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With My Afghan Brothers “Shona—ba—shona”

Three Cups of Tea is a direct representation of my experiences in Afghanistan — discussing tradition and celebrating a shared moment between Afghan and US soldiers. I conceptualized a teapot to convey peace and prosperity for the future, casting four main elements in light green glass to represent one of three colors on the Afghan flag (prosperity).

Underneath the glass finial remains the teapot’s lid, used as a visual description for unity between Afghan and US soldiers. The pierced brass text is Dari-Persian meaning “Shona ba Shona” or “Shoulder to Shoulder” working in everyday proximity with a Local National soldier. On the top of the lid, etched into the brass, is an American flag accompanied with unit army symbol. Across the domed inside sits the Afghanistan flag, and while holding the lid into the light between the two countries flags, the internal glass billet illuminates the text with a green glow. A gesture to say who we really are as Americans, an illumination to hope and peace for citizens of the world.

The large glass platter interprets a peaceful communion when serving someone tea. I intend to provide continual understanding and support those contained from the thoughts or experiences about war. It is through a visual depiction that helps fortify my voice within the art I create, and nothing brings me more peace to my world than making something for a healing discussion.

The glass handle was sketched directly on a large cast wedge billet, cut and coldworked. I referenced the shape of the handle to flow with the spout, and present contemplation for the user, to engage even further with the already deep content of the piece. Picking up a story like this will remind you of the fragile state in which it was created.