October 01, 2009

Wanted Madly: Pourtensious Tea Lights

It was my very special honor to sit down recently with artist Eric Sternfels, of Pourtensious.com, at the Hill Tea Bar in Philadelphia's Chestnut Hill area. Eric's tea-themed lighting sculptures are truly unique: not only is every lamp or chandelier different by way of the variety of chosen tea wares, but every piece looks as if the tea is being being poured from a tea pot!

To look at one of these creations fills one with excitement and whimsy, the depth of which I have yet to meet. This is by far, and no doubt will continue to be, my most coveted "Wanted Madly" item. I want all of them. I want my own tea cafe so that I can fill my space with them. I want everyone I know and has a tea house to buy one of them....

I am madly, madly in love.

The origins of his tea-themed sculptures came from his Mom's wedding shower in the 1950's. Each of her girlfriends gave her a different English floral china cup and saucer. It was his childhood chore to dust these (along with other knick-knacks). After his parents passed away, he found it hard to dispose of the array of cups and saucers that he never remembers ever being used, mind you... Further inspired by a group of Philadelphia found-object sculptors, and needing to replace a bland dining room chandelier, Eric designed his first "pourtensious" fixture, incorporating some of those cups. The rest, as they say, is history.

Each lamp, be it table side or hanging starts with a pot from which it visually depicts tea (or coffee, as he has worked with both themes) being poured into a cup, sitting upon a table or books. He generally works with pre-50's wares, giving each piece an antique flair. My favorite is this piece with the tablecloth (made of copper or brass).

The Hill Tea Bar has about 5-6 of his pieces on loan, although I can't imagine them wanting to get rid of these charming creations. Talk about setting the right ambiance in a tea house!!! Eric also creates collage pictures and greeting cards, also available on his website.

He has a few of his pieces in a few tea shops across the country. He would love to design the lighting for entire cafe, restaurant or bed & breakfast.

And ideas keep pouring in. Next up for Eric is a lone of plant holders which ingeniously use the chain and crystals pouring out from a watering can....another "Wanted Madly" item.

I cannot say enough great tings, not only about the humility and gentility of the artist, but every time I see his work, my face lights up!

1 comment:

Jason Witt said...

I agree with you completely. I can't see how this fellow won't be quite successful with his tea-themed creations. It seems like there's an endless market for him among tea lovers in America. And I'm one of them. I'd like a sculpture of a teapot pouring into a cup for my apartment. --Spirituality of Tea