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Hot Motorcycle Mama's Tea is a ceramic teapot in the form of a motorcycle jacket.
  • This work is a fully functional hand-built ceramic teapot in the form of a Hell's Angel motorcycle jacket.
  • It is made entirely of stoneware clay using slab construction and individual press mold pattern pieces. In addition, other techniques include sculpting, carving, altering, and extruding. The work is hollowed out to form the teapot's main chamber and to avoid kiln damage during repeated firings at high kiln temperatures.
  • The teapot's spout is the left arm of the leather jacket; the handle is the right arm; and the lid is the tied kerchief atop the neck area.
  • The work is hollowed to form main internal chamber, spout and opening for lid.
  • When the construction phase is complete, the clay work is allowed to air-dry thoroughly to its delicate leather-hard state before it is ready for its first kiln firing to cone 04.
  • After successful initial firing, coloration is begun. Glossy black glaze is applied to the inner chamber and the interior of the preformed spout to make the teapot waterproof.
  • Construction details:   
    • First firing to cone 04 follows completion of clay construction and thorough drying to the greenware state.
    • The interior surfaces are glazed with glossy black cone 5 glaze to make them waterproof. The teapot becomes functional now.
    • All exterior surfaces are underglazed in black; the underglaze is then rubbed off to show the enhanced interstices left from the press mold impressions and decorative inscriptions.
    • Refirings are done to cone 05. Since the teapot is now much sturdier, it permits me to apply more underglaze coatings, followed by refirings of each layer to cone 05.
    • Embellishments continue with glazes to the outer surface and lusters to the belt buckle and zipper areas.
    • A final firing follows to cone 018.
    • Black overglaze is used to finish the work with a leather-like surface.
  • Date: 2018.
  • Size: 12.75” x 16.0” x 8.0”.
  • Sold.



Enlarged view.


Enlarged view.

Photographs by Nick Thompson of Berlian ArtsĀ 







Early stage of construction.


  • The components of the teapot's leather-jacket form are created using individual rubber press mold pattern pieces.
  • Slab construction, plus sculpting, carving, altering and extruding, complement the press mold method to hand-build this stoneware clay work.
  • Shown here are front and back views of the teapot in an early phase of construction. The left arm is the teapot's spout. The right arm, not yet in place, will be the teapot's handle. A knotted kerchief tied at the neck will serve as the teapot's lid.
  • The green plastic material, briefly taken down for the photograph, encompasses the teapot to ensure that the clay will not dry while it is being worked on until the construction phase is done.




Early phase of construction.


  • The preconstructed left arm, which is the teapot's handle, is permanently attached by the slip and score method.
  • The clay knotted kerchief is added in the same way to the neck area to form the teapot's lid.
  • Hollowing is done to make the teapot's main chamber and its spout. Achieving uniform thickness throughout is intended to prevent kiln damage during firing.
  • Additional detail work is done to enhance the exterior surfaces of the clay in the form of collar, bottons, lapels, epaulets, zippers, leather trim, decorative stitching, belt, buckle and pockets. Lettering (Harley Davidson) and a decorative wing-shaped shield are inscribed on the back.
  • After construction is complete, the work is allowed to air-dry completely to its bisque state, when it will be ready for its first kiln firing.

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Further development with beginning coloration.


  • After thorough drying, the teapot is subjected to its first successful kiln firing to cone 04.
  • A coating of black underglaze is applied to the outer surfaces and then wiped off to reveal the press mold's impressions of the leather jacket beneath and the enhancement of the lattering on its back.
  • A cone 5 glossy black glaze is added to the internal surface of the teapot's main chamber to make it nonporous and watertight.
  • The work is now ready for refiring to cone 5.


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Coloration is in progress.



  • Several firings are done to cone 05. I experimented with underglazes to add more of them; each is followed by refirings to cone 05.
  • This innovation allowed me to glaze the work in a more substantial state than its first firing in the delicate greenware state. It offers so many more options.
  • The piece is finally fired to cone 018, after which lusters are added on the belt buckle and zipper areas.
  • Not yet shown here is a black overglaze to be applied to mimic a leather-like surface.

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Finalized work illustrated.



  • To complete the work, black overglaze is applied to provide a leather-like exterior surface coating.




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