We teapots are essential to your tea time, dear humans, and fortunately for you we come is an astoundingly wide array of styles. We also seem to be a very attractive thing for potters to make. They are drawn to shaping clay into various teapot styles. Some are handmade and others are off an assembly line (actually slip clay poured into molds). Your ever informative teapot buddy (me!) wanted to showcase a couple of the humans who make teapots by hand. Check ‘em out! TOOOT!
We saw these beauties posted recently on Lehman’s Facebook page. They are one-of-a-kind, and a couple had already sold by the time they came to our attention. (Note: Lehman recommends that you pre-heat these pots with clear hot water before putting your tea in them as a way of keeping your tea hot longer, and this little teapot concurs.)
Click on each photo for details:
Lehman did not get into working with clay right away. In fact, his early human years were “clay deprived.” Fortunately, in his second year of college he took an elective course in sculpting with clay. Then he took more courses. He was hooked! Even after college and while working in an office job, Lehman continued to listen to the “call of the clay,” as my humans put it. His hobby quickly developed when he converted a chicken house into his studio with a wood-fired kiln (getting a propane tank was out of his budget). While continuing his regular job and even getting a Masters degree in that field, he kept working with clay. A more full-time approach began in 1981, seven years after he had first gotten interested in clay.
These days, Lehman keeps very busy, has a studio and a shop and several employees. Good to know! And I hope they will keep cranking out these beautiful and functional designs.
Lehman also has written dozens of articles for various magazines focused on crafts and ceramics.
These teawares were carried on a certain tea site but most were sold privately by Haaland. They are one-of-a-kind and are therefore more likely to sell that way (something my humans tried to tell that tea vendor, but their advice fell on deaf ears, as did much of their business tips that would have helped the vendor grow). At this time, Haaland does not seem to be making these teapots. But we wanted you to see them anyway.
Click on each photo for details:
Rod Haaland began working in clay 30 years ago and five years after that had a job as a ceramic engineer, the science of clay being such a strong allurement. You can see in every pot that his artistic vision combines with a thorough understanding of the science of clay, from types of clay to use to how to achieve the perfect shape to glazes and decorative finishes.
Each Haaland teapot is an exclusive and unique creation. They are made from stoneware clay high-fired to temperatures well over 1200° Centigrade. He uses alkali glazes uniquely formulated from a local dolomite clay from Gray, Tennessee, found in the Gray Fossil Site.
Dolomite is a mineral also known as Calcium Magnesium Carbonate and usually occurs in rock form. Deposits are found all over the world and are common in sedimentary rock sequences. It is supposed to have been formed due to a chemical action on limestone of sea-water containing a high percentage of magnesia. Dolomite is sometimes used both in the raw and calcined form as refractory material for hearth maintenance and for the banking door in open hearth furnaces. Small wonder Haaland thought of it for his teapots.
As for functionality, the designs incorporate a number of very practical features, executed in a most artful manner. Teapots must:
- hold water — these are water tight and hold 250, 350, and 500 milliliters (8.4, 11.83, and 17 ounces respectively)
- have a nice flat bottom to sit steady — these teapots sit flat and are also signed on the bottom by Haaland
- withstand the heat of that water inside them — while these teapots should not be placed on a hot stove or open flame, you can pour water heated to a rolling boil inside them with no fear of cracking
- have a lid to steep better (keeps most of the steam in) — the lids on these teapots are not only set down slightly into the teapot rim, but they have extra large handles for easy lifting without scorching your fingers
- have a handle for lifting and pouring — the handles on these teapots are generous in their proportions, letting you lift the teapot securely and again without scorching your fingers
- be able to pour with a minimum of dribbling (and preferably no dribbling) — despite the stubby appearance of the spouts, Haaland assures that they don’t dribble
- be lead free and dishwasher safe — check and check, Haaland has both of these covered
Put these all together, and you have a great tea steeper.
Disclaimer: We furnish the links to the above crafters for your convenience and receive no compensation for it.
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Hi, humans, this site is under my editorial excellence. I, your lovable and sassy Little Yellow Teapot, authors articles on tea, etc., and edit the occasional guest article. All in the interest of helping you humans have a better tea experience. TOOOT!