How was it made? An agate teapot

Ceramicist Michelle Erickson's contemporary work uses lost ceramic techniques to create historical narratives about political, social, and environmental issues – both past and present. Regardless of time frame, her works provide insightful commentary on the universal character of the human spirit.

Teapot and cover of solid 'agate' cream, brown and blue earthenware. Shell shaped, with moulded spout and dolphin handle, the cover with a moulded Buddhist lion decoration on the top
Teapot and cover, about 1750, Staffordshire, England. Museum no. CIRC.137-1931. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

During her residency at the V&A in 2012, Erickson recreated an 18th-century agateware teapot from our collection. Agateware uses different coloured clays to create a pattern that imitates the layered qualities of agate stone.

Watch as Erickson experiments with how the object was originally made. From measuring the existing teapot and preparing layers of clay, to firing and glazing, this process requires great skill and attention to detail.

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See how more objects were made on our YouTube channel.

Background image: © Victoria and Albert Museum, London