This rocking teapot made by Andrew Cope in 1995 does hold water but getting the tea into it would pose something of a problem. The way it plays on the teapot form appealed to us when we bought it at Beaver Galleries in the mid-1990s, and we also liked the wavy combed decoration and the inky-blue drip glaze which, in various colours, is a signature feature of work from this period.
In 1995, Cope was based at Clayworks Australia in Dandenong, Victoria. As a talented young post-graduate of Monash University’s Caulfield Campus, he had been offered a residency there in 1993. He ended up staying there for ten years, before setting up his own workshop at Byawatha in Rural Victoria in 2003. An article in Pottery in Australia/ The Journal of Australian Ceramics by Clayworks’ Fifi Campbell (42/3, 2003, pp. 80-81) describes the synergies that resulted from the ten year residency.
Our teapot, or at least the ‘teaboat’ exhibition series that it comes from, is mentioned in Cope’s entry in the 1996 Australian Potters’ Directory, as is his interest in synthetic wood ash glazes on manipulated thrown forms. David liked his work so much that he went back to buy this large (33 cm high) vase in shades of umber for my birthday. It remains his favourite piece, but I secretly like the teaboat better.
Clayworks had a large oil-fueled kiln which gave depth and richness to Cope’s glazes. A rectangular slab-built tray with combed surface and shino-type glaze attracted the H.R. Hughan Award in 1999, and was the starting point for a new series of trays and bowls (“Clayfever ’98 awards: The Victorian Ceramics Group’s Annual Exhibition. Review by Andrea Hylands”, Pottery in Australia, 38/1, 2000, pp.48-50).
Probably because he has been able to find a ready market for his work through regular solo exhibitions, Cope has a relatively small web presence – made even smaller recently when his Clayworks featured artist page was taken down in a website restructure. We haven’t had an opportunity to see his recent work, but there is evidence that he is still busy making a living as a ceramic artist, selling work through Skepsi, demonstrating throwing at the Warrandyte Expo in 2003, and making containers for sale through high-end pantry outlets.
Postscript: I understand he now lives with his family on a small farm in Byawatha in northeastern Victoria, using an old diary as a studio: see Taste and Talk at Indigo Cheese Co – 6 Oct ..
Cope signs his work by incising his full name on the base or side, often with the year as well.