Learning how to make ceramic teapots is a big milestone in any potter’s ceramic development. From handles to spouts, teapots have multiple components and getting them all to work together successfully is an exciting challenge for the budding ceramic artist.
This post will focus on one component only: the teapot spout. In this post, an excerpt from our new release Pencil & Process in Motion, Jared Zehmer shows how to attach a teapot spout at just the right angle. Plus, Tiffany Hilton shares her take on this technique. – Jennifer Poellot Harnetty.
This clip was excerpted from Pencil & Process in Motion with Jared Zehmer, which is available in the Ceramic Arts Network Shop. You can also purchase the companion book to complete the set! Order from the Pencil & Process Book & Video Set shop page and save $10!
Great Tips for Fitting Teapot Spouts
by Tiffany Hilton
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.
Once you’ve gotten a handle on throwing – centering is no longer the nightmare it once was and your pots aren’t so heavy they would make better door stops than serving vessels – it is time to start thinking about more challenging forms, and that is where Throwing Techniques comes in. With an entire section on teapots and other spouted forms, what once was a challenge will soon be old hat! No matter where your interests lie, Throwing Techniques will help you take your skills to the next level.
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.