We are surrounded daily by functional objects, beauty everywhere is easily overlooked when it is hidden in plain view. My fascination with teapots began when I grasped the beauty in its simplicity. Being overwhelmed in this simplicity of an epiphany was breathtaking. It was never important to me until I realized what I had overlooked—until I considered teapots a canvas for artistic expression.
Becoming obsessed with this practical object turned into an opportunity to make sense of the world. The teapot became a symbol in my eyes, one that could be recognized by people of all ages, languages, and different cultures. Throughout history teapots have be used as a canvas for expression through its maker or utilitarian user. This makes the teapot a greater symbol—one that can connect everyone on the principle of taking a moment to wind down, interact with each other, tell stories, or internally reflect.
I use flameworking, a glassblowing technique, to create these teapots. I use teapots as sculptural objects in my work because they are universal.
Within the manipulation of glass and fire a unique vessel is born. This inanimate object becomes vibrant and alive when juxtaposed in a foreign environment; I love how every teapot manifests its own personality in these installations of community. Reflecting light off of each other and playing with their surrounding environment, these teapots, in every viewing angle become their own story—their own conversation—their own idea—or forgotten memory that jars back to life right before ones eyes.
Since his first day melting glass into a clear marble, Sean Donlon has been drawn to the challenges of glass manipulation. Sean earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Craft and Material Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2012. He then traveled to Lauscha, Germany to study glass eye prosthetics from a third generation glass making family. In addition to receiving multiple research grants, Sean was a recipient of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts fellowship,and recently Craft + Designs 2016 Best in Show Award. He is currently a full-time artist and the founder of Mule Barn Craft Studios, a collaborative art space in Richmond, Virginia with a conceptual craft focus.