Spider-Man

"With great power comes great responsibility."

 

Spider-Man made his first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15 on June 5, 1962. While the historical facts of exactly who was responsible for creating Spider-Man when and how have been mired in conflicting anecdotes, there is little debate as to the significance of the contributions by Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko on the most recognized and beloved hero within the Marvel Universe, if not the entire superhero genre. Through a collaborative process known as the "Marvel Method," Ditko created the iconic costume and some of Spider-Man's unique powers, and Lee penned humanism into a hero defined by extraordinary but universally relatable situations. As Lee said, "What I like about the costume is that anybody reading Spider-Man in any part of the world can imagine that they themselves are under the costume. And that’s a good thing."

As an artist, it's hard for me to imagine what my life would have been without Stan Lee's contributions, arguably without whom the Marvel Universe and the superhero genre would not have flourished or even survived for that matter. The captivating modern-day mythologies with heroes like Spider-Man gave me an outlet to hone my drawing skills at an early age. I even remember decorating my very first Easter Egg with Spider-Man's mask, but I digress... The most challenging aspect of this ceramic sculpture was finding the right colors. Part of me didn't mind using an antique gold bronze like my Thor, Batman, and Superman, but a solid, bronze type look just didn't feel right for our acrobatic, friendly neighborhood web slinger. After fruitlessly searching for the perfect red and blue shades of glaze, I finally decided to use an acrylic wash over a black oxide underglaze for the optimum effect (also mimicking how classic comic books were first inked and then colored). Nuff said... Excelsior!!!   (My thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.)

 

Spider-Man

 

Spider-Man

 

Spider-Man

 

Spider-Man

 

Spider-Man

 

Spider-Man

 

Spider-Man

 

Spider-Man

 

Spider-Man

 

Spider-Man

Wet clay model

Isis Egyptian Goddess

 

Isis was one of the most popular and central deities worshipped not only in Egypt, but also throughout the ancient world. In Egyptian mythology, Isis was the consort and wife of Osiris, and mother of Horus. During the Hellenistic era, her characteristics became infused with other Greek deities such as Aphrodite and Io. There is even some controversy as to whether the worship of the Virgin Mary may have in part been influenced by the adoration of Isis prior to the rise of Christianity. From an artistic perspective, Isis's physical traits and iconography share similarities with other Egyptian goddesses, especially Hathor. Isis was also commonly represented as a winged goddess, sporting either physical or symbolic wings of a kite. For my sculpture, I gave Isis a sun disk crown with cow horns adorned with Uraeus (sacred cobra), and symbolic wings. Eight different glazes were used for a fully colored effect. My thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.

 

Isis Egyptian Goddess

 

Isis Egyptian Goddess

 

Isis Egyptian Goddess

 

Isis Egyptian Goddess

 

Isis Egyptian Goddess

 

Isis Egyptian Goddess

 

Isis Egyptian Goddess

 

Isis Egyptian Goddess

 

Isis Egyptian Goddess

 

Isis Egyptian Goddess

 

Isis Egyptian Goddess

Wet clay model

Red Panda

 

The Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens), is a mammal native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. Roughly the size of a domestic cat, the red panda's diet consists mainly of bamboo, with occasional birds, fish, eggs, vegetation, and insects. The term "panda" was actually first used to describe the red panda in the West. When giant pandas were introduced a few decades later, red pandas were relegated to "lesser pandas" or "red panda." Red Pandas live an average of 10 to 15 years, and as cute as they are, have not been broadly domesticated. They are also an endangered species with an estimated less than 10,000 mature pandas in the wild. I based this sculpture on a stock photo of a red panda atop a tree branch (red pandas love climbing and spending much of their time in trees). Seven different glaze types and colors were used, and no touch-up or acrylic paint was applied. My thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.

 

Red Panda

 

Red Panda

 

Red Panda

I had intended for the tips of the branches to function as ring holders, but don't think this is practical as the ceramic surface would scratch the soft metal on the rings.

 

Red Panda

 

Red Panda

 

Red Panda

 

Red Panda

 

Red Panda

 

Red Panda

Wet clay model (I changed the shape of the ears and face before bisque fire) 

Silver Surfer 

"Man? I am more than a man! I am the Silver Surfer! I am the Herald of Galactus!"  

- The Silver Surfer's first words spoken in the Marvel Universe. 

 

The brainchild of Jack Kirby, the Silver Surfer made his first appearance in 1966, in the issue of The Fantastic Four #48. The story goes that Kirby wanted to introduce a new character (without first consulting with Stan Lee) but also got tired of drawing space ships and decided to use a flying surfboard. (Kirby must have really hated drawing space ships because in the same issue, he literally cut and pasted stock photos of them!) Stan Lee liked Kirby's addition and later developed the back story of how Norrin Radd from Zen-La made his cursed sacrifice to become the Silver Surfer and slave to Galactus, the devourer of worlds. My motivation for sculpting the Silver Surfer was more mundane. I had ordered a couple of pints of Palladium glaze, initially for Batman; however, the glaze tests indicated it was too shiny for the Dark Knight. I immediately thought of the Silver Surfer, but had some reservations since he would need to be standing on his board (up to this point, all my subjects are either kneeling or sitting down). I settled on a pose that kept the center of gravity low and fairly balanced. Everything was fine until I absentmindedly picked him up from his torso after bisque firing. The weight of his board and base was too much for his ankles (which are also hollow) and he snapped off. The detachment points were however clean enough to apply some bisque cement, and he held enough in place for me to apply glaze. Unfortunately, the cement melted off during glaze firing and he came apart at the ankles inside the kiln, glaze-fusing him to the board and base sideways, and almost damaging the coils in the process. I was able to salvage the piece using a diamond tipped saw, repair putty, and acrylic paint. Most artists would have taken a hammer to it, but the Palladium glaze was just too glorious and mesmerizing as one can see from the pics below. My thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop

 

Silver Surfer

 

Silver Surfer

 

Silver Surfer

 

Silver Surfer

 

Silver Surfer

 

Silver SurferSilver Surfer

 

Silver SurferSilver Surfer

 

Silver Surfer

 

Silver Surfer

 

Silver Surfer

Wet clay model 

 

Tales of humans shapeshifting into animals, particularly wolves, foxes, coyotes, and similar canid creatures are found in almost all ancient myths across every continent. In some cases the werecreatures are mischievous entities, but in many others they are terrifying beasts that prey on humans. The werewolf, or wolf-man has had many interpretations on film and in art. With this work, I attempted to create a sculpture that depicts the transformation as the viewer rotates the piece. My thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.

 

Werewolf

 

Werewolf

 

Werewolf

 

Werewolf

 

Werewolf

 

Werewolf

 

Werewolf

 

Werewolf

Wet clay model