Mississhippi's Madness

A place to share my creative pursuits

Ceramics: a fish?

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Okay, so I’m working on a vertical sculpture for my night ceramics class. Didn’t find out until the other night that it was supposed to be a marine based sculpture, so that kind of threw me. And, it was supposed to be abstract, which is not my strong suit. In fact, I would say that abstract and I aren’t on good terms at all. Detail oriented, control freak here.

So, I was sitting in class, feeling so unhappy with what I was creating that I told me teacher. She said that I needed to base my work back in reality as that was my strong suit. (She had seen the pelican I built at the first ceramics workshop I ever went to – she was the teacher of that workshop as well. see here for that piece) I think she appreciated that I tried, but I just can’t get my head into an abstract place at all.

So, I looked at this 6 inch diameter ball I had created and saw… nothing. I was just sticking sprigs on it with no inspiration, no enthusiasm at all. My teacher looked at it and said… ‘It looks like it could be a puffer fish to me.’


I was so overwhelmed in trying to make an abstract piece that I was completely underwhelmed by the project, almost to the point that I wanted to walk away.

It was the last 20 minutes of class. I ripped away most of the sprigs and got to work on creating a puffer fish. I didn’t have much time, but this is where I left it on Tuesday night…

As you can see he’s pretty rough at this stage, but I was able to see him so clearly. Now just to add all those little spines. And to work out what other creatures are going to accompany him on his vertical journey. Luckily we are using paper clay so I have some leeway with changing the pieces I had already built. I’m not going for reality, just based in reality with a little humour thrown in.

No pressure, I’m just a few weeks behind everyone else! Aargh!!!!!


Author: Elaine

Artist, writer, married, mother, living with Ankylosing Spondylitis and winning (most of the time). My creative impulses have led me to drawing, pastel painting, writing, handcrafts and photography.

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