It's Tea Time!

It's tea time! How often we hear this sentence!

People from all walks of life sit together to enjoy a cup of tea for the relaxing sense of community and the aesthetic experience that accompanies it.

This work of art presents a radically different view of tea time and an opportunity to experience a contrast between the simulated design presented by the steam and the tactile, physical, "hands-on" design seen in the embroidered teapot.

The steam seen coming out of the spout of the teapot is displayed through a high-dynamic-range display that makes the viewer feel as if the steam is, in fact, on the front side of the embroidery instead of behind it. The hand-embroidered teapot was created with six colors harmonically blended together to form smooth transitions between light and shadow. The varying orientation of the individual stiches makes it appear three-dimensional and solid. The red and orange colors symbolize warmth, love, and passion.

The work contrasts two very different processes: the ancient craft of embroidery and cutting-edge technology. Both processes are designed to be compelling when experienced together so as to remind us that we live in a world where artistry from any source can be juxtaposed to create more expressive visual communication.

Technical Overview
It's Tea Time! consists of two parts: a handmade silk-shading embroidery of the famous Utah teapot and a fluid-dynamics simulation of steam displayed on a special high-dynamic-range display that is much brighter than a conventional monitor. The embroidery is mounted on a frame and attached to the front side of the display. When the dynamically changing steam is displayed on the monitor, it shines through the black cloth and gives the impression of a teapot filled with steaming hot tea.

Kirsten Lemke
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