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Lidded Teapot

Ken Ferguson

American, 1928 - 2004

Lidded Teapot, 2001

  • On View

Raku stoneware

Dimensions: 26 × 11 × 11 in. (66 × 27.9 × 27.9 cm)

Gift of Dr. Robert and Deanna Harris Burger, 2015.104

This teapot blurs the boundaries between function and form. Many contemporary ceramicists use teapots to explore technique, narrative, and personal expression. Making a teapot is considered a milestone for many ceramicists, as it is a technical challenge to designing a three-dimensional structure that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional. The essential elements of a teapot—the body, handle, spout, and lid can be endlessly reimagined but it takes a skilled hand to accurately complete.Ken Ferguson began making functional ceramics—platters, teapots—but grew more expressionistic over time. Although his style shifted one theme stayed with him over the years—rabbits. He explained that the form, like you see on the handle and across the surface of this teapot, derived from basket handles he was making in the 1970s that looked like rabbits. The theme occurred so often in his work that at one point he recalled not remembering he made a rabbit look like a handle or the handle look like a rabbit.

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Ken Ferguson