Tea pots for two come from unusual collaboration

Share Canberra's trusted news:
Bright polished 24 ct gold plating with red gum handles

Craft / “The Teapot Project”, Craft ACT, North Building, London Circuit, Civic, until December 14. Reviewed by MEREDITH HINCHLIFFE.

A set of metalsmithing tools led to the collaborative “Teapot Project” and Canberra-trained metalsmith Oliver Smith was the go-between. Hendrick Forster (Victoria) was asked by a friend if he knew anyone who could use a set of tools which had been inherited but not needed.

He wanted the tools to go to a good home. Forster contacted Smith who immediately thought of Kenny Yong-Soo Son (NSW) who travelled to regional Victoria to collect the tools.

The two metalsmiths discovered they had much in common, despite their differences in age and background.

Both had had rigorous training – Forster in Germany and Son in Korea. They share similar values about hand-working and the importance of the handmade, and their knowledge of metals. After discussion, sharing food and ideas, they decided to embark on a project to design and make 30 teapots – all the same size and form and from brass – in effect a small production line, with numbered editions. They agreed to combine industrial digital precision and hand making.

Difference in each vessel is defined by the surface treatment and the materials used for the handles.

Linished black nickel plating with black acrylic handles

In his catalogue essay, Oliver Smith says that “both artists approach the production of objects with the sensibilities of an artisan with the problem-solving abilities of a designer.” Each has brought his own perceptions to the project.

The artists discussed each element of the design – the short downward end of the spout and the handles which was settled after experimentation. The teapots are nine-sided, an unusual number for a vessel – there are no parallels.

The relationship was more than a mentor and mentee. The project has been about exchange of skills and techniques and about learning. Both artists were students and both teachers,

Each teapot embodies so much more than a vessel to make a humble cup of tea. They are comfortable and easy to handle. The lid lifts off easily to reveal a stainless steel basket to hold the tea leaves – eliminating the need to turn the pot upside down for emptying and thereby risking damager.

Twenty of the 30 teapots are being exhibited in Canberra.  As a “product” it will be a question of personal choice of combination of surface and handle for each viewer.

This was a valuable project bringing together two artists. A video shows each of the processes, adding to viewers’ knowledge of the processes of making.

 

 

Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep citynews.com.au free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Previous articleSoloists, choir, orchestra all star in ‘Messiah’ performance
Next articleMammaries, arts and whinging old farts
Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

Leave a Reply