Creedmoor Gallery Hosts National Teapot Show
See extraordinary teapots in a virtual galleryBy Bridgette A. Lacy | Photos courtesy of Cedar Creek Gallery
Asheville potter Lucy V. Dierks thinks of a teapot as a bird perch. “I like to make pieces that I think a bird would like to sit on,” she says of her alluring functional vessels, Night Owl Teapot (pictured below right) and Green Spring Teapot with Flycatcher Bird. Her small, mid-range porcelain pots are designed for one to two cups of tea.
“You can look at the bird, and it can look at you,” she says.
These are just some of the teapots on display at Cedar Creek Gallery’s XI National Teapot Show, which runs through September 7. The virtual show features about 200 teapots ranging from traditional to contemporary and made out of pottery, glass, wood, fiber and silk.
“What they have common is a spout, body, handle and a lid,” says Jennifer Dolan, the gallery manager and the show’s curator. “The artists pushed the boundaries of what you think of as a teapot.”
While 60 percent of the vessels hold tea, others are strictly objects of beauty. This year about 160 artists, including 61 from North Carolina, are represented in the invitation-only show, Jennifer says.
Chapel Hill potter Eric Serritella submitted Escape, the perfect piece to represent our current days of social distancing. His sculptural teapot (pictured top) was made out of clay and hand-carved to look like wood. He describes it this way, “The inside is pushing itself out. The outside is peeling away; it’s trying to liberate itself.”
Hurdle Mills ceramist Evelyn Ward contributed Red Square Teapot (below), a contemporary functional piece. “I wanted to create something graphic and eye-catching,” Evelyn says, whose work has been featured four times.
“Teapots are special because they take so much work. It’s hard to make them look good and work well. It has to pour without dripping or spilling. It has to feel good in your hand … the lid has to sit properly.”
“It’s really an honor to be in the show,” Evelyn continues. “They choose artists all over the country.”
“When we put together the show, we are always looking for new voices,” Jennifer says. This year, there are 30 newcomers from states such as Virginia, Pennsylvania, Montana, Arkansas, Michigan, Missouri and Oregon.
Cedar Creek Gallery’s bestselling ceramist Brad Tucker, along with Seagrove pottery family Vernon Owens, his wife, Pam, their daughter Bayle and their son, Travis, are also a part of the exhibition.
“I like the idea that I can make something people can use every day,” Lucy Dierks says. “You can fill them with water and put them in the microwave. You can use them all the time.”
The teapots are for sale, and the prices range from $100 to $4,200, with lots of pots in the $150 to $250 range.
The Cedar Creek Gallery National Teapot Show started in 1989. The initial show was the idea of the late Cedar Creek founder and potter Sid Oakley, who saw the event as an opportunity to showcase creativity, imagination and craftsmanship within a theme. At times, the show has run every two years, but now it’s held every three years because of the work involved in organizing the huge exhibition.
“We’re helping artists make a living,” Jennifer says. “The teapot show brings an accessible form to people, something they are proud to take home. These artists show how everyday objects can be extraordinary.”
National Teapot Show XI
Show open through Sept. 7 at Cedar Creek Gallery, Creedmoor. Or view it online here:
About the AuthorBridgette A. Lacy (bridgettelacy.com) is a freelance writer and the author of “Sunday Dinner, a Savor the South cookbook” by UNC Press.
Adventures for now and later