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The Art of Teapots exhibition at the Haan Museum in Lafayette showcases over 70 teapots by Indiana’s most prominent clay artists. The teapots vary from elegant to whimsical, and from functional to fanciful.

One of our favorites is a teapot by Jim Kemp that looks as if it’s ready to dance away on its four legs. There’s a colorful teapot by Marcy Neiditz with a 3-D flower lid, and a striking teapot with egrets, by George Debikey. Lenny Dowhie’s Tea Party has a built-in pouch to hold the miniature teacups.  An amazing teapot from Dan Engelke’s Hunger Series has gold-filled holes to emphasize the difference between the haves (the gold) and the have-nots (the empty spaces). Guests can vote for their favorites, and the five most popular teapots will be on an extended exhibition.

There are multiple teapots by Lafayette clay artist Scott Frankenberger. Guests who are familiar with Scott’s work will be surprised by some of the pieces in the exhibition.  They are not in his well-known red glaze. One resembles an elephant, with the trunk as the spout. Another is his “end of day” pot, which was made from left-over pieces. It has an interesting gnarled appearance.

Teapots are one of the most challenging forms for clay artists. So many parts need to fit together so that the lid fits well, the spout pours as it should, and the handle supports the weight of the pot. The artists’ interpretations of teapots make them unforgettable.

The exhibition is part of the regular museum tour. It will run from May 1 through July 31. Masks and social distancing required.

“Teapots are for potters what wedding cakes are for bakers--a proof of skillset and vision. Potters evaluate other potters by how well balanced their teapots are. That balance is not just in the ‘heft’ but also in the visual from all angles, the glazing, the concept and the presentation. It should look inviting and effortless. Teapots are a mile-marker over the years as individual styles and directions evolve.”

- Scott Frankenberger