Tea Pot

Hand made in gilding metal, nylon and silver plate, one off.

I had been exploring the way different objects moved as they fell through the air, landed and bounced across a surface. I photographed them using a stroboscopic light to reveal and recored their journey, visual research.

Using this idea of something moving across a surface to develop a design for a TeaPot. I made a hemisphere in wood to represent the infusion bowl for the tea leaves. Then I covered it in a thick layer of plasticine and began to manipulate it. When the limit of the plasticine had been reached I changed materials to card and continued modeling. One more change was required in to hardwood which I used to fit onto the hemisphere and to create templates to transfer the pattern on to metal.

Once I'd marked out the metal I pierced out a blank, hand scored it scored, folded and silver soldered it along the inside of the fold lines. I soldered supports on the inside to make sure they stayed parallel and in place.

Each entire side was fabricated in this way. The inside edges of the metal parts required chamfering with needle files so they fitted exactly on to the curve of the metal hemisphere ready for silver soldering. Silver solder will not flow if there is the slightest gap. All solder and solder joins have to be spotless. The parts were held in place on the pot by raising 'stitches' and using iron wire to bind and hold everything in place. Silver soldering on this scale and with this precision was a surgical procedure.

At the hearth it took two torches to raise the temperature enough for the solder to touch and flow. When I was satisfied it had gone according to plan I let the whole area cool before pickling. Now there was the other side to fit. The high temperature required for silver soldering moved the metal slightly and adjustments had to be made every step of the way. The bezel for the lid had to be made and and soldered into place.

The lid domed to match the curve of the pot and fit the bezel perfectly. The base was spun and had to be fitted and soldered on. There was still much to be done, cleaning, polishing, plating. And there were details like the holes in the pot to catch the tea leaves as the tea pores. 

Bonhams Catelogue, Front Cover.

Bonhams Auction Page, TeaPot:

Bonhams Auction Page, Silver Cocktail Swizzle Sticks:


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