California Dream is a larger-than-life teapot made from recycled tin cans cut, pierced, pinked, and riveted with layers of images and symbolism. The “Golden State’s” reputation of abundance started with the gold rush, and then drew waves of settlers with stories of fertile valleys of vegetables and fruit.  Hollywood and Silicon Valley continue to inspire the world – California is where the future can be envisioned or re-invented every day.  The modern legends of California are rooted in reality but stretched to heroic proportions.

Teapot constructed from pre-printed steel from recycled tin containers, 10k gold, sterling silver and aluminum rivets, brass and stainless steel screws. 

22" height x 20" width at handle and spout x 7.25" depth

Available for purchase or exhibiton.
Retail Price: $32,000


California Dream YouTube presentation

California Dream is part of a series of teapots, coffee pots and chocolate pots based on historical pieces.  The dimensions of each reincarnation are enlarged two or three times that of the original as a “super-sized” commentary about our consumer society where more is better, even if you never wanted that much in the first place. 

My work does not seek value in its materials (tin cans), but asks us to re-evaluate how an object is valued in our material culture.  Does value exist because of when something was made; or who made it; or from the materials used? Or is value created by marketing, advertising and consumption? These recycled materials and exaggerated dimensions with historical references seek to reveal, examine, and perhaps re-evaluate the values of our consumer society. 

The design and concept of this teapot were evoked by an exquisite, Art Nouveau porcelain teapot (made in 1903) that was featured in a 1996 Christie’s auction catalog.  The prestigious auction acknowledged its unique iconic identity and sensuous, romantic style.  


Current work continues with a series titled: Bermaid, the California Collections. This is a group of 3-dimensional fruit crate lables and bracelets constructed from recycled tin containers. The fruit crate labels are attached to custom made "fruit crates" as a display for the bracelets. 


© Harriete Estel Berman 2005