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Contemporary Ceramic Teapots, a DVD that is part of the American Craft Council’s Museum of Arts and Design series, is an adaptation of a film strip that illustrates the diversity of contemporary teapot forms. The images are elaborated on through a script that can be read aloud for a presentation or to oneself.
Most of the teapots were made between 1983 and 1985, with a few from the 1970s making appearances. In this regard, “contemporary” is relative, and this DVD captures a very specific moment in the history of ceramic teapots. Perfectly functional teapots are given a sculptural form, or sculptural vessels are given a teapot form, and complex surfaces are enlivened by eccentric shapes.
The DVD is a valuable resource for anyone interested in teapots because it shows the earlier artwork of many potters who have become the contemporary legends of ceramics, such as John Glick, Warren McKenzie, Chris Gustin, Beatrice Wood, Richard T. Notkin, Betty Woodman, Chris Staley, and Don Reitz. This reminder of what these artists were making in the 80s gives us perspective on what the contemporary ceramic teapot truly is: a sculptural and perhaps functional vessel with rich surface possibilities and the challenge of integrating many parts to create a cohesive whole. Contemporary Ceramic Teapots captures a transition in the history of art and culture where new aesthetic opportunities emerged from playing around with the line between functional and sculptural ceramic art.
Title: Contemporary Ceramic Teapots
Length: 20 minutes
For more information, visit www.crystalproductions.com.