Aphrodite 

Aphrodite is one of the most popular Greek goddesses whose origin links to several other mythological female deities from the ancient world, including Astarte, Ishtar, Eos, and Isis. Her Roman counterpart was of course Venus, and both were associated with love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation. According to legend, Aphrodite arose from sea-foam as a fully grown adult in all her beauty. (I won't go into the details of where the sea-foam came from...) Classical artists almost invariably depicted her in the nude, and any representation of Aphrodite can be generally interpreted as the female ideal of that era (or at least from the artist's perspective). This work is the first of a set of three Aphrodite/Venus/Isis pieces I began sculpting during a record heat wave which is kind of appropriate since nothing can make the temperature rise as the raw beauty of the female form. My thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.

 

Aphrodite

 

Aphrodite

Unfortunately a stress crack formed down the center during glaze firing. She also acquired a couple of beauty marks on her left hip and side of breast from glaze bubbles.

 

Aphrodite

 

Aphrodite

 

Aphrodite

 

Aphrodite

 

Aphrodite

Moonlight shot

 

Aphrodite

 

Aphrodite

Wet clay model

Batman

 

I think every boy (including yours truly) has doodled a sketch of Batman at some point in his lifetime. And while many artists and writers have contributed to Bob Kane and Bill Finger's 1939 detective/superhero creation, my personal favorites are Frank Miller ("The Dark Knight Returns") and David Mazzucchelli ("Batman: Year One"). There is also another significant contributor who often goes missing in the list of notable Batman artists, and that person is Bob Ringwood, the costume designer for Tim Burton's Batman in 1989. I believe Ringwood was the first one to design the iconic cowl as a sculptural headpiece with an animalistic, dramatic effect giving it a charismatic screen presence of its own. The rest of Ringwood's costume had some hits and misses in my opinion, but the sculpted cowl with the expressive brow has reappeared in every cinematic incarnation of the hero since. This ceramic sculpture is my tribute to the legendary Dark Knight with a respectful nod to Ringwood's cowl, Mazzucchelli and Miller's military style utility belt, and to the original chest insignia (sans the yellow oval) that Bob Kane depicted on the Caped Crusader in his first appearance in "Detective Comics #27." My thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.

 

Batman

 

Batman

 

Batman

 

Batman

 

Batman

 

Batman

 

Batman

 

Batman

Wet clay model

Styracosaurus

 

Styracosaurs were a species of ceratopsian dinosaurs that lived during the Cretaceous Period (about 75 million years ago). They were comparable in size to the white rhinoceros and weighed about 3 tons. Their distinctive and elaborate frill spikes and massive horn were clearly mostly for self defense, and for whatever other purposes remain largely speculated. Styracosaurs are one of my favorite dinosaurs for their improbable appearance and cranial variability among species, leaving some room for artistic interpretation. I based my sculpture on the skull of a specimen at the American Museum of Natural History which had an unusually long nasal horn and pronounced brow ridges. In hindsight I may have made the tail on my version a bit long compared to the average styracosaur, but I'm sure there was an outlier somewhere among these fantastic beasts. My thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.

 

Styracosaurus

 

Styracosaurus

 

Styracosaurus

 

Styracosaurus

 

Styracosaurus

 

Styracosaurus

 

Styracosaurus

Wet clay model

Sun Wukong

 

Sun Wukong, also known as the Monkey King, is a fictional figure who features in a body of legends, which can be traced back to the period of the Song dynasty (960 to 1279 AD). He is best known for his role in the classic 16th century Chinese novel "Journey to the West." Sun Wukong possesses supernatural strength and various magical abilities. In the novel, his metal crown (ringlet) is actually a restraining device which shrinks at the command of his master Tang Sanzang, producing an unbearable headache. While there are countless interpretations of Sun Wukong, I chose to depict him in his golden armor (Song dynasty style, which he took from the dragons of the four seas) riding atop a speeding cloud (thanks to his cloud walking boots), holding his magical staff (which incidentally weighs 8.1 tons and can shrink to a size of a sewing needle which he tucks behind his ear). My thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.

 

Sun Wukong

 

Sun Wukong

The bottom of the staff bent as it softened during glaze firing - good thing this is a magical staff and was in the process of changing its size!

 

Sun Wukong

 

Sun Wukong

 

Sun Wukong

 

Sun Wukong

 

Sun Wukong

 

Sun Wukong

 

Sun Wukong

 

Sun Wukong

 

Sun Wukong

 

Sun Wukong

Wet clay model - work in progress

Flying Fish

 

Flying fish (Exocoetidae) are found in in tropical and sub-tropical sections of all oceans. They possess an extraordinary ability to leap out of the water and glide long distances, wind-assisted, to evade predators. One specimen was recorded gliding for 45 seconds over a distance of about 160 feet. Their aerodynamic bodies and fin curvature have striking similarity to modern aircraft fuselages and airfoils. As a food source, they are consumed in just about every oceanic culture, and their bright orange roe is a prevalent delicacy in Japan and Korea. Flying fish produce beautiful zig-zagging patterns on the water's surface as they take off, which I also wanted to capture as part of this piece. Four different shades of celadon glaze was used along with underglaze for the fish and the ocean. My thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.

 

Flying Fish

 

Flying Fish

 

Flying Fish

 

Flying Fish

 

Flying Fish

 

 Flying Fish

 

Flying Fish

 

Flying Fish

 

Flying FishFlying Fish

 

Flying Fish

Wet clay model