hand painted brushwork and slip carved decorations.
Looking for something to do on a quiet evening with family, friends or children? Why not try playing vintage tea board games. Just how many of these games exist? Actually there are quite a few. There is the 1920’s Alice in Wonderland game; the 1973 version in which the first to overflow other player’s cups with sugar, water and tea is the winner. And, for the younger ones there are “the teapot game” and “Tea Party Game.” Of course plenty of tea and biscuits are required.
Daniel Rotblatt works mostly in bronze. His talents are many: bronze casting, photography, knife making, wood sculpting and ceramics. Rotblatt is an instructor for all of these but the latter. Amazingly, he just likes to tinker in ceramics. These teapots are his first experiment with this media. The idea for the shape of the pots in this series came to him after viewing a leaning pumpkin.
Assembling bird houses and an occasional teapot are Patsy Thola Chamberlain’s specialty. However, she uses slabs of clay, not wood, to make her nesting objects. Using a rolling pin and wet clay, Patsy creates one of a kind pieces that any bird or tea drinker would be proud to have. She stamps, scores and tools embellishments to adorn her art. What makes Patsy’s work stand out even more is the range of colourful glazes that she airbrushes on to the shrine.
What healthy benefits are lost when tea is iced? Research has been conducted. Scientists at the University of Hong Kong proved that only 20% of the admirable antioxidants in tea dissipate when cooled from 98 Celsius. With warm weather on the arisen this is good news. Americans prefer iced tea to hot, perhaps due to the higher temperatures in North America. Additionally, lemon is normally added to their iced tea. Lemon in fact has shown to delay the reduction of antioxidants. However, do not add the sugar dosage commonly used by westerners; this is where the calories add up!
According to Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor research has been conducted to determine the most effective and expeditious method to cool a hot cup of tea.
4) Leaving the teaspoon in the cup ranked the least efficient.
3) Adding warm milk resulted in the third worst.
2) Stirring the tea for one minute dropped the temperature by 6 degrees.
1) However, blowing in the cup of hot tea for the same amount of time while stirring was the quickest method, nearly twice as effective. Why? Because blowing and stirring maximizes the surface area between the air and the liquid.
How many of us use artsy teapots for decoration? Hand blown glass teapots with blooming tea are used for centerpieces at dinner parties. Collectible silversmith and ceramic pots are strategically placed on well- lit shelves for display. And, when the lids break teapots become flower vases. Decorating bare walls with one-dimensional teapots are often forgotten. There are many artistic painters out there such as Carolyn Pappas that appreciate the shape of teapots as ceramic artists do. Additionally a pot of tea contains water, the same source as a still life painting with watercolours. Also, some use tea to stain the paper in which a teapot is painted.
Margaret Bohls, curator for “Teapots: Function, Formal, Narrative” has written an article to ceramic artists. The purpose was to share with them the reasons for creating that magnificent object referred to as the teapot.
The teapot is, arguably, the most visually and culturally loaded pottery form. Trade, fashion, social class, nationalism, and industry, have all contributed to the layers of cultural and historical meaning inherent to this particular cultural artifact. Being at the same time an aesthetic object and a utilitarian object, the teapot also carries all of the potential and all of the contradictions inherent in the field of contemporary ceramics.
Mixing up form and function is a balancing act for most ceramic artists. However, this is what motivates Sam Chung to create teapots. If that is not challenging enough, Sam thrives on which role each pot shall play. Chung believes he must decide if it should be historical, tactile, decorative or ergonomically physical. These balance and role decisions are what he refers to as grappling. Which role did Sam portray with this pot?
Imagine attending a party full of brainless ladies holding cups that have fingers and saucers that appear to have the ability to walk off the table. The concept and sculpture is that of Ronit Baranga’s, created for his solo exhibition “Shells of Wings”. Additionally, Baranga received honorable mention in the designbloom® “dining in 2015” competition for crafting finger walking teapots, cups and saucers. Has the Mad Hatter Tea Party met its match?
It’s no wonder that the jasmine flower is revered by tea drinkers. It's bloom is one of the most fragrant of all natural living plants. Jasmine is used in most perfumes and its extract in many aromatherapy oils. This midnight blooming flower has been referenced around the world for centuries in a multitude of lyrics and poetry. Research has shown it calms the nervous system, helps PMS and aids insomnia. What’s more, legend has it that it is an aphrodisiac.