Talking Teapots

Student Teapot Gallery

Essential Question: How can you create a functional teapot that has a unified elements (body, spout, handle, lid) and also effectively communicates your belief about a social or political issue?

Teapots are functional, yet they can also be sculptural. They have a number of parts that must be considered before beginning construction:
• body
• spout
• handle
• lid

All will work together in a relationship to form your unique teapot. As you determine the shape of your teapot, please consider all these elements. This is your chance to maximize your knowledge of clay construction and make your teapot “talk” about an issue of your choice. Do you lose sleep over recycling, for instance? Perhaps a blue recycling bin would make a great teapot body. Are you sad about the homeless; could the handle of your teapot resemble a sleeping bag? Whatever choices you make should “fit” and balance with the other elements of your teapot.

1. Determine the issue you wish to “speak” about with your teapot.
2. Determine the question or thought you hope the viewer takes from looking at your teapot, for instance: Alternative energy policy: should the government do more to promote alternative energy use (wind, solar, biomass, hydrogen)? (one of the Public policy issues)
3. See: for YHS public policy issues or come up with your own.
4. Write a paragraph about your issue, stating your beliefs and what change you believe needs to happen.
5. LOOK at teapots in both the 500 Teapots book in the classroom, and the world that’s at your fingertips. Try:
(a powerpoint presentation of teapot images from 500 Teapots is in My Classes)
You will be responsible for taking notes on your sources of inspiration. This might include websites and/or books/pages, etc.
6. Determine your method of construction: Pinch? Coil? Slab? Wheel? A combination? Height should be between 7” – 11”, but must be approved before you begin.

Please brainstorm your ideas with cohesive elements (body, spout, handle, and lid) in your sketchbook; your ideas MUST clearly demonstrate your issue; you must have your idea approved before you get clay.