This series of portrait teapots developed out of my interests in functional pottery and figural sculpture. As the most complicated form in functional pottery, the ceramics community has long treated the teapot as a sculpture object and, initially, it was the technical challenge of a functional realist figural teapot that attracted me. As the series developed, however, I became increasingly intrigued by the conceptual resonances of tea and its associated practices and paraphernalia. These operate at the metaphoric intersection of, on the one hand, a diversity of personal and cultural histories, and, on the other, the advent of globalization, colonialism and an increasingly homogenized world culture. While my focus in the series is primarily on capturing the particulars of each subject, I have also attempted, often by way of titling, to offer some indications of the broader contexts in which they operate.
Each teapot is double chambered, having been sculpted on an armature, removed, hollowed, then reassembled with the interior chamber, supports, and connecting spout. They are all fully functional, pouring through various accessories or through bodily openings.