The yellow story
Chapter 1: part 2: TEA2
by Daria Lanz
Tea. Classic British culture loving a good cuppa.
I was never a huge tea drinker, having been raised in the hipster West Coast where strong coffee from independent shops is the primary fuel that pumps through everyone’s veins. Coffee rules more than any other bevvy, alcoholic and non.
So when I first moved to London I didn’t really partake in the tea-drinking as my other colleagues did. But I soon learned the etiquette of the office, in that at least one person gets up to make a tea every half an hour, and in doing so offers to make everyone in earshot a cup. I learned that it is the first thing to offer when someone is having a rough day—a cup of tea usually makes things marginally better. I learned of the long-standing debate on whether to put the milk in before or after the tea. And most recently, I also learned the difference between builders tea and high-tea. (how drinking tea—no matter what crockery it is served in—makes a man ‘tough’ like a ‘builder’ I’m still not sure…)
Considering all this, ‘tea’ felt a particularly great word to start Elise on, seeing as it has so much meaning routed in this city I live in now.
— Daria Lanz (@DariaLanz) 21 July 2016
Receiving her first unfinished piece in the mail was super exciting. Not surprisingly, I was blown away by the tipping tea-cups she’d drawn, and her attention to detail in the tea patterns is superb. Admittedly at first I was hesitant to make any mark on the board as I didn’t want to ruin what she’d done. I faffed around for a long time figuring out what to do before actually making my first mark: tea-staining the wood.
That’s right. I managed to get the TEA into my process. I sat down one night, made myself a cup of tea, made another cup of strawberry herbal tea, and proceeded to stain the wood with the red colour.
There was something in the way the tea cups were drawn with ballpoint pen, still very raw and scratchy. Yet they are beautiful dainty cups, with delicate patterns etched around them—I could imagine them sitting pristine in someone’s China-cabinet. I wanted to elaborate on this juxtaposition between the scratchy, unfinished pen work and the ornate detail on the cups.
So naturally, I called upon one of my favourite conversations from the Mad Hatter’s tea party. Alice, the Hatter and the March Hare are arguing over semantics when finally the Dormouse pipes in and shuts the entire party up. The lettering took me ages, but I’m relatively pleased with the results!
And, in case you’re wondering—yes I now drink loads of tea.
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