The Exotic Teapot Blog

Amazing Tea and Teaware to wow your senses.

“When life gives you teabags… make art”

about                    Jill Heyes moved from England to South Africa in 1996.  She was appalled at the poverty and determined to help the citizens of the small town of Imazamo Yethu.  Her first attempts at teaching the locals paper mâché art then potato printing did not produce ample income for them.  But they struck gold when drying used tea bags then painting each one with unique African designs and colours.  Fifteen ladies from the settlement work full time for the now incorporated Original T-Bag Designs company.  There are also ten disabled employees that work full time plus several part-time artists.  Their artistic teabags are displayed on coasters, trays, wall hangings and tea boxes around the world.  These detailed works of art can be found in some UK stores or by visiting their website at www.originaltbagdesigns.com

art block  

 

Teapot Pumpkin Crafts for Halloween

It is not too late to get into the Halloween spirit.  Before Saturday, why not carve or paint a teapot onto this holiday's traditional icon, the pumpkin?

halloween teapot All you need to get started is to either purchase the real thing or a foam shaped pumpkin, some paints, glue and cardboard for handles and spout. 

The first Pumpkin Teapot is spray painted black then adorned with webs, using white paint and glitter.

The second, a Witch Teapot Pumpkin, is simply hand painted with acrylics.witch pumpkin

The only thing missing is a cup of tea, which I suggest you have while creating your Halloween masterpiece!

 

Celebrate the Chinese New Year

If you wish to celebrate the first day of the Chinese New Year all you need are tea and rice cakeschinese new year

Be sure to drink tea as traditionally this is the first thing to drink.  It is best to serve with rice cakes.  There are two very popular cakes which can be made or found in Chinese markets.  With the fa-koa cake, you are to look at the cracks in the cake; the wider the cracks, the more prosperous one will be.  The nian goa sticky rice cake means high year, or a prosperous one which we all hope for these days.  As you drink tea, say" tiantian mimi" meaning "life will be happy."  As you eat the cake, say "bubu denggao," which is "you will be promoted to a high position."

The raven and persimmon

Raven Cup In China and Japan, the raven is associated with the love and gratitude present in a family, possibly because the raven, unlike other birds, feeds its parents.  It is likely that the festive orange colour of the persimmon is why it is referred to as a symbol of joy; often found painted on Asian cups and bowls.  Several sources say the fruit symbolizes ignorance in its immature stage then as it ages, like man, becomes full of wisdom.

This may help interpret the magical experience ceramic artist Barbara Sebastian claims she had with a raven and persimmon while visiting Japan.  The moment so inspired her that she created a series of ‘raven and persimmon' sculptures and teapots.  

Raven Teapot 

Lemon, Green Tea, Leaves and Pots

beniston teapot beniston teapot2 beniston teapot3

With a major in fine arts, illustrator and merchandiser Christie Beniston website has certainly succeeded in her 25-year career.  Beniston's prints and visual arts have been commissioned by large retailers such as Banana Republic, Starbucks, Crate & Barrel and Williams Sonoma. Additionally, her hand made teapots have caught the attention of collectors in the U.S.  Her functional hollowware is whimsical, with few colours, yet the designs and subject catch the eye.

Darjeeling Tea Estate

There are 87 Darjeeling tea estates in the Himalayans.  Recently I read a fascinating article written by Matt Gross from the N.Y. Times.  He flew into India then braved the roads of the Himalayas to find the world's best Darjeeling tea.  Because of the interest of tea connoisseurs around the world, the most royal of the owners, Rajah, converted some of the tea picker's huts into bungalows for travelers.

darjeeling tea

 The author was able to meet this legendary owner.  Makaibari Estates is the world's first to grow this type of tea 100% bio-dynamically.

Candy Glass Sculpted Teapots

candy teapot candy teapot2

This cotton candy teal and pink teapot is a hand blown sculpture by artist Christian Thirion.  Notice that the lid is a decorative tea cup hat. Christian Thirion left his profession as a pastry chef after his first attempt at blowing glass. He hopes one day to make blown glass candy dishes then fill each with his own sculpted chocolate truffle recipes.  I would settle for having one of his marvelous teapots.

Jasmine Pearl Tea Country

Fujian is located in China's southeastern coast.  The Province has a high of 21°C and a low of 17°C; the average rainfall ranges from 1400-2000 mm.  These are excellent conditions for growing Jasmine.  jasmine pearl After green tea leaves are picked in April and rolled into pearls, Fujian natives store the tea until early summer. By then the Fujian jasmine flowers are in full bloom.  This is when the blossoms are picked and layered between mesh trays of the once stored tea pearls.  A drier of warm air is placed under the trays, permitting the aroma of jasmine to seep into the tea for 24 hours. 

jasmine pearl  

The tea is dried again to remove the moisture and retain the scent of jasmine. This process is what makes this tea a fabulously fragrant and soothing beverage.     

Crimson, scarlet and ruby teapots

I was fascinated with his brilliant red platters, vases and teapots created by Larry Allen. crimson vase I was not the only one in awe; other exhibiting artists were inquiring as to how he got his pieces so royally, glistening red.  The shapes of his teapot handles and lids are just as eye catching as the crimson, scarlet and ruby shimmers on his vessels. 

scarlet teapots   Allen admits that he loves to take his time with each object; he gets his inspiration from Native American and African works.

Whirling tea bowls and teapots

pottery tea bowl
pottery teapot3 

At age 13 Charlie Tefft was creating teapots and bowls on a potter's wheel.  Since then he has won numerous awards, one for his "Dancing Teapot."  Besides all of his pieces being functional and dishwasher safe, Tefft strives to show movement in each piece.  This is accomplished with impressions and subtle movement of his hands and fingers as the clay is formed on the turning wheel.  During gas firing, the use of ash glazes and oxide washes accentuates the movement and impressions formed.

 

Free Jasmine Fairies Bloom

 
Back to top