Many years ago, when I was a very young engraver possessed of a certain whimsical inspiration but not the best of technical skills, I engraved 15 plates for a series that I titled "Tea Facts and Fiction." I remember that it was more important to me to get the ideas down than to achieve any refinement in drawing. (I had just had a baby, and any work was better than none at all). I came up with a few decent images, much silly-ness, but the series was afflicted by my complete ignorance of how to engrave lettering. I am sure that this experiment inspired me, a decade later, to study letter-engraving when we were living in London for a year. But that's another story. Recently, with the Tea Party in the news, I recalled my long-buried series. This evening, I dug Tea Facts and Fiction out of a box of my early work and photographed it. Christianitea is still my favorite image of the group.
The plates in the series are: Title page. What is tea? That is a good question. Is tea Animal? Tea Grazing. A mother tea nursing her young. Is tea Vegetable? (Tea as a root vegetable). A Tea Arbor. Is tea a nozious weed? (state workers spraying tea). Or is tea Mineral? Watch for falling tea. Because it is there. Christianitea. Colophon.