We were asked to produce a PowerPoint with roughly 10 slides to present our initial ideas to the rest of the class and our tutors.
We wanted to produce a tea set that would relate to both of us in a personal way were we could discover a bit more of each other in a range of ways, looking at identity, ways we present our self, ways of working, interaction, likes and dislikes, preferences. It would be an amazing opportunity to work together were we could contemplate each others practice and knowledge.
The title, Tea for Two, to me represents communication, teamwork, personal, intimate and these words made me think how could we build a tea set? I really didn’t like the concept of Emily making half of the tea set and me making the other half. I wanted to produce a piece where we would put equal effort into it and perhaps having conversation while doing it, getting to know each other a bit more. I love the idea of coil building as there is an opportunity to building together a piece, there is a sense of immediacy and personality leaving a bit of us on the clay using our hands, and its something that we believe that perhaps using the throwing wheel wouldn’t be successfully achieved . How would my building affect Emily’s preferences, would I start building a tea pot with a straight side? Would Emily belly out the tea pot? How quick is Emily at coil building? Would she complete it while I am concentrated on a little area? Its all questions that are in our heads at the moment and will only be answered when we get into the making. We thought perhaps we could build the tea pot simultaneously where we could communicate and learning a bit of each other, maybe telling stories of our childhood, any secrets and in itself its a bit what happens when someone has tea with someone, there is communication, people talk to each other. How was your day? Any plans for the weekend? After completing our tea pot we thought maybe building each other a mugs and how we see each other into a mug and how could we represent each other visually or metaphorically.
We both looked and discussed that Emily likes, her preferences, the way she dresses, what she like to do? How does she like her tea? Does she have a ritual? What does she look on a mug or a tea pot?
When I think of Emily, I think of this laid-back crazy cat woman that loves layers and layers of wool jumpers with lots of colours. We also played a bit around with the idea of stereotypes and how all Swedish people love Ikea and which in fact she doesn’t. Moreover, she explain to me how she likes her tea and she drinks it with milk, like eww. In addition to that we looked into what her idea tea cup and teapot would look like. What glazes? Shape? So after all this information has been jammed in my head how am I going to translate this into a mug? I reckon ideas will pop up through out the week and as I get to know Emily.
If I had to describe myself, I am easy going, like things going my way, like exploring, nature, photography, details, family, homemade food, shoes, loveee shoes and sometimes its the simple things that matter. How do I like my tea? I like a range of teas including infusions as long we don’t add milk, don’t mind milk on coffee but my tea must always be black, so Emily, don’t you worry about making me a pitcher. The secret of a good cup of tea is the brewing time, its just essential, no rushing a cup of tea. Aesthetically I prefer my mugs quite simple with not much going on, sometimes the simpler the better, but Emily just thinks I like white mugs (and fish), but that is not right, I love the combination of form and glaze, shape and surface and how they compliment each other. How it fits in our hand is also very important. Is it a wide mug? Does that cool my tea quicker? So having a pretty design on a cup is not the only important thing. I like the sense of a mug being handmade, we can see that its been handled my someone, and this aspires onto the tea drinking and the whole experience.
We both looked at what would be “Our cup of tea” quite literally (bit of a play on words) and we actually have a few similarities and preferences. Of course there is the occasional tea pot with many thing coming out from it that Emily love and then the simple thrown mug exploring copper reds which I love but we always meet on the middle, sometimes with a bit of compromise but perhaps that would be the beauty of it, having different styles emerging together having conversations.