I have been making dragonfly stuff for years. One of the first teapots I made has a dragonfly for the knob on the teapot lid. I still have that teapot it’s a light blueish-green. After I made that one (about a decade ago) I made a bunch of teapots and mugs with dragonflies on them and almost all of them were glazed oribe green – a dark green and one of my most favourite glazes from the West End Community Centre.
I gave all those teapots and mugs away. The only one I have is the first one. I had always meant to make myself an oribe green dragonfly teapot but I left that studio and that glaze before I made it. In fact, almost everything I made at the WECC I gave away. Sometimes I’m surprised at how little pottery I have from those days, but then I go to my Mom’s house, open her cupboards and see a collection of my very early works: the wonky bowls, the leaning mugs with the twisted handles, the out-of-proportion handled mugs, the casserole dish with the slightly peeling handles…
When I started making pottery on a regular basis again my main goal was to make a teapot, and that was what I did. When I was figuring out my initial three lines for the business I knew there was going to be a Dragonfly line. There will always be a Dragonfly line. If I make pottery without dragonflies involved somehow (either directly or on the periphery) then there would be something missing from what I’m doing.
So I started really practicing my teapots. I made a whole lot of them. I was making so many teapots that I wrote about my step by step process – I think I had teapots on the brain. Throughout my teapot practice I was challenged again and again. I have made a lot of dud teapots, either the glaze ran into the spout opening, or fused the lid to the pot, or the spout dribbled horribly, in Newfoundland they call this a “stingey teapot,” and I don’t sell, give away or use stingey teapots. Instead I collect them on top of my shelves in the studio, a reminder of how far I’ve come in a short time.
My teapots now are a lot better. And believe me, these teapots have to meet a very high standard – mine. But I think I got teapotted-out, so I decided to stop making them for a bit. I don’t mind if Dragonfly Teapots are rare, it kind of feels like they should be.
However I did have one Dragonfly Teapot on hand and I do believe it is THE BEST teapot I have ever made. I contemplated selling it and posted it online with this comment:
I love this teapot. It will be hard to part with. It should really go to a good home.
The day after it went up online I was visiting with one of my VIP clients, I was dropping off some new pottery for him when we started talking about teapots. During that conversation I realized that I actually know where all of the Dragonfly Teapots are – and not just the ones I’ve given to family and friends; I have sold a few but the funny thing is, I know all of the people who bought them. I was telling Mr. VIP about this, he loved the story and decided to by my best Dragonfly Teapot, so now I know where that one is too.
I know that as the business grows, as I get back into making more Dragonfly Teapots, it’s highly likely that a stranger will buy one and I may never know where it goes or what happens to it. But for now I’m going to relish this time, when I know where all of my Dragonfly Teapots are.