1 Tiffany Hilton’s teapot, wheel-thrown stoneware, fired to cone 8 in oxidation, 2015. Photo: John Polak.
Fitting teapot spouts can be a difficult task. Try using a circle template to make the process easier.
Making teapots can seem like the ultimate challenge. Cutting spouts at the right angle to fit the body has always been the hardest part for me. Recently I had a revelation when I thought to use one of my circle templates to trace a line at the angle I wanted while fitting spouts (2). These plastic templates are readily available at your local art supply store or online and come in various sizes.
A practice that I keep and recommend to my students is to always throw several spouts for each teapot so that you have multiple options to choose from. Try making teapots in a series of 3 or 4 at a time and throw at least 8 spouts to work with. Start with a larger diameter circle that fits your spout and move the spout to find the angle you are looking for (3), then mark the line and cut with a knife (4, 5). Remember you can always cut more or adjust the angle slightly as you work to find the right fit. Attaching spouts at a soft leather-hard state offers the best results as you can still mold the cut edge to fit the body (6, 7).
the author Tiffany Hilton is a full-time potter in Northampton, Massachusetts , who loves teaching people how to make pots. Learn more at www.tiffanyhilton.com.