The most challenging part of this one was the base. Once the design was complete, I had to figure it out in 3-D form and then cut it from one piece of wood. I wanted to get away from the flowing lines and work with a playful image that could represent anything—from a bird to a goofy little creature. I wanted to make something different. While close to the master-drawing, there have been a few changes since then—namely the tail. At first, it was going to be a wooden tail—but the design called for a very slim tail… I figured that people would want to hold it by that…and this worried me. So I decided against this and chose to use horsehair. This way there would be no mistaking the base as the handle! All in all, it was a fun piece that I have wanted to make for a while.
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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