Teapots and more

I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of making functional teapots. How does one make the five elements of the body – spout, handle, lid, and knob – work together visually? Does the handle feel right? Does the lid fit properly and remain in place when you pour? is the spout dripless? There are a surprising variety of considerations in making a simple everyday teapot.

In addition to function, the aesthetic challenge also is interesting to me. As a potter, I use the teapot form in much the same way a painter or sculptor may use the human form: as subject matter for artistic expression. This collection of functional and non-functional teapots explore the boundaries of sculptural form. Though I’ve made teapots for over forty-five years, I find it an inexhaustible subject.

The Black Nail Project

A very minor accident set me off on an exciting tangent. I closed my finger in a car door, the nail turned black, and I could not throw on the potter’s wheel until it healed. What could I do in the meantime? I’ve owned several wooden Indonesian fabric stamps for well over a decade, but never used them. They were so beautiful and complete it seemed there was nothing for me to add. I experimented by stamping clay slabs, overlapping and distorting the images, then adding more texture with stamps I had made. With this a whole new vocabulary began to emerge. At first I made slab trays and dishes. When my fingernail got better I was able to combine these textured slabs with coils and thrown elements. These are the vessels that grew out of this process. They are still pots but sculptural content, not function, is the prime intent. I think of it as “The Black Nail Project”.

Teapot by Wayne Cardinalli


Handbuilt and wheel thrown stoneware clay teapot form, glazed. Fired to cone 6 in oxidation atmosphere.

Size 14x7x5 inches.

Teapot by Wayne Cardinalli


One-of-a-kind sculptural teapot by Wayne Cardinalli. Pedestal tubular legs, handle, and spout on a horizontally flattened disc-like body. Handbuilt stoneware ceramics with wheel-thrown lid. Decorated surface of impressed abstract linear textures  accented by a thinly sprayed and wiped mix of mineral oxides. Fired to cone 6 in oxidation atmosphere.

Size 15.5″ x 10″ x 10″

Teapot by Wayne Cardinalli

Aladdin’s Teapot

Handbuilt and wheel thrown stoneware clay teapot form, glazed. Fired to cone 6 in oxidation atmosphere.

Size 12.5×11.5×5 inches.

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