Steeped in Serendipity

You won’t find many teapots in the world with a design inspired by the human tongue.

However, the next time you feel compelled to see such a remarkable creation, you‘ll now be able to turn to the keepers of the World’s Largest Teapot Collection.

It’s all thanks to a remarkable transaction that took place between a Saskatchewan artist and a charitable foundation at the Creative Saskatchewan booth at SOFA Chicago in November of 2015.

Mary Lynn Podiluk with the Kamms at SOFA Chicago 2015

Three years ago, Saskatoon art jeweller and goldsmith Mary Lynn Podiluk created the teapot, called Metalanguage. “The teapot is the flagship piece of a body of work that draws on language and linguistics. The design itself is inspired by the human tongue as it relates to speech,” explained Podiluk.

In 2015, Podiluk joined several other Saskatchewan artists to participate in the Creative Saskatchewan exhibit at Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design Fair in Chicago. Hours before SOFA was set to begin, Podiluk set out on a Chicago gallery tour with her colleagues. At one stop, according to Podiluk, an amazing coincidence occurred. “My colleague Kimberly Fyfe struck up a conversation with the gallerist and with the Kamms, who happened to be visiting the gallery as well.”

Fyfe quickly discovered that the Kamms are Sonny and Gloria Kamm, founders of the Kamm Teapot Foundation. The foundation curates the world’s largest teapot collection, and features more than 17,000 teapots, tea sets and teapot related ephemera.

Knowing of Podiluk’s teapot, Fyfe called her over to meet the collectors. “After a short introduction, I mentioned Metalanguage to Mr. Kamm,” Podiluk explains. “He asked to see a photo. I showed him a picture on my cell phone, and he asked if we were at SOFA. I said we were, and he promised to visit our booth later that day.”

Kamm kept his word and showed up at the Creative Saskatchewan booth during the opening gala. Within minutes, the Kamm Foundation was the proud owner of Metalanguage. “I’m so honoured to have this particular work included in the remarkable Kamm collection,” said Podiluk.

The happenstance of randomly meeting the keepers of the world’s biggest teapot collection, when you’re an artist with a remarkable teapot for sale, is something Podiluk is still amazed by. “It’s so thrilling to have this transaction happen the way it did. It makes the sale all that more special,” Podiluk says.

While it’s romantic to consider the deal providence, Podiluk and other artists know very well that fortune, in fact, favours the bold. The Interim Chair of Creative Saskatchewan agrees. “This is precisely the kind of noteworthy sale that takes place at significant arts events like SOFA Chicago," said Susan Whitney. “This transaction, amongst others we made these past few days, illuminates how critical it is for Creative Saskatchewan and this province’s artists and craftspeople to physically be where art buyers are and to establish connections that will evolve into future sales,” Whitney said.


Steeped in Serendipity

Location: Chicago

Owner: Kamm Foundation