Because the surprise was a secret surprise I did not share pictures of the work in progress. Now that the secret is revealed you can see what you missed in this wannabe tutorial.
Getting inspired by the window hangings at the pottery, I admire so much.
There are more but stupid me didn't take pictures of all of them (or at least one good picture for that matter).
Pondering many a week about the design of the teapot, making sketches and roaming the internet for pictures of English teapots. The pots I found at the English Tea Store have been my main source of inspiration.
Turning the sketches into a paper stencil.
Asking a nice person to roll a big lump of clay flat and having this done putting the stencil onto the clay and carefully cutting around it with a sharp blade.
My favourite part: adding decoration. I don't have a picture of this part of the process because when I had finished my pattern a board was put on the teapot (on which it dried) and turned upside down to remove the cloth from the backside and I forgot to take a picture before.
Bisque firing. This is what it looked like at this point.
A closer look on the decoration:
Smoothing sharp edges and then painting it with manganese dioxide.
Another close look:
Firing it in the kiln once more and admiring the result.