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Curiouser and Curiouser 

These teapots are strangely beautiful

What does one look for in a teapot? Mr. Night is unqualified to answer, since he merely packs the loose tea between his cheek and gum, eschewing the pot entirely. But to his untrained eye, the examples in the Craft Alliance's (6640 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-725-1177 or new exhibit The Curious Teapot are almost all excellent representations of the genre. Trading a strict interpretation of function for a surreal exploration of form, these pots strive for whimsy and beauty, and often succeed. Donald Clark's pot — constructed of dice, Scrabble tiles and metal cubes — seems that it would spring a leak if used conventionally, while Kari Russell-Pool's teapot is a delicate lattice of blackberry vines that could never hold liquid but does serve as the bower for a lovely little bird. But as vessels of beauty, there is no doubt that they work and work well. The Curious Teapot opens with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. today and remains up through Sunday, March 5.
Jan. 13-March 5

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