When someone buys a very special gift, it deserves a special shelter. A friend was given a handmade tea pot, as much a piece of art as a functional vessel. It was on display in her kitchen, but she really wanted it to work as a teapot, which meant it needed a cozy.
On a trip to Vancouver, she spotted a felted teacozy in an art gallery. Rather than buying that cozy, she brought her intention home, inviting me to make a custom piece.
I started with a bell-shaped resist to make a seamless vessel. When I first felted the cozy, my family thought it resembled the sorting hat, a little too high and narrow in the crown for this teapot. Since the vine design turned out just as I imagined, cutting the excess fabric from the top allowed me to create the shape I needed.
An admirer of the larger felt flowers I’ve been making as wearable art, my client requested some smaller flowers for the cozy. Sizing them down took some experimentation, but ultimately was a great exercise.
The most difficult, and least enjoyable part of the process was determining how to price the final product. How to account for the time spent figuring out how to make the felt flowers smaller? What about the time spent sewing the top seam of the cozy, that might not have been necessary if my resist was a closer reflection of the true shape I needed? Should I make a second teapot cozy, I’ll trim the resist so it can be done seamlessly. Mistakes are learning opportunities, and a custom piece is always more expensive and time consuming than buying something off the rack. Ultimately, I’m grateful for the opportunity to try a new project and learn through the process.