Sheffield shots of tea pots

Brew: Made by James Dixon and Sons of Sheffield circa 1870
Brew: Made by James Dixon and Sons of Sheffield circa 1870
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IT might seem like a potty project but, as these pictures show, the results are certainly s-mashing.

Sheffield photographer Luke Avery is currently snapping a different tea vessel for every single week of 2012.

Luke Avery

Luke Avery

And, as we go past the half way stage, it’s brewing up nicely.

“Why am I doing it?” considers the 28-year-old, of Palm Street, Walkley. “Because the teapot is such an ubiquitous object in this country - virtually every household has one - but you never really think what huge variety they come in.

“I was looking for a photography project for the year and FiftyTwo TeaPots just seemed like an interesting concept. It’s my British psyche, basically, I’m always thinking of tea.”

Right now, the pictures are being posted in an increasingly popular online gallery but Luke, a commercial photographer by trade, says the 52 shots will eventually form the centrepiece of a very English calendar and postcard set.

And ‘leafing’ through the pictures so far, there’s no doubt he’s ‘bagged’ some good ones.

Here are teapots bought in Canada, teapots bought in Japan and, naturally enough, teapots bought in China.

“I visited my sister while she was studying in Beijing,” notes Luke, who comes from Hampshire but moved to Sheffield for university. “You can’t go there and not get a teapot, can you?”

There’s also teapots made of ceramics, made of metal and made of glass; teapots which cost more than £100 and one that he picked up in the Tokyo equivalent of Poundland.

“I saw it in a 100 yen shop,” says Luke, who previously appeared in The Star after snapping a different Sheffielder for every day of 2010. “I thought ‘I’m having that’.”

His friends have lent him theirs. Fans of the blog have sent him some (“I return them of course”). And he’s picked others up from charity shops.

And his grandparents, who were born, raised and live in Hampshire, have offered up a couple. They’re both family heirlooms and, by coincidence, they were made right here in Sheffield.

“It’s lovely we had this link to the city before I moved here,” says Luke. “I love those kettles. They’re both made of metal and are real works of art. They’ve been in the family since the 1800s. One was made by Joseph Fenton and Sons and the other by James Dixon and Sons.”

And now? Well, Luke has got a touch behind. This is week 31 of the year and he’s only on teapot 23.

That’s partially because he’s spent some time travelling with work and partially because he needs for more vessels.

“If any of your readers have interesting teapots with interesting stories,” he says, “I’d be delighted to hear from them.”

He thinks a moment.

“It’s been far more popular than I ever thought, and that’s great,” he says. “It’s also meant we’ve ended up with a houseful of teapots and that’s great too.”

Have a teapot Luke should picture? Email info@luke-avery.com or visit his gallery at www.52teapots.co.uk