Memory Teapot

By The Arty Teacher - July 25, 2021

I have been meaning to share my memory teapot with you for quite some time.  I made it as an entry for ‘Grayson Perry’s Art Club‘ for the theme ‘Family’.  I was inspired by a comment Grayson Perry made about ‘Memory Jugs‘.  I didn’t know what they were and out of curiosity googled them.  I was drawn to the ugly/beautiful memory jugs that had been traditionally made in memory of people who had died.  Their surfaces are adorned with a magpie-like collection of broken china, glass and small objects.  For those of us who are prone to collect things, they are irresistible.

My memory teapot is a celebration of my immediate family and not the dead.  It is encrusted with the treasures of childhood and things you find at the back of the kitchen drawer.  Monopoly pieces sit alongside brownie badges and souvenirs from abroad. Screws, buttons and badges, and that key from your keyring that has been there for years and you don’t know what it’s for.

Memory Teapot inspired by Memory Jugs

This teapot is big.  I bought a 12 cup teapot especially for this project.  I would cover a small section in a thick layer of polyfiler and press the objects into it.  Very satisfying! I worked my way around the teapot until it was completely covered.  I needed far more bits and bobs than I originally thought.  My Mum and sister sent me items to add to it as well as my daughters and husband.

Memory Teapot

I can imagine doing this in the classroom with students.  Perhaps a teacup for each student?

Memory Teapot



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The Arty Teacher

Sarah Crowther is The Arty Teacher. She is a high school art teacher in the North West of England. She strives to share her enthusiasm for art by providing art teachers around the globe with high-quality resources and by sharing her expertise through this blog.

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6 responses to “Memory Teapot”

  1. Ruth says:

    Love the teapot. I’ve made a memory jar but did not like the adhesive I used – was rough and bumpy. Im hoping I can find a product like polyfiler here in the states.

    • The Arty Teacher says:

      Hi Ruth, Thank you for your comment. I’ve just googled what poly filler is in the States, and it says ‘Spackle’ is equivalent. Might be worth looking into? I really enjoyed making this teapot; now it’s a good memory of lockdown.

  2. Suzy says:

    Awesome. I remember 20 years ago doing a similar clay unit. We called it “ Container to hold inspiring quotes” we then learnt calligraphy and popped all our quotes into our Container.

    • The Arty Teacher says:

      Suzy, That sounds like an excellent project. I like art with words/text of some sort. It sounds like a wonderful challenge doing it on a clay container that the students have made themselves.

  3. JODI NELSON says:

    I love this teapot project! Do you have recommended place to buy polyfiller?
    Thanks or sharing this beautiful project!

    • The Arty Teacher says:

      Hi Jodi, I’m in the UK and bought a tub of polyfila from B&Q. I’m not sure what country you are in but any shop that has decorating supplies should stock it. Good luck if you have a go!

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