modified teapots by david clarke ‘yeaha’ by david clarke




british silversmith david clarke is known for his unconventional approach to metalwork. he engages with and exposes ‘the rawness of silver’ in pieces that reappropriate the decorative functionality of ordinary objects, to the extent of experimenting with techniques such as the use of salt and lead to chemically burn away at silverware.


clarke juxtaposes the old and the new and playful and refined in a recent series of modified teapots on exhibition by ornamentum gallery during design miami/ 2011.

modified teapots by david clarke ‘brouhaha’




retaining the raw quality of certain solders and additions, clarke splits and recombines silver teapot pieces, at times transforming them into the suggestion of other objects– a woman, wood stove; at times giving them voice with an almost animated spirit; at times experimenting solely with the material aspects of patina, weight, and texture. he combines almost all with lead, juxtaposing the poisonous, unappreciated material with the valued one of silver, challenging the notions of status and intention. ‘it’s a journey through objects‘, clarke reflects of his design process.

modified teapots by david clarke ‘oohlala’




all the original teapots are purchased from ebay, where clarke notes: ‘I only bid on the most unwanted, most unloved; the ones closest to the [garbage] bin. I only buy the one that no one desires. I want to give them a new start in life, a second chance. they come to me; I study them, handle them; I cut them almost surgically, with precision, accuracy, and focus. at this point they are released from their history; they are free to start afresh.’

modified teapots by david clarke ‘miss de caff’


modified teapots by david clarke ‘gore blimey’


modified teapots by david clarke 3/4 frontal view


modified teapots by david clarke workshop


modified teapots by david clarke ‘3D sketching’: clarke’s design process is tactile and experimental




did you know that in 2008, new york-based ornamentum gallery (where clarke’s works were exhibited at this year’s event) became the first jewelry gallery ever to participate in design miami? read more about it in designboom’s coverage.