Budgie Teapot - Angus Suttie

Budgie Teapot, Angus Suttie, 1985

Object Details

Date of making
Date of acquisition
Ceramics: handbuilt
Stoneware, glaze
H270mm x L350mm x W145mm
Collection Number

Maker Details

Tealing, Scotland
Place Trained
Whitelands College, Putney, London, Teacher training, 1979-1980; Camberwell School of Art, London, 1975-1979
Crafts Council Setting Up Grant, 1981


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Angus Suttie (1946-1993) created variations on well-known classic ceramic objects, such as teapots, plates or cups. Apart from brief experimentation with stoneware in the mid-1980s, Suttie used a red earthenware clay body formed into slabs for this works, which he hand built; layered, distorted and mutated and then finished with glazes, enamels and lustres to create unique dramatic pieces. Suttie was a pioneer in celebrating the plastic qualities of clay.

In the absence of a title this piece was named by then Crafts Council Collection Curator Mary Regan ‘The Budgie Teapot’ with Suttie’s approval. The Collection holds several of Suttie’s works and this piece was made early in his career - a year spent exclusively making teapots.

His work has not lost resonance and was included in the Crafts Council touring exhibition Deviants in 2007-2008.

Read more about related loans and exhibitions

Andrew Renton

“Transforming a functional object into a quirky living creature is fun. In doing so, Suttie joined a distinguished tradition of ceramic humour running back through Picasso’s zoomorphic pottery to early 18th-century teapots from Meissen or Staffordshire shaped like crouching men or camels.

There is a darker side to Budgie Teapot, however. It’s not only that AIDS killed Suttie at a tragically young age. The pot also embodies his anger at the politics of the day. ‘My work is saying, I don’t believe in what is happening. The government is stripping everything down to function but life is richer than that’.”

Andrew Renton

Andrew Renton, Head of Applied Art at National Museum of Wales.


From the Archive

Crafts Council Accession Record Card

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