Banner: Porcelain Grace, Meryl Ruth, Fine Art



Hanging Case Studies, Case in Point, the first of the series.


  • This series of five small hanging ceramic teapots, the first of which was commissioned, is based on the design of the prototype work, Just in Case. Although all are functional with spout, handle and removable lid, none is optimally stand-alone (even though they are all illustrated mounted on stands); that is, all are intended to be wall hung. Each is individualized with regard to design of body, shape and placement of spout, formation of lid and structure of elements needed for wall hanging.
  • The works are hand-built of stoneware clay.  Tagboard templates are made for use in cutting clay forms that have been rolled out into thin flat slabs. These will ultimately become the front and back panels of the works, respectively.
  • The panels are allowed to dry to a leather-hard state and then photo silk-screened with violin imagery, including front, side and back views, in black underglaze.
  • The undecorated inner surfaces of all the decorated stiff slabs are rewetted to make them flexible again and permit them to be reworked into nonplanar shapes without harm to the images that have already been transferred to the dry outer surface.
  • The decorated slabs reworked into forms consistent with the panels of the miniature violin case are permanently joined by score and slip method.
  • The wheel-thrown spout is similarly affixed in place, as are the extruded and modified handle and components required for wall hanging.
  • Each work is decorated in black underglaze. Wall hanging loops are treated with clear glossy glaze in preparation for gold leaf application.
  • Construction sequence:
  • Date: 2014.
  • Average size: 9.0" x 4.0" x 3.0".
  • One is a commissioned work, already sold, illustrated here mounted on a small stand. It is the second from the left in the enlarged views below. Four others, each different, are available for purchase.
  • Price:  $400.00 each, ready for wall-hanging.





Enlarged views.



Back views of all five Case Studies, upright on stands







Photo silk-screened clay forms for front and back of violin cases in earliest construction phase.   


  • Stoneware clay slabs are cut to shape according to previously-made tagboard templates.
  • When dried to almost a leather-hard state, one face of each slab is photo slik-screened with violin images representing front, side and back views.
  • The undecorated surfaces of the clay slabs are rewetted to return them to working flexibility. Each slab is then molded to form either the front or the back of a violin case without inflicting harm to the images on the dry side.
  • Extreme care is needed because the silk-screen image can be wiped off merely by touching it with bare fingers. I discovered that using a layer of plastic sheet (wrap) between the image and my fingers allowed me to rework the panel safely. I was unable to use plastic or rubber gloves for this purpose since they made it difficult for me to use my fingers for delicate shaping and smoothing of the clay.

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Clay forms have been modified to form the curved front and back panels of the case without damaging the images and joined    

  • The reworked front and back panels, previously embellished with photo silk-screened violin images, are permanently attached to each other by score and slip method.
  • This forms the main chamber of the teapot.
  • Wheel-thrown spout, extruded handle and elements for wall hanging are all affixed in the same way.
  • The piece is now allowed to dry thoroughly to the bisque state prior to its first kiln firing to cone 04.

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Works are glazed and ready for kiln firing.


  • All five works in this series, shown here grouped together, are fired for the first time to cone 04. 
  • Arrangement  of the ceramic pieces within the kiln is also illustrated, along with the important supportive and protective kiln furniture.
  • After successful firing, the works are each hand-painted with black underglaze.
  • Clear glossy glaze is added to the lids and the clay loops that will serve as the means by which they will be wall hung.
  • These glossy areas will ultimately be embellished with gold leaf.

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After filn firing, coloration and detail are enhanced with glazes.

Side views of ehnanced surface coloration.


  • After successful kiln firing, the works are embellished to enhance the coloration and provide delicate design details with glazes.
  • Note the overt and subtle variations in structure and design among these related, but unique, pieces.
  • The top view shows the front face of each work; the bottom view focuses on the side panel details.

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Hanging handle with beads.


  • Beads are strung on the handle, leaving space for a matching hook for wall-hanging, shown here in sequence from assembling to carefully attaching the beaded wire handle to the wall hook.
  • The spiral lid, covered in gold leaf, is fitted into the opening made for it between the ends of the beaded wire handle at the top of the violin case.
  • The hook for hanging the teapot must be of sufficient strength to hold the work safely and securely attached to the wall.



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