Past Work

Teapotty: Egg shells

  teapot made from egg shells The idea of making a teapot from egg shells came from running another "Challenge Peter" exercise, inviting people to suggest materials for further teapots.   In this case, it was staged in the Boston Tea Party cafe in Plymouth, where my cabinet of 10 teapots was on display during July  2016.  One person suggested egg shells and another suggested shells.
  head made from egg shells 
I'd recently seen this head made of egg shells in the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition, which I'd liked enough to photograph.
  egg shells I also liked the idea of using a by-product of the making processes at Boston Tea Party - the shells from the eggs they cooked.

It seemed fitting because my project was all about the making process as well.

  Making the body of an egg shell teapot I started off experimenting by trying to lay egg shell fragments in the concave plaster moulds that I used to make several other teapots. 

I tried hot glue - messy!  I tried PVA glue - better but the curvature of the egg shells meant they wouldn't lay flat on the surface of the mould.

Then I tried using the convex moulds I'd used in the hydraulic press (pictured). The problem there was that the egg shell fragments slid off. 

So I compromised a bit.  I lay attached fragments of newspaper to the mould using masking tape temporarily and then stuck egg shell fragments, initially to the paper and then to each other, using PVA glue.  It worked!
  egg shell teapot  I made the handle out of a strip of thin metal.  I used hot glue to attach the first layer of egg shell fragments and then PVA for successive layers.  I bent the metal strip so it fitted flush with the inside of the teapot and then glued a plastic strip across it using Araldite (epoxy) to spread the load from the handle.

I joined the 2 halves of the teapot using Araldite and then added a layer of egg shell fragments on the outside and inside to strengthen and mask the joint.

I made the lid using the same process. 

I struggled a bit with the spout - I ended up removing layers of egg shells and trying a different approach a couple of times.

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