Putting the 'T' in pot
Rankin woman brews impressive collection

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Apr 26/00) - To say something's brewing in the home of Rankin Inlet's Eva Nukapiak would be the understatement of the year.

Nukapiak has only been collecting tea pots for about seven years, but her collection has all ready reached a dizzying number of more than 300.

There's big ones, little ones, old ones, new ones, shiny ones, dull ones -- if you can imagine it as a tea pot, chances are good Nukapiak has it.

The first tea pot in Nukapiak's collection came as a gift from her brother.

Shortly afterwards, another loved one gave her a tea pot as a gift and a tradition was born.

"I didn't want to use the tea pots I was given by a loved one because they were too precious to me," says Nukapiak.

"So, I just kind of displayed them. Then people started noticing I had them and they started giving me tea pots. It just kept going from there."

Nukapiak has never met a tea pot she didn't like, but she easily picks out her favourite.

A jolly tea pot shaped and painted in the image of Santa Claus was given to her by her late husband and that holds the place closest to her heart.

"I also have a little ceramic one with a clock in it I got from my sister-in-law that is very dear to me."

Nukapiak has grown very attached to her collection. She even has one little brass-coloured pot she looks upon as the baby of the biggest tea pot in her collection.

And, of course, little brass has a little silver brother.

"I know all my pots and where they come from. If someone found a tea pot, they'd call me and I'd take it.

"I even have one from Mexico that one of my husband's co-workers brought to me."

Although there's more than 300 tea pots in her home, you won't find one actually making tea.

Nukapiak uses one to boil water, but the tea itself is made in an old coffee maker.

The other 300 odd all have their own place of honour in her home, but they're for lookin' -- not cookin'.

"When my sister-in-law gave me my clock tea pot for Christmas, she said in the year 2000 I couldn't collect any more and that would make it special because it would be the last one.

"I said OK, but I can't stop. I just can't say no to a good tea pot."