Welcome the Solstice!

Posted in ART, TEAPOTS - A HOMAGE TO UNUSUAL TEAPOTS with tags , , on June 21, 2010 by echostains

Stonehenge Summer Solstice

It’s the Summer Solstice today – Midsummers day, the longest day of the year.  The word solstice comes from the Latin sol sistere, which means ‘sun stand still’ which it does when the sun reaches its furthermost point away from the equator.    It should be a day filled with light, celebrations and joy as the ancients celebrated it, and pagans will light bonfires at night in homage to the sun.  I couldn’t let this pass without a piece of appropriate poetry, so here’s  ‘There is a zone whose even years’ by Emily Dickinson;-

There is a Zone whose even Years

No Solstice interrupt

Whose sun constructs perpetual noon

Whose perfect Seasons wait –

Whose Summer set in Summer, till

The Centuries of June

And Centuries of August cease

And Consciousness — is Noon

Emily Dickinson

Poem from here
Image from here

Here’s 36,500 people greeting the sun last year at Stonehenge.  It seems as soon as we get near those enigmatic stones our ancient collective nature takes over:)  Unfortunately the sun couldn’t quite get through the cloud, but it didn’t stop people enjoying themselves.  Lets hope the sun gets to star in todays Summer Solstice!

video by nachojase

To have and to hold – Teapots

Posted in TEAPOTS - A HOMAGE TO UNUSUAL TEAPOTS with tags , , , , on May 23, 2010 by echostains


a very strokeable teapot

It’s been quite a while since I featured  some teapots on my blog, so here’s a few more unusual ones I have come across.  The first unusual one is made of fur.  I have already done a post about Merritt Oppenheimer and her iconic fur cup and saucer (here).  I have absolutely no information about this teapot apart from the obvious fact that it is made of what looks like black fur which does look real (and most likely is).  I like the tactile qualities of the piece very much. 

knitting yarn teapot

Yet another teapot with no information to go on apart from the obvious reference to knitting.  I really like the design and glazes to this pot, which has been well planned and thought out.  A very unusual piece of ceramic indeed. 

I was torn between 3 very different pieces to include (one being a bird’s nest teapot), but decided to go with this other birds nest one because I really like everything about it.  The colours and the glaze are sympathetic to the subject matter and there is something so countrified and pleasing about it.  I like the speckled eggs in the nest drawing – and I probably would like whatever is on the finial – but I can’t make out what it is! 

birds nest teapot

knitting needle teapot here 

Sculptural teapot here 

birds nest here

Don’t forget to check out my BLOG SPOTLIGHT  post here!

Fossil Fuelled Teapots

Posted in DESIGN, TEAPOTS - A HOMAGE TO UNUSUAL TEAPOTS with tags , , on April 11, 2010 by echostains

Susan Collett teapot

I don’t know whats going on, but I have had a few underwater themes on my blog recently.  From underwater photography to underwater sculpture.  Now I have found teapots that have a kind of underwater organic surface. I love these teapots from Susan Collett.  They look like they have just evolved, grown under the sea into these coral shapes.  So unusual and beautiful – really organic and calcified.

GJM Fossil teapot

The teapots from GJM Ceramics are unusual, quirky and have a great play on words.  Teapots like ‘Relativitea’ and ‘Calamitea’ are great fun and very aptly titled, but it is the teapot called just ‘Fossil teapot that I really like because of its patina and simplicity of patterns.  I like the way  the ceramicist has made the surface and the colour he has glazed it.   Unfortunately I could only find a very small image of this teapot, the larger version is available onsite.  The above mentioned are all from the ‘Novelteas’ collection from GJM Ceramics.

OctopusTeapot01 Miel-Margarita Paredes.

I found this last teapot on a site called ‘Everything Octopus’ which is indeed a collection of everything Octopus based!  The actual teapot is from a favorite of mine Miel-Margarita Paredes. who makes very unusual toys, oddities, helmets and curiosities – and much more.  I featured her work some time back.  This octopus teapot is a real work of art –  the sort of thing that could be passed on from generation, becoming an heirloom – yet always looking contemporary.

Susan Collett website here

GJM teapots here

My 483rd post is here


where my heads at

Looking back through my past posts, I realised that I haven’t done any summing up since my 427 post.  I like to do this so often as it gives me new ideas and alerts me to areas of the blog which I have either abandoned or neglected.  Some of the categories are outdated now, but I’m still going to keep them, maybe put them under a big generic umbrella – like all the holiday ones in ‘Places’.

gormenghast trilogy

Since my last summing up, there have been a few changes.  For example my other blog ‘Bookstains’ where I am putting my book  reviews (though I’ve not done much of that for quite a bit).  Reading challenges also go on Bookstains.  I have finished both ‘Titus Groan’ and Gormenghast now and am miles behind writing about Titus and my impressions.  I started that blog because of that, but I am enjoying myself writing poetry too much….

I'm no Byron

Having resurrected my interest in poetry, I have now written a few  in different styles and also a bit of Haiku – which I’ve never done before.  The poetry is also on Bookstains’. 

the ones which went before

Another category which I have started is about the preservation of the dead.  Strange, you may think but I am fascinated by all the different ways the body can be preserved and usually by nature.  I am very interested in geneology and have found out so much about myself from looking at my past.  I am the sum total of those who have gone before.  Art quote is another new category and does what it says on the tin.   I’m trying to pick artists who have made a lot of quotes and who I haven’t featured in ‘birthdays’ or ‘Art I LOVE’.

Behind the paint

A very recent category is called ‘Behind the paint’ and takes a famous painting and looks at the ‘clues’ to understanding it.  Teapots still interest me, but unusual ones are getting harder and harder to find.  The weird and Wacky design’ section is quite a popular one.  I like to put the objects into groups so there is at least a cohesive theme running through them.  This takes a bit of time…..

Branwell Brontes Barbers Tale by Chris Firth

Bronte Bites is a section that hasn’t seen much action recently.  I do have new photos which I took earlier this month and which I will get round to putting up on here soon.  I’m still having trouble with the formatting, but I can’t see me changing the theme as I think it suits my subject matter.  Oh well, onwards and upwards, as they say.

Teapots – and all that jazz

Posted in DESIGN, LIVING IN THE PAST: NOSTALGIA, TEAPOTS - A HOMAGE TO UNUSUAL TEAPOTS with tags , , , , , , on March 23, 2010 by echostains

Cliff captures the age

It seems an age since I featured any teapots on my blog.  To tell the truth, the unusual ones are still out there but I do like to group them, so they have  at least some connection with each other them into little group and finding that theme or connection  can be a problem sometimes.  So I am going for a period this tiem with a contemporay connection.

age of jazz by cliff

The Art deco period began in 1925 and lasted until the 1940s.  It was an international movement and was a rather glamourous and stylishly elegant time.  The style is unmistakable  – a mixture of cubism, futurism modern and freedom.

oakland set by lorna Bailey

When people think of Art Deco, they think Clarice Cliff.  I do like her colourful designs, along with Suzy Cooper’s.  But there are contemporary ceramic artists  about who are still inspired by the art deco movement and it shows in their work.


My favorite Art Deco artist is Tamara de Lempicka (I’ve written about her here) her painting epitomised the period.  The art deco style is geometric and based on mathamatical shapes, the style lent itself to not only the decorative arts, but some wonderful arcitecture..  This is a fabulous momnet in time and I shall try to do it justice at another time, at the moment I want concentrate on the teapots.

I like the quirky balance of this teapot by Lorna Bailey

  Lorna Bailey was born in 1978 Staffordshire and was inspired by a heritage of Charlotte Rhead, Clarice Cliff and Suzie Cooper.  Bailey has even been called the next Clarice Cliff.  Flattering as that accolade is, the artist much prefers to be known by her own merit.

Glascow Peony half circle by Lorna Bailey

You can see that the artist must surely have been inspired by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.  Not only is the stylised rose motif one of Mackintosh’s  trademark, the title really gives it away!  I think this is a thoughtful transcription of his style.

I enjoy the sharp thrusting angle of this teapot by lorna Bailey

I like to see the past reinterpretted like this.  It’s inspiring and in a way comforting to see the natural progession of the past marching on through design.  Nothing is new – everything has it’s source of inspiration.  It’s good to take parts of the past and weave something for the present which in turn will inspire the future.  Continuity.

 indictive of his

Lorna Bailey website here

Charles Rennie Mackintosh website here

Clarice Cliff website here

Teapots – All Things Alice

Posted in ALICE IN WONDERLAND, ART, DESIGN, TEAPOTS - A HOMAGE TO UNUSUAL TEAPOTS with tags , , , , on February 28, 2010 by echostains

 Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ film  is released March 5 this year and from  this clip,  it looks a lot of fun.  I’m not keen on Alice’s off the shoulder dress though – is there any need really?  The visual effects look very interesting though.  I found the floating Cheshire cats floating head on the trailer quite frightening.  But so it is in the book, as it fades away and only the grin is left.


Surprised to see Tweedle dum and Tweedle dee in the new film though as they are charaters  from Alice though the Looking Glass.   So it would seem that both books and characters have been lumped together.  But, back to the teapots.  It is easy to see why the teapot  serves as a vehicle to Alice. The teapot is central to the tea-party where we get to meet some interesting characters – especially the Mad Hatter.

I actually have this Tony Woods teapot

  I love the wild Mad Hatter teapot by Paul Cardew.  Cardew seems very fond of Alice – he’s done lots of teapots with using the Alice theme.

Paul Cardew MadHatter Teapot

Paul Cardew Alice teapot

I’ve cheated really with this image.  It’s actually a favor box and I think it’s lovely!  Available  HERE  

favor box


This unusual teapot has ‘Drink Me’ on the side – obvious really!  But I like the reference to the time on the lid and the hearts on the handle.

drink me teapot

My latest poem is ‘Her Facebook has it ‘ here

Lots of Alice porcelain HERE

White Drink me teapot link here

Teapots teapots website

All the Fours


I’ve done rather a lot on my Bookstains blog today, so this post will be a short one as I am off out tonight.  This is my 444th post.  I’ve spent rather a long time on here – I could do with getting out more lol!

irma and alfred prunesquallor

I’m still working on my art blog, that’s coming along very slowly and the Gormenghast journey (Titus Groan) – even though I’ve nearly re read it is going at a snails trail.  Will I continue to track when I get to the second book Gormenghast?  I don’t think so, I haven’t got the time.

Pip is told he has great expectations

Over on Bookstains I have been writing about the Dickens books I have read – just very brief summeries but they still took a long time to do.  I am going to keep the teapot category and also the Weird and Wacky, but I am going to introduce some news categories.  The idea is to make this blog an eccentric eclectic mix – and the more the merrier I say!


Tea is where the heart is

Posted in DESIGN, TEAPOTS - A HOMAGE TO UNUSUAL TEAPOTS with tags , , , on February 15, 2010 by echostains

All heart teapot by JoAnne Bedient

Seeing that today was one made up of hearts (Valentine’s Day), I thought  I would look for some heart-shaped teapots.  In a lot of homes still, tea is at the heart of the family.  Everyone sits down to a nice cup of tea, hence the title of this post ‘Tea is where the heart is!’  The above teapot is by JoAnne Bedient a clay artist  who specialises in Raku.  I love the unpredictability of this process, and also how you get all the four elements earth, wind, fire and water joining together in the work.  I just love all the crackly smoky patterns seemed to have conjoined together to make this piece.


Here’s another heart-shaped mini teapot, this time from Kelvin Chen.  The fresh colours used and the stylised drawing upon the ceramic gives it an Art deco meets oriental feel.

honeycomb teapot - what a find!

I know this isn’t a heart shaped teapot, but I couldn’t not include this paper teapot that caught my eye.  The owner snapped this up on eBay!  Not only is it fun and pretty – spotting it drew me to the owners blog, which I must say is one of the most  loveliest  blogs I have ever seen regarding tea: the drinking of it, the celebration of it, the loving it and the designs it can lend itself to (some most unusual indeed),    THIS  is the one!

JoAnne Bedient clay artist specialises in raku loved the varied eclectic textures of this piece and whimsical form.  Her website is here and there are some very unusual pieces of her work