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Weathervane Teapot

1981 Peter Shire Born: Los Angeles, California 1947 glazed ceramic and wood overall: 12 1/2 x 15 3/4 x 5 1/2 in. (31.8 x 40.0 x 14.0 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Donna and John Donaldson in memory of Jean and John Michael on the occasion of the Fifteenth Anniversary of the James Renwick Alliance and the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Renwick Gallery 1997.109.24A-B Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 53B

Hear more about
Weathervane Teapot
from American Art staff

Luce Center Quote

"However crazy and fanciful my work appears, I'm still held by function. The teapots I make are borderline, however. They're more involved with a group of shapes and a material." Artist quoted in Artists Design Furniture, 1984

Luce Center Label

Peter Shire's teapots are constructions of color and shapes built out of slabs of clay. Weathervane Teapot is a balancing act of three-dimensional squares and balls, with squiggly rods and hollow tubes. He hoped that his whimsical pots would break down traditional, class-conscious ideas about "tea-time," making it a practice accessible to all. This teapot asks to be picked up, but leaves us wondering where we should hold it to pour the tea, or if it is capable of pouring at all. Shire stopped making clay teapots in 1985, devoting his time thereafter to building furniture.



decorative arts - ceramic

Crafts - Clay



About Peter Shire

Born: Los Angeles, California 1947