It is important to look at Donald Frith’s teapots with a careful eye, and enjoy the combination of the technical expertise he uses in porcelain, precious woods, and acrylics to create a small teapot. Then, go back and look again. And remember, they are not only incredible works of art, they pour very well. An exhibition of Donald Frith’s teapots opens on September 1 at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art and will remain on view through October 29, 2017.
Donald Frith taught ceramics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, designed products for three pottery companies, and consulted internationally on design and production technology. He also wrote a definitive book, “Mold Making for Ceramics,” (1985) which is still in use today. During his long and distinguished career he received awards from the American Craft Council, the National Council on Education for Ceramic Artists, and the American Ceramic Society. It was after he retired in 1989, when he and his artist wife moved to Santa Maria, that he really began to perfect his high-tech, design-oriented fine craftsmanship into this new art form—a teapot with a flower blossom for the teapot body with an outlandish baroque handle made of beautiful wood. This is not Frith’s first exhibition at SLOMA. However, it is a special tribute to his mastery of ceramics—and particularly to his architecturally wonderful flower fantasies in the form of perfectly functional teapots.
Related Programming Thursday, September 7 at 12 PM: Art at High Noon with Donald Frith. Free and open to the public.