Saddleback College in California has an annual competition along those lines, and past years have produced fine work. Alas, for 2010, Saddleback decided that rather than a gallery with individual photos of each entry, they'd only post a PDF of the winning entries and honorable mentions.
But wait! Browsing a bit more, I came across this gallery from a teapot-themed competition/benefit-auction held by the AAW. That's the American Association of Woodturners. All those teapots are made of wood (or wood-like materials; one is made from corrugated cardboard). Woodworking is another area of interest to me, so, hey!, I get two-for-one pleasure from these. Here are several examples:
Some or most of the AAW teapots are purely decorative (I'd imagine you'd need to coat the interior with a food-safe varnish or polyurethane to actually brew tea in them). Some are more than obvious about being purely art pieces, like this one, and especially this delicate little number.
And then there's the piece shown below, by artist Binh Pho, made of maple and decorated with glass beads, pearls, and 14k gold; detail photo here: