Mark Rooker
Grand-Prize Winner


Lemon Zinger Teapot ©
Materials: sterling, aluminum
Dimensions: 24" high x 7" wide x 7" deep
School: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Teachers: Alan Mette, Billie Theide
Metal-arts department head: Alan Mette, Billie Theide
Photo: Mark Rooker

How it was created: The "Lemon Zinger Teapot" was created in the spring of 1998 as an entry in the "A Loose Interpretation III" annual competitive teapot exhibition held by the Celestial Seasonings Tea Company. The design was jurried into the show and the finished piece received an Honorable Mention titled the "Mt. Chai" award. My teapot pushes the traditional functional and formal definition of what a teapot is, while still retaining full functionality [with the aid of this "Lemon Zinger Hot Pad"--see below] . Conceptually and formally it is an exploration of the streamlined and futuristic images found in science fiction art and toys of the 1940's, 50's, and 60's combined with a contemporary aesthetic.

The teapot took approximately 350 hours to produce, with around 50 hours of raising. My professors Billie Jean Theide and Alan Mette provided hours of expert critique, technical assistance, and encouragement, without which this piece could not have been accomplished.

The nose-cone, fuselage, and the tail section were first seamed and raised over wax from 18-gauge sterling sheet. The end cap and turbofan detail, pouring dam, rims and surface detail of half-round sterling wire were then soldered in place. All exterior surfaces were sanded using a metal lathe and coarse sandpaper to achieve a uniform texture. These surfaces were then selectively masked and exposed areas were sandblasted using extra coarse silica sand at high pressure. The insides of all the vessels were also sandblasted in this manner to create an even texture. The false seams and rivets were chased using a sharp scribe, and the yellow bands on the nose and tail were applied with spray enamel.

The legs were carved from .125-inch aluminum sheet, anodized, and dyed red. The joints were fabricated from 12- and 18-gauge sterling sheet and tubing. The sterling joints and anodized aluminum leg parts were force-fit together, drilled, pinned and reinforced with epoxy. These units were then tube-riveted together with aluminum tubing that had first been anodized and dyed red.

The tops of the feet were die formed from 22-gauge sterling and rims of 12-gauge square sterling wire were soldered in place. These were then finished using the lathe and sandpaper technique described earlier. The bottoms of the feet were cut frorn..126-inch aluminum, lathe-turned to cut the grooves, and then sanded. The tops and bottoms of the feet were then pinned together and reinforced with epoxy.

The hatch cover and wheel were fabricated from sterling sheet, wire, and tubing. The center cone of the turbofan was lathe-turned, anodized, and dyed red. It was drilled and pinned in place and reinforced with epoxy.

All sterling parts parts were silver plated before final assembly to provide a consistent surface and to eliminate firescale.

Lemon Zinger Hot Pad

Mark Rooker
201 N. Lynn St #30
Champaign, IL 61820
Tel: 217/355-3308
Fax: 217/244-7688




Work Experience

Awards and Honors