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1989 Ralph Bacerra Born: Garden Grove, California 1938 Died: Los Angeles, California 2008 earthenware with lusters overall: 16 1/4 x 12 3/8 x 9 5/8 in. (41.3 x 31.5 x 24.5 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the James Renwick Alliance and museum purchase through the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program 1990.78A-C Not currently on view

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Between 1988 and 1992, Ralph Bacerra created fully functional teapots whose forms were inspired by tree limbs and twigs. Both the teapot and pedestal were formed by smoothing wet clay over rocks and trees. Bacerra emphasizes the organic origins of the piece by contrasting the dry “bark” on the base with the glossy finish of the teapot. One side of the base has been cut away to reveal small spiraling forms that recall the rings of an ancient tree.


decorative arts - ceramic

Crafts - Clay

ceramic - earthenware