Pottery Economics pt. 1

P3033951This little teapot sits tucked into a corner of my kitchen counter, always ready, willing and able to brew just the right amount of tea to get my day started. It takes a level teaspoon if the the tea leaves are ‘fines’…a heaping spoonful if it’s whole leaf. I usually steep it much longer than advised…I like it strong, and a tea cosy keeps it piping hot.

Many of you will recognize it as Muchelney Pottery piece. I bought it about 20 years ago and think that I paid about 38 pounds for it. That’s about $60 bucks these days. I never did know if it was made by Johnny or Nick, and I long ago decided that I didn’t care. They are both brilliant makers and their partnership over many decades is admirable. Johnny and I were both teaboys at Winchcombe when we got our start, and his pottery in Somerset is a beautiful reflection of that grand old pottery.

It’s GIO (glazed inside only) with a beautifully flashed surface from the wood firing. It’s a very different form than my own aesthetic…a low slung body and a flat lid with no catch…but, it’s small scale negates the need for a more sophisticated lid and I like how the line from the low belly follows through the spout. It is stained with years of use and brings me daily comfort. P3033950 But back to Teapot Economics…If we round off some numbers we see the following:

365 days in year


20 – years in use


7,300 days


=1 Pot of tea per day

7,300 pots of tea total.

Cost of teapot = 38 British pounds sterling divided by 7,300 cups of tea = 0.0052 British pounds per serving. (That’s less than one U.S penny)

Final analysis – Excellent value for the money

Next up: The price of all the tea in China.


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