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Watercourse - teapot
copper, brass, aluminum
12 ½” x 4” x 7 ¼”, 2003
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Vessels produced within the metalsmithing tradition usually have a thin, yet durable, skin or shell-like structure. Tom Muir’s piece uses the copper “skin” both for structure and to define a part of the human anatomy, namely the hand, as part of an exploration of the symbolic and utilitarian possibilities of the teapot. Of this piece, he writes: “The meanings of the hand are manifold and resonant. We are accustomed to regarding the hand as a bearer of individual uniqueness—fate is written in the palm, according to tradition, and the hand represents the signature of a particular artist or maker. In sum, the hand helps to define and characterize the handmade and man-made object.”

This stylized hand explores the imaginary and utilitarian possibilities of the teapot.