The balance of the spout and handle of of a teapot, with each other and with the body of the pot, is an aesthetic problem to which no artist need be ashamed to devote his attention.
- Sir Herbert Read, art historian and critic, from Art and Industry
(The teapot is) one of the great fetish objects of our time.
Last Saturday was pleasant - we did finally get to the teapot exhibition
at the Long Beach Museum of Art
- and it was it was a lot of fun. While many of them were not actually functional tea brewing devices (made of beads or crocheting), or were much too large to serve as such, it was very interesting how wonderfully weird even a functional teapot could be made. There were quite a few Yi Xing style, sets of cube shaped pots which were specially made for Cunard in the 30s (less likely to tip over on a rolling ship), and several having humanoid shapes with the spout in imaginative places (I was showing my friend Carole the brochure for the exhibit, and she pointed to one titled Red Devil,
and said "I don't think I'd be comfortable serving tea out of that
one!" It's in the slide show here,
I'll let you guess which one it is. ;) Then there were sculptures either made out of everyday teapots or with a teapot theme. I'd really like to get the catalog. The kids must have liked it too, because they've been running around with the brochure, pointing out various items and asking "How big was this?" or "Why does this lady have a teapot for a head?"
John's mother decided she'd like to go along as well, and treated us for admission and to lunch afterwards as well; very kind of her. I of course was the slowest, so she and the boys sat on a bench in a gallery which contained a collection of historical coffee, tea and chocolate pots, some dating back to the 18th century. Gareth made the observation, "These pots are really old, Grandma, just like you." She rolled her eyes, and said drily, "Gee thanks, Gareth." She's a good sport.
Doug came down later that evening and brought his friend Randy (I think,
he's such the social butterfly it's hard to keep
his friends straight
track of them all). Doug was very impressed with what John has done with the house; especially when he saw our bedroom - his mouth hung open and then he turned around and told John "You deserve a big hug!" followed by a big squeeze.
He took us to The Crab Cooker
in Newport Beach for his
birthday, which makes me feel a bit guilty. But he usually likes to go out, and since we haven't been able to afford it lately he tells us he doesn't mind treating us. The Crab Cooker is an almost historical restaurant we've been going to since we were kids. There is a 14-ft. white shark hanging in the dining room, old paintings covering the walls, cramped tables with mismatched chairs, paper plates and plastic cups, breadsticks in containers on the tables and brusque senior waitresses, some of whom have wrked there for thirty years. On weekend nights, there's usually at least a 45 minute wait to get in, but you can get a cup of clam chowder while you're waiting if you're really hungry. However, I usually don't because it's Manhattan, and I prefer New England. Doug says he's tried to imitate how they cook at home, but he just can't get it right, so he's willing to drive down from West Hollywood and sit on a hard wooden bench on Newport Blvd. to eat off a paper plate.
Normally, after dinner we'd head across the boulevard, walk out on the Newport Pier, look at the deserted dory fleet on the beach (unfortunalely since I now work for a regulatory agency, I can't quite look at them with the same eye as I did when I was a kid). and take note of whatever people are catching. But Doug didn't get here until 8PM and it would have been nearly midnight before they got home, and small kids needed to go to bed. Another time perhaps. Good to see Doug again; however, when we go out in a big group I don't get much chance to talk to him.
And now, I won't mention teapots for a while because I'm sure you're quite sick of me going off about them. ;)