Making a ceramic teapot is complex, and there are many pitfalls to avoid along the way. If you are making one, it means throwing has no secrets for you. Our tips will cover the intricacies of ceramic teapot assembly. If you need a refresher, sign up for one of our online throwing classes (in French only for now)!
We wrote this article because Matthieu was assembling a “dragon” ceramic teapot, and it was the perfect opportunity to demonstrate 2 quick tips, with supporting photos. These are potter’s tips that will be useful for assembling complex ceramic pieces.
1 – Tips for positioning your teapot spout
Clay has a tendency to stretch in the direction in which you throw it:
- counterclockwise for a right-handed potter
- clockwise for a left-handed potter
When fired, this stretched clay will tend to shrink back to its original position. Most of the time, this slight shrinkage is not noticeable. But because a teapot has a spout, this can be a problem.
In fact, a teapot spout can have a particular shape, a “dragon” shape for example. If you place it perfectly straight on the unbaked clay, due to the process of shrinkage and deformation, it will turn slightly during firing and appear crooked once the piece has been removed from the kiln.
To compensate for this small amount of shrinkage, Matthieu always attaches the spout slightly askew (as shown in the photo). As he is right-handed, he tilts the spout slightly to the left (seen from the front), so that after firing, it comes out perfectly straight.
2 – Tip for a teapot lid that stays in place when you pour the tea
Have you ever tried to pour tea with the cup in one hand and the teapot in the other without the lid falling out? It’s very difficult not to end up with spilled tea or a broken lid! That’s why it’s always useful to have a trick to hold it in place when you make a ceramic teapot, especially when the lid is large, like the one on this dragon teapot.
To hold the lid in place, Matthieu creates a hole in the handle and adds a small hook to the lid. This lid is perfectly conventional and has been thrown on the wheel, just like the teapot, and the attached hook is invisible once it has been placed on the teapot. It keeps the lid in place when pouring the tea without changing the look of the teapot.
This is a simple tip for a very practical ceramic teapot!
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