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New Accession Highlight: Teapot

Teapot sculpture by Don Reitz

Donald L. Reitz, (American, 1929–2014), Teapot, 2006, Anagama wood-fired stoneware, 26 1/2 x 12 x 12 in., Gift of John W. Green, PhD (’63) and Carol L. H. Green, 2019.23.1

Portions of the first, second and third floors of the Chazen building are now open—make an appointment to visit—and the back area of the Pleasant T. Rowland Gallery holds a new accessions exhibit, featuring additions to the Chazen collection gathered from 2018 to now. We’d love to see you in the museum in person, but we’re also offering an online peek at each piece in the exhibit.

Today we’re featuring Teapot by artist Don Reitz, who spoke of his ceramics not as vessels, but as three-dimensional canvases, “which I can push, pull, strike and draw into.” The physicality of the work is evident in this “teapot.” This work was fired in an anagama kiln—an ancient type of kiln that originated in China. The anagama kiln uses wood as a heat source, rather than the typical electric or gas kilns that contemporary ceramicists often use.

Firing creates ash, which results in surface effects to which Reitz was drawn. He was also known for reviving the more-traditional technique of salt-glazing, in which salt added to the kiln during firing imparts a particular surface finish to ceramics. Don Reitz taught at the University of Wisconsin–Madison for 26 years.