1 2 3 4

Minnesota Clay Co. USA Technical Info - Easy Teapot Project

Want to impress your friends, confuse your critics and enchant the rest of us?
You need to start making teapots.
"But, I tried making a teapot once..." you protest, "...and it came out looking like a dozing elephant!"
The dozing elephant teapot is a standard form for the learning potter. The trunk (spout) hangs low, allowing the filled pot to dribble tea when filled to capacity. The weary body slumps under the force of gravity.

As attractive as this style can be, a nice round functional teapot can be much more rewarding. And guess what? If you can make a nice round bowl, you can make a nice round teapot.

This is not cheating: instead of trying to make a perfect sphere on the wheel as your teapot body, make two pretty good semi-spheres (aka: bowls) and knit them together.

Here we go:
Step 1: Throw two bowls, using one and a half pounds (@ .75 kilograms) for each bowl. Leave your rims slightly thicker than normal to facilitate assembly later. Thick RimsTwo Bowls
Step 2: Throw your spout. Throw Spout
Step 3: Throw your inset lid. The lid is thrown upside-down. Throw Insert Lid
Step 4: Prior to the leather-hard stage, trim a foot ring into the bowl that will serve as the base portion of the teapot. trim teapot
Step 5: Trim your inset lid. You can add a knob at this stage as well. A knob is added by sprigging a circular coil of clay to the top of the lid, then the soft clay coil is formed into shape by "throwing it" on top of the trimmed lid. Trim Insert Lid
Step 6: Using your inset lid as a template, trim the opening into the bowl that will serve as the top portion of your teapot. Trim Opening in Bowl
Step 7: Score the rims of the two bowls and apply liberal amounts of slip to the scored areas. Apply Slip
Step 8: Assemble the two halves. Use a tool (like the handle of a fettling knife shown here) to exert pressure from inside the assembled pot in order to secure the joined seam. Assemble HalvesUse Handle of Fettling Knife
Step 9: Cut the spout off at an angle as shown in the first illustration below. Locate the spout on the side of the teapot. The idea is to evaluate the best spot for it. The top of the spout should be as high as the highest possible level of liquid in the teapot. Spout Angle CutAttach Spout
Step 10: Trace around the ideal location for the spout using a pencil, needle tool or a knife. Trace Spout Location
Step 11: Drill holes inside the traced area - these will serve as your strainer holes. Drill Strainer Holes
Step 12: Apply your spout to the teapot, be sure to score and slip the joined areas. Apply Spout Using Slip
Step 13: Apply a handle or handles. Apply Handles