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Fong Choo - Teapot Gems

Fong Choo - Teapot Gems

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Published by Stefan Van Cleemput
Teapot Gems
Dazzling compact forms
by Fong Choo

F

or more than a decade I’ve been exploring the teapot in its miniaturized form. The teapot form continues to challenge and fascinate me, and the idea of doing one thing and doing it well has been central to the success of my profession as a potter. There are a lot of techniques involved in making these teapots, and some of the techniques require tools that I have made for myself to suit a certain situation. Although a native of Singapore, I atte
Teapot Gems
Dazzling compact forms
by Fong Choo

F

or more than a decade I’ve been exploring the teapot in its miniaturized form. The teapot form continues to challenge and fascinate me, and the idea of doing one thing and doing it well has been central to the success of my profession as a potter. There are a lot of techniques involved in making these teapots, and some of the techniques require tools that I have made for myself to suit a certain situation. Although a native of Singapore, I atte

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Published by: Stefan Van Cleemput on Sep 14, 2012
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01/13/2014

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PotteryMaking Illustrated
  
 January/February 2007
11
 
Teapot Gems
F
or more than a decade I’ve been exploring the teapotin its miniaturized orm. The teapot orm continuesto challenge and ascinate me, and the idea o do-ing one thing and doing it well has been central tothe success o my proession as a potter. There are a lot o techniques involved in making these teapots, and some o the techniques require tools that I have made or mysel to suit a certain situation.Although a native o Singapore, I attended college inNorth Carolina with graduate work in Kentucky at theUniversity o Louisville. I’m inspired by my Chinese heri-tage, and particularly in the long tradition o Yixing pottery.My teapots are small and jewel-like, made o porcelain andoten fred to cone 6 in an electric kiln.
Dazzling compact forms
Teapot, 6 inches in height, porcelain, fred tocone 6. This teapot is glazed with what Choocalls his “Crystal Celadon” glaze, which is a lay-ered combination o commercial glazes (AMACOTextured Alligator, LT Series and LT 122 Dark Blue)
by Fong Choo
1
Center a well-wedged 1
Z\x
pound lump o clay on aremovable bat. I use porcelain or my teapots be-cause it has a better color response with my glazes.
2
It is important not to overwork the clay, especially inthe early stages o the process. In three passes, youshould have the approximate orm.
34
I use a push stick to expand and redene theorm. I ollow the push stick on the outsidewith a metal rib to smooth the surace andremove excess moisture.One eature I like to add to many o my tea-pots is a “moat.” It provides not only a visualbase or the teapot, but also unctions as aglaze catch.
The Process
 
12
 
PotteryMaking Illustrated
  
 January/February 2007
 
5
Begin the moat with a rounded tool and pushin and down into the base. Using a bevel tool,round over the edge and move the tool under-neath to provide lit.
6
Next, I alter the teapot with a rib in a coupleo passes, creating an interesting movementwithin the shape.
78
I use a small roller and urther alter the gestureo the orm. Ater completing these alterations,I wire o the piece and remove it with the batto set up.To create a spout, roll out a tapered coil thenpush a stick into it. With the stick inside, roll thecoil to expand it.
9
Once the spout is sot leather hard, cut it to theappropriate length, trim the end and attach it tothe teapot body.
10
Adjust the spout to the correct angle and addpouring holes.
Fong Choo has been making potsfor over 20 years. He has taught at Bellarmine University and has beenthe resident artist there for the last 16 years. Fong may be contacted at fongc@bellarmine.edu. 
Right: “Low Rider Teapot,” 6 inches in height,porcelain, red to cone 6. The lid or this teapotwas made like the one in the demonstration.The glazed surace was created bylayering the entire piece with threecoats o Mayco CG 716 Pagoda Green(crystal glaze). The shoulder was thenglazed with one coat o Duncan SpanishMoss 20065 (Crystaltone glaze).Tip: You can get wonderul glaze e-ects by spraying on an even coat o acone 6 glaze then brushing on cone 06glazes. Test applications beore use.

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