I was recently asked if I knew anyone who might be able to assist in making the 'worlds largest clay teapot', a project that my company (iLoveToCreate) agreed to work on with a few girls from a marketing class at Fresno State University. The first person that came to mind was my friend from Phoenix who was in my ceramics class for about 8 years, William C. Solan. He has been known to make rather large pieces, and he knows quite a bit about engineering since that is his day job. Plus he is crazy enough to accept the challenge and put his heart and soul into it. I asked him and I hardly had to do any convincing before he said yes, and within a week or so he had taken the time off of work to come out here and make it happen.
He was here in the Fresno heat for almost 3 weeks working on this thing with the girls, and even though the conditions were less than optimal and things were going wrong left and right, he kept at it with a smile on his face and hardly a complaint. This was no small task....he was doing manual labor and lifting heavy blocks of clay for 10-12 hours a day and only took one day off the whole time he was here. I personally don't know how he did it, but he was committed to this teapot and to the girls. It was quite impressive.
Sadly, he was leaving the teapot site one day and got rear ended in his beloved Mini Cooper 'Jacques', which pushed him into the truck in front of him. He injured his back and was taken to the hospital, and the car was totaled. He loved the car like a child and I know this broke his heart. He also injured his back but I think he was less concerned with this than he was the car. It's good to have your priorities straight.
Because of the injury, he had to go back to Phoenix without being able to finish the teapot. Luckily the girls and my boss have been working frantically to get it done and make him proud. I made this plate in honor of all of his hard work and dedication...the teapot is self explanatory, the two lizards represents Bill's signature that he puts on all of his artwork which is a symbol of twin geckos, and the Union Jack is to salute poor Jacques the Mini Cooper, who will always be remembered for sacrificing his life for the good of the teapot project. May he rest in peace.