Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

“communi-tea” Woven Teapot


  • Medium: oak, brass, antler (caribou), sinew
  • Size: 9.25 × 12 × 3.5 inches
  • Reference Code: LM81009

“Michael Massie often works within the idiom of Inuit traditions. He combines the domestic icon of the teapot — that focus of family communication — with images depicting an old woman struggling with a polar bear. Regarded as an extra mouth to feed by her family and easy prey for the bear, the wise woman fools both. When the bear attacks, she shoves her walking stick with her mitt down its throat. The bear chokes and dies and the old woman goes from being a burden to a provider of bear meat to her family.”

Extract from Contained by Gloria Hickey

Michael Massie

Michael Massie


Inuit, Métis

Happy Valley - Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

(1962- )

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.