Originally I wanted to make a piece of a woman holding a teapot—but after some reflection, I thought it would be more appropriate to make an image of me with a teapot in my hand… I figured that as I am the one that makes them, it should be me holding one!
I wanted the figure to be seated, expressing comfort and relaxation—things we associate with the act of taking tea—and the lifted eyebrows, as if to say “Oooh”, I am told, are things that I do. There are certain occasions where people take out their best silverware for company, and I wanted this teapot to be along those lines for this piece. I went back to much earlier designs for the form of the teapot, using the irregular planes as in “tea with Pablo” and “little jimmy”, and I used the textured surface rather than a polished surface because I wanted you to see the piece for its form, rather than for how it takes in its surroundings. The pot does refer to the bird teapots through the handle on the lid—and I came up with the rope motif for the handle as it is literally connecting the two pieces together.
I am wearing a parka in this work because I have noticed that every time I have tea outdoors, it always tastes better—and it brings back memories of times up north when I have had students in for tea—and they always wore their coats, no matter how long they stayed!
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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