Monday, May 21, 2012

Sixth Annual Invitational Teapot Show @ Craftsman House Gallery

Craftsman House Gallery, as its name implies, is housed in a gorgeous Arts and Crafts style bungalow dating to 1918. This space multitasks as a gallery with an endearing, airy and light cafe on the side, and as an intimate concert venue. It is run beautifully by Jeff and Steph Schorr  and their crew.

The Annual Invitational Teapot Show is themed around functional hand made teapots from some of the best potters in the US and the area. Teapots, perhaps because of the design requirements imposed by their function, liberate their makers in every other way.

Martha Grover "Sky Porcelain Teapot"

Martha Grover is an award-winning potter with an extensive academic and practical background in the field, including many residencies at some of the top locations in the U.S. In her artists' statement she says the forms are inspired by the female body and the movement of dancers. She works with thrown and altered porcelain. This can be seen here specially around the lip of the top of the teapot, but there are beautifully subtle shadings that are barely visible in the photo. That S-shaped crease along the body and the way it is integrated with the top imparts a fluidity to the form.

Work by Elaine Coleman

On the left is a photo of Elaine Coleman's Dragonfly, Leaf, and Lizard tea bowls. Often referred to as the "Celadon Queen" for her mastery with those glazes, her style is noted for fine carving and adding clay to the forms. Her husband, Tom Coleman, is also a renowned potter. They held a well-attended workshop at Craftsman House last year. Ms. Coleman's glazes seem to catch light and hold it.

Work by Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker, a St Pete potter whose new studio opening was covered here, has this striped Chino teapot in the show. Rich with watery textures and lines to emphasize them, this teapot, in part due to the angled heavier lines in the design, is almost asking the user to pour.

Works by Marty Fielding
Work by Marty Fielding
In the foreground are two works by Marty Fielding, titled "Green Teapot", and "Square Teapot.". The latter is an over-the-top geometric design. It can be seen on the foreground right in the picture at left, but its stately and faceted, jewel-like symmetry is clearer on an overhead view, as seen on the right..

Work by Stephanie Schorr

Stephanie Schorr is a St. Pete Potter who is one of the owners of Craftsman House and has a studio on the premises. This Raku teapot is very different from most of the others in the show. Note the cracks in the surface coming up from the base, and the two triads of triangular indents on the surface. Although functional, this one is very sculptural in feel. Purposeful, elegant and austere in an Oriental way

Elieen Braun, "Matchstick Teapot" 
.Eileen Braun's "Matchstick Teapot" subverts the functional theme, at least the teapot part. This thing is the Battlestar Galactica equivalent of the teapots at the show, in an outrageous two-tone green glaze, bristling with scores of color-matched matches sprouting  out of every orifice.

Congratulations to all the artists, Craftsman House, and Jeff and Steph Schorr for a memorable show.

Craftsman House is located at 2955 Central Avenue, St. Pete. This show runs through June 30th, but don't wait until the last minute. And when there, try out the cafe.

--- Luis

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