Teapots: A Brief History of These Epic Vessels

Teapot with some tea stewing and a cup

I’m a little teapot, short and stout. This is my handle. This is my snout. Did we get that right? Well, it’s the famous old nursery rhyme that people say, isn’t it? Now you’ll have that stuck in your heads all day. Evil laugh.

But if you’re big tea drinkers like us (check out The Book of Tea for more inspiration), then you’ll have a teapot.

It just depends on how excellent that teapot of yours is. As such, today we’re taking a closer look at teapots and why they’re just, like, proper belting.

The History of Teapots

The Chinese went and created these things in the Yuan Dynasty. Kublai Khan established that circa 1271. So it’s fair to see the humble teapot is older than you are.

After reviewing The Beauty of Everyday Things by Yanagi Sōetsu we decided to go ahead and take a closer look at pottery-driven teapots and whatnot.

Such is the complexity of life, these things come in various shapes and sizes. Plenty of different materials are used to create them, too.

As a process it can be rather time-consuming and intricate, but the result is always beautiful to behold.

The teapot is curvaceous but immediately recognisable—there’s a distinct handle leading across to a bulbous middle section before the spout twists up to a conclusion.

So it kind of resembles an elephant, really, but it doesn’t make any of the trumpeting noises. Unless you have one of those steam teapots, yet even then it’ll only whistle on you.

Teapots and Culture

The humble teapot has inspired many great things about modern life. Such as Super Mario World—Nintendo’s classic is famous for featuring a teapot protagonist.

Teapots also have an unusual place in all of modern computer graphical technology. As you’ll behold in the below enlightening clip.

Martin Newell, a British computer scientist, used a 3D model of a teapot as a mathematical model.

Any computer graphics students out there will know exactly what we’re on about, apparently. Neat!


Dispense with some gibberish!

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