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

Pegasus

 

In Greek mythology, Pegasus was sired by Poseidon and sprang from the gorgon Medusa's blood upon being decapitated by Perseus. The loyal Pegasus carried thunderbolts from Olympus to Zeus until he was tamed by Bellerophon and assisted the hero in slaying the Chimera. Like dragons, mythological winged or flying horses are also present in other cultures: Buraq in Islam, Chollima in Korea, Tianma in China, and the steed of the Norse Valkyries. I think the concept of flying horses were naturally to early man what our vision is today for flying cars. Artistically, this majestic creature evokes beauty, strength, and freedom. My first attempt at Pegasus shattered during the bisque firing (see clay version below), so I sculpted a second larger, and I think a much improved version. As always, thanks to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop, where I am given both guidance and the freedom to explore my creative outlet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pegasus - first version which shattered during bisque firing.

 

Concept sketch