One of the hardest things about making art and/or craft is, the creation of a new idea or piece, and this one was no exception. For me, the idea for the form of a tea-pot can be the feeling - or how I feel - at the time of thinking up new ideas. I try to think of my past, what I’ve seen, heard, felt or imagined. When I am having a hard time thinking of a form, I tend to refer back to the Ulu shape.
The Ulu, (the women’s knife in Inuit culture, used in skinning, cutting and sewing), is an elemental form I have been referencing for many years. I can choose from the many different designs and work from there to come up with a design for a tea-pot.
This piece, “bi-tea-ing”, stemmed from an ulu design, and has been minimized to where I am concentrating on a part of the ulu - and how I can rework it as a design, it but still have a resemblance to the Ulu. Because it isn’t an obvious Ulu, I decided to give it a title which doesn’t refer to the Ulu at all. The title came about after the piece was actually put together for the first time and through my imagination, I could envision a prehistoric bird’s head that was biting on something…now this only came about in thought once the piece was put together - but if the title fits my thoughts, I tend to go with it, so this is how this one came about.
Massie’s work is a reflection of his mixed Inuit, Métis and Scottish heritage. In it, he investigates both traditional and contemporary themes. He has achieved renown for his innovative teapots that combine themes and symbols from his native Inuit culture with European traditions. Massie has been twice short-listed for the coveted Prix Saidye Bronfman and has an extensive international reputation. His work has been shown in North America and Europe, including the National Gallery of Canada. He was elected a member of Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 2011.
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