Recreating an object from the past using the original methods is one of the best ways to understand both the object itself as well as the complexity of the process. It also provides a fresh appreciation for the skill of the original tradespeople, as well as the amount of time (and imagination) that went into making things by hand in the pre-mechanized era.
This novelty agateware teapot from the Victoria & Albert Museum was made in Staffordshire c1750-1765. It was intended to resemble natural agate stone with a swirling effect achieved through layering multicolored clay. The scallop shell shape was created by pressing a thrown base into a mold cast from actual shells, with additional pieces like the spout, handle, and lid made and added separately.
That's the short version of how the teapot was made. This video features Michelle Erickson, who was Ceramic Resident: World Class Maker at the V&A in 2012, recreating a replica of the original teapot, and showing exactly how labor-intensive that 18thc process was.
Above: Teapot, maker unknown, c1750-1765, Victoria & Albert Museum.