Sarah Duyer’s series of teapots and cups seem as if they’ve stopped mid-crawl on their insectoid legs. This series is fittingly titled “Comfort/Discomfort.” By taking objects that are traditionally tied to feelings of warmth and comfort and adding legs, Duyer has not only changed the form, but the emotion evoked by looking at the form is changed as well.
“Ceramic pieces are a part of our everyday lives and different forms can elicit different feelings and memories when they’re used. That includes everything from your grandmother’s china that sits precious and untouched in a cabinet until a special occasion, to your morning coffee mug that is a staple in your daily routine. In this series I wanted to explore the dichotomy of comfort and discomfort by altering those traditional, comforting forms and transforming them into something completely different,” Duyer explains.
Adding the legs to the teapots also presented an interesting technical problem for the artist to solve. “I wanted legs that were strong enough to support the weight of the body but still able to visually convey a sense of fragility,” Duyer says. The challenge comes from the clay itself: even though clay is easy to mold, you are still limited by how fragile the piece will be once it is fired.
“The series took a lot of trial and error to figure out how to attach the legs without them cracking or breaking from the weight of the teapot,” says Duyer. The end result is a series of teapots that are strangely imbued with character, and more than a little bit unsettling.