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Working drawing for Whistling Swan Teapot
pencil and paper cutout, 22 ¼” x 30”, 2002
 
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This drawing, a study for a series of vessels based on waterfowl, explores the imaginary and utilitarian possibilities of the teapot. I chose the Whistling (or Tundra) Swan, a regular visitor to my area of Ohio during the winter months, for the similarities it shares with pouring vessels – it is formed very much like a teapot – and for is relationship with water. Swans, after all, live in water and off water; their streamlined bodies also bear witness to flight, which is a kind of swimming in the ocean of air. Underlying the evocative similarities between the teapot and the swan is the element of water itself, and its quite literal circulation through animate as well as inanimate beings. Water connects the biosphere: to think of swans and teapots in this context is to be aware of life's interconnectedness.
tommuir@hughes.net