The tea pot ladies

THERE’S not even the hint of the scent of tea in the air as I walk into a room full of tea pots. The collection of carefully-painted pots sit in the middle of the table looking colourful and glowing with pride.

A group of art-loving ladies have a unique canvas for their latest project, CHRIS PEDLER writes.

The group’s teacher Estelle Marwood assures me that anyone can paint something this delicate – she obviously hasn’t seen my stick figure self portraits.

“Everybody can paint,” she says to me. “But you’ve got to want it for a start.”

“It’s just a matter of learning the traditional comma strokes.

“It’s like doing calligraphy with a brush and you learn to use that brush to shape the shape of what you want.

“Once you learn the basic strokes, you can learn anything. It’s how you press the brush and use that pressure.”

“You wouldn’t use it as tea pot, the heat would make it peel, so it’s just decorative.”

Each tea pot has it’s own story to tell. 

“We had to hunt them down,” Estelle said.

“It was part of the fun to buy them or find them in house, garage or at a sale.”

Estelle’s tea pot was given to her by her Dad who got it from a friend years ago.

The teapots will form part of an exhibition at the Eaglehawk Dahlia and Arts Festival.

Coupled with some knitted tea cosies, the colection will feature alongside The Home Cook Anne Morton’s cooking exhibition, which this year features cupcakes.

But something still bugs me. Where did the idea of painting tea pots come from?

“At the end of last year we got together to work out what (to paint) this year and the tea pot (idea) evolved right there and then,” Estelle said.

“This type of art originated in Europe where people painted their furniture.

“It was an idea of painting useful things. Most things we started painting were useful things. 

“In England, the canal boats have these styles of painting on them.”

But even after the ladies have returned to the canvas, there is no shortage of artistic adventure.

“Canvas is more adventurous because once get away from simple stroke work they develop other skills and move on more intricate work and fine art,” Estelle said.

See the food page for more tea pot details.

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