Bookquick: The Teapot Book

The Teapot Book

“The Teapot Book” Steve Woodhead 224 pages,

8 x 11, 519 color & 92 b/w illus. $49.95 cloth

From the history of teapots to theories of their construction, from suggestions for their firing to instructions for the making of a proper pot of tea, "The Teapot Book" contains all the components that today’s potters need to tackle this critical piece of their artistic development.

A teapot is one of the most important ceramic forms; the ability to make one is a key test of a potter’s skill. Its construction requires the mastery of many techniques, whether the piece is thrown or hand-built. From clay forming to aesthetics, function to design, and practicality to ergonomics, the exercise of building a teapot poses a broad range of challenges for the artist. However, the very limitations of the form are what allow for immense creativity and innovation.

This richly illustrated volume discusses the theory and design of the teapot as well as the numerous techniques for construction. For the beginning potter and the experienced teapot builder alike, "The Teapot Book" provides a useful step-by-step guide through the entire process of building a teapot, including materials, handle and spout placement, and kiln temperatures. The myriad illustrations also provide fodder for artists in need of new inspirations. There is a section devoted to contemporary potters and their galleries of teapots that will appeal to armchair enthusiasts, devoted collectors and masters of the form.

From the history of teapots to theories of their construction, from suggestions for their firing to instructions for making a proper pot of tea (warm your pot first!), “The Teapot Book” contains all the components that today’s potters need to tackle this critical piece of their artistic development. This invaluable reference will be of interest to collectors and artists, and its lavish production will tempt beginning potters to approach this rite of passage for ceramicists.

Steve Woodhead is a potter and a fellow of the Craft Potters Association, U.K.

—University of Pennsylvania Press

Originally published on April 14, 2005