Medusa

 

In Greek mythology Medusa was originally a beautiful maiden who was later turned into a gorgon, a winged creature with snakes prominently in place of hair, whose face turned onlookers to stone. She was slain by the hero Perseus who gave her head to Athena to adorn her shield. Coincidentally, it is said that Pegasus sprang from Medusa's body upon her death, and that Atlas was transformed into the Atlas Mountains when he tried to attack Perseus as he flew by with her severed head. The ancient Greeks used the Medusa image as a form of protection against bad spirits and the evil eye. Medusa was represented in ancient art as either hideous (with bulging eyes, boar tusks, and beard) or as a beautiful woman after the 5th century BC, often with tiny wings on her forehead. I like to think that Medusa, being the only mortal gorgon, was still beautiful while her other gordon sisters were not. This piece consumed a lot of time (and clay) to sculpt (there are 46 visible snake heads). Unfortunately I didn't hollow out the head sufficiently, and a vertical crack formed down her left eye. Repairing this was the main reason I chose to paint the entire piece, and based on the results there may be a Medusa 2.0 at some point in the future. A slab of petrified wood fittingly serves as the base. My thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.

 

Medusa

 

Medusa

 

 

Medusa

Medusa Wet Clay Model

MedusaMedusa Concept Sketch - iPad Pro with Apple Pencil

Rhinoceros

 

The rhinoceros is one of the largest land animals, weighing above 4,000 lbs (Indian rhinos can weigh up to 7,500 lbs). They compensate for their poor eyesight with better hearing and smell, and can live between 35 to 40 years. Their physical appearance (or that of their ancestors) may have contributed to the myth of the unicorns. Rhinos are highly endangered due to poaching for their horns which are actually thickly matted hair comprised of keratin. Since the 1970's their population has diminished by 90% worldwide. My inspiration to sculpt this magnificent beast in the rain came from a dream I had one night. Thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.

 

Rhinoceros in the Rain

 

Rhinoceros in the Rain

 

Rhinoceros in the Rain

 

Rhinoceros in the Rain

 

Rhinoceros in the Rain

Wet clay model

 

Concept sketch - done on iPad Pro with Apple Pencil

Dolphin Pod

 

Dolphins mate at all times of the year, and the pregnancy lasts typically 12 months. The females give birth in shallow waters, and newborn calves instinctively swim to the surface for their first breath upon birth. Other females in the pod may also act as nurse maids and help raise the young. Baby dolphins breastfeed for up to 3 years and will stay with the mother for 4 to 8 years. As a dolphin pod travels, the young are kept in the center for protection. Coincidentally, a Harvard trained psychologist used dolphin families as a metaphor for ideal parenting. I really enjoyed sculpting this piece which clearly is a variation on an earlier theme. Both works were also personal gifts with intended meaning. My thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.

 

Dolphin Pod

 

 

Dolpin Pod

 

Dolpin Pod

Wet clay model

 

Dolpin Pod

Wet clay model in progress

Dolpin Pod

Early concept sketch (iPad Pro with Apple Pencil)

Tuco

 

Tuco was born in the remote back woods of Maryland and was the discard from his litter as he was born with extra toes on his feet. We adopted him in 2006 from a toothless meth addict living in a squalid trailer with a rear projection TV, a satellite dish, and a coffee table full of unemptied ashtrays. When we brought him home we immediately dewormed him, and at the advice of our vet at the time, had his extra digits surgically removed. Unfortunately the procedure must have traumatized him because to this day he does not like anyone touching his paws. We figure Tuco is about 60 in human years as of 2017. The black fur is actually a dark ceramic glaze, same as the one used for my White Tiger. My thanks to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.

 Tuco

 

Tuco

 

Tuco

 

 

 

Tuco

Tuco (Top) and his ceramic tribute (Bottom).

 

Tuco

Tuco Wet Clay Model

Atlas

 

In Greek mythology Atlas was a Titan who was condemned by Zeus to hold up the skies for eternity after the Titanomachy, the war between the Olympian gods and the Titans. In ancient artworks, Atlas often symbolized endurance, eternity, and immensity. The Atlas mountains and the Atlantic Ocean are fittingly named after this Titan. For my model I chose a water bowl with the zodiac constellations to represent the heavens. Atlas crouches above the northern hemisphere, with his right knee atop Asia and his left foot planted firmly on California, symbolizing my cultural footing. Incidentally my first attempt shattered during bisque firing (see version 1.0 below), so the final model is actually a second version. Thanks always to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.

 

Atlas

 

Atlas

 

 

 

Atlas

Atlas 2.0 Wet Clay, I improved the sense of weight upon his shoulders and also added all 12 zodiac constellation symbols.

 

Atlas 1.0 Wet Clay,  The left arm and shoulder shattered during bisque firing.

 

Atlas

Atlas concept sketch