Four Approaches to the Teapot

Teapots hold a special place in the hearts of potters and learning how to make teapots is a big milestone in any potter’s artistic development. Made up of multiple components — spout, handle, lid, knob, body, etc. — teapots pose ...(Scroll for more.)

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…an exciting but complicated challenge: how to make all of these parts work together as a cohesive whole. This compilation aims to help potters take on the teapot challenge and master the form.

Four Approaches to the Teapot features four interesting and diverse ways to make teapots by four well-known and respected artists: Julia Galloway, Randy Johnston, Lisa Naples, and Donovan Palmquist. With this well-rounded presentation, you’ll be able to mix and match techniques and come up with your own teapot style. But most importantly, you’ll develop the critical skills to make sure your teapots function to the highest potential!

Julia Galloway

Julia Galloway is a utilitarian potter, director of the School of Art and professor at the University of Montana, Missoula. In this brand new footage, she throws a classic teapot, clearly explaining the mechanics of a good teapot With both wheel throwing and handbuilding techniques, there is something for everyone here!

Julia covers:

  • three variations on spouts – thrown, slab, and solid
  • a unique yet functional handle
  • decorative details that tie various components together

and much more!


Randy Johnston

Randy Johnston has been making work in his Wisconsin studio for 45 years and recently retired from his position of professor and chair of the art department at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls. In this newly released footage, Randy creates a slab-built teapot with a wheel-thrown lid.

Randy covers:

  • discovering form through paper templates
  • creating plywood drape molds for spouts and handles
  • using chucks in the handbuilding process

and much more!

Lisa Naples

Lisa Naples holds an MFA in ceramics from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She currently resides in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where she makes pottery and narrative sculpture from her barn studio. In this previously unreleased presentation, Lisa shares how she constructs her animated crow teapots using very soft slabs.

Lisa includes:

  • creating seams that hold together through compression, compression, compression!
  • making animated forms through darting and stretching techniques
  • decorating with slips of varying consistencies

and much more!

Donovan Palmquist

Donovan Palmquist earned his MFA in ceramics at the University of Minnesota in 1988, and has been making pots for more than 30 years. In this demonstration, excerpted from his full-length video, Donovan shows how to create well balanced, functional, and beautiful teapots on the wheel.

Donovan shares:

  • throwing with little water to make larger forms
  • making bold cuts with a fettling knife to create dynamic surfaces
  • thinning out a strainer so tea leaves don’t get trapped

and much more!

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