Richard Swanson: Sculptural Teapots

     An important aspect of all my sculptural work, teapots included, is the way forms relate and flow together. I am constantly combining and simplifying to enhance movement/ rhythm/ unity. My teapots are informed by historical examples-- Inuit carvings, Pre-Columbian ceramics, African sculpture. To some extent Japanese netsuke carvings and Yixing teapots have also been an influence. I admire the concise vocabulary of these pieces, their use of everyday life as subject matter, their compact forms and their straightforward but unique way of relating figurative elements. In much of this work, the traditions of sculpture and function come together in a way that transcends ordinary ornamentation.

     I make teapots in editions -- each is a numbered edition of twenty-two or less. The iron-red clay is fired to vitreousness, i.e., the clay particles have fused to the point of being impervious to water. No glazes are used or needed. The satin-smooth surface results from multiple sandings at several stages of the teapot making process.

Click the thumbnails below for an expanded view of each teapot.

Sculptural Teapots by Richard Swanson: Elephant Rider Elephant Rider
1991, edition of 22
11 x 5.5 x 11" h
$1200
Sculptural Teapots by Richard Swanson: Elephant Runner Elephant Runner
1992, edition of 22
8 x 4 x 6" h
$950
Sculptural Teapots by Richard Swanson: Sitting Pretty Sitting Pretty
1993, edition of 22
7.5 x 4 x 9" h
$1200
Sculptural Teapots by Richard Swanson: Proud Catch Proud Catch
1993, edition of 22
5.5 x 8 x 9" h
edition sold out
Sculptural Teapots by Richard Swanson: Fish Rider Fish Rider
1993, edition of 12
10 x 6 x 8" h
$1350
Sculptural Teapots by Richard Swanson: Jitterbug Jitterbug
1995, edition of 22
10.5 x 5 x 8.5" h
edition sold out
Sculptural Teapots by Richard Swanson: Bird in Hand Bird in Hand
1995, edition of 22
8 x 4.75 x 8.5" h
edition sold out
Sculptural Teapots by Richard Swanson: He and She She
1995, edition of 22
8.5 x 4 x 6" h
$800
Sculptural Teapots by Richard Swanson: Mermaid & Dolphin Mermaid & Dolphin
1996, edition of 22
10.5 x 4 x 8.5" h
$1200
He
1995, edition of 22
7 x 4 x 6.5" h
$800
Sculptural Teapots by Richard Swanson: High Stepping High Stepping
1997, edition of 22
11 x 4 x 8.25" h
edition sold out
Sculptural Teapots by Richard Swanson: He/She Teabowls He / She Teabowls
1995, unlimited edition
2.75 x 3 x 3" h
$80 each
Sculptural Teapots by Richard Swanson: Leaping Lady Leaping Lady
2001, edition of 22
10.5 x 5x 7.5" h
$1200
Sculptural Teapots by Richard Swanson: Proud Catch II Proud Catch II
2001, edition of 22
9.25 x 3.5 x 9" h
$1200
Sculptural Teapots by Richard Swanson: Pleasure that Burns Pleasure That Burns
2002, edition of 22
9.25 x 4.5 x 6" h
$1200
Sculptural Teapots by Richard Swanson: Tango Tango
2002, edition of 22
9 x 6 x 10" h
$1200
Sculptural Teapots by Richard Swanson: My Sister, Myself My Sister, Myself
2005, edition of 22
8 x 3.75 x 5.25" h
$950
Sculptural Teapots by Richard Swanson: Happy Potter Sake Set Happy Potter Sake Set
2011, edition of 5
4 x 3.5 x 4.75" h
$950

 

Publications

500 Teapots, Volume 2, 2013, Lark Crafts, An imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., New York, NY

The Best of 500 Ceramics, Celebrating a Decade in Clay, 2012, Lark Crafts, An imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., New York, NY

The Artful Home, 2007, Toni Sikes, Lark Books, A Division of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., New York, NY

Slipcasting, 2007, Sasha Wardell, A&C Black Publishers Ltd., London

500 Animals in Clay, Contemporary Expressions of the Animal Form, 2006, Lark Books, A Division of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., New York, NY

500 Figures in Clay, Ceramic Artists Celebrate the Human Form, 2004, Lark Books, A Division of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., New York, NY

500 Cups, Ceramic Explorations of Utility & Grace, 2004, Lark Books, A Division of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., New York, NYa

Ceramics: Art and Perception, March 2002, Rick Newby, �The Art of Jitterbugging: Richard Swanson's Dancing Teapots�

500 Teapots, Contemporary Explorations of a Timeless Design, 2002, Lark Books, A Division of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., New York, NY

Object Lessons: Original Art from Guild Artists, 2001, Guild Publishing, Madison, Wisconsin

Beautiful Use: Contemporary American Pottery, Kevin Hluch, 2001, Krause Publications

Color and Fire: Defining Moments in Studio Ceramics, 1950-2000, Los Angeles County Museum of Art in association with Rizzoli International Publications, Inc. 2000, New York, NY

Teapots Transformed: Exploration of an Object, Leslie Ferrin, 2000, Guild Publishing, Madison, Wisconsin

The Best of Pottery II, 1999, Rockport Press, Rockport, Massachusetts

The Best of Pottery, 1996, Rockport Press, Rockport, Massachusetts

 

Collections

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California

Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, Indiana

Yixing Red Pottery Arts Factory #5, Yixing, China

The Mansfield Center for Pacific Affairs, Washington, D.C.

Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, Montana

Montana State Historical Society Museum, Helena, Montana