| || || ||Completed teapot.|
It shrunk quite a lot as it dried!
| || ||The idea of making a teapot from tea-leaves was amusing and it seemed possible.|
The Chinese used to store black tea by compressing it into "bricks" like the one pictured.
I hoped I could use a similar technique to create a teapot.
| || || ||I collected used tea-bags and noticed that they got hard and lumpy as they dried.|
So I started off just emptying a lot of teabags into one of my plaster moulds and patting it into a thickness of around 20-mm.
As it dried, it continued patting it, using more force when it seemed appropriate.
Result: As it dried further it cracked and broke up.
I repeated the exercise, mixing the tea leaves with PVA glue to create a sort of paste .
Same result - cracking.
| || || ||I tried creating a sandwich of the paste of tea-leaves and PVA glue with a light plastic mesh inside it.|
It didn't look nice but it stopped the cracking!
| || || ||I did the same thing in a mould, adding the opened-up tea-bags to the surface and then putting the whole thing on my office radiator to dry out. || |
| || || ||It worked || |
| || || ||Some nice turquoise mould started emerging. || |
| || || || I joined the 2 halves together using more tea-leaves and PVA glue paste, and made the lid using another plaster mould.|
The drying process led the teapot to shrink and distort quite a bit, giving it the appearance of something almost archeological!
| || || ||Much later on in the project, I made some moulds for the College's hydraulic press, ostensibly to create the copper teapot.|
However, using the hydraulic press gave me an opportunity to try exerting a lot of force on tea-leaves, so it rekindled my interest in trying to emulate the Chinese tea-brick process.
| || || ||I reverted to using just tea - no PVA glue or plastic mesh.|
This was the result. Unsurprisingly, the handles broke up on their removal from the mould. The teapots retained their shape but cracks appeared as the 2 halves dried.
Once again, some nice mould grew. The surface texture was like velvet - really rather nice!
This is still work in progress.
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