Reporting by Robert Kokenyesi, Ceramic Artist, Beachfront Pottery, Godfrey, IL 62035, USA.
The question of whether ocean-going animals leave behind any imprints, swirls, crushed water molecules in their wake have intrigued me for some time. This article brings scientific evidence that pieces of skin, with DNA, is released into the water as these animals swim.
The Published News Article
123RF/MarcHenauer Right off the top of our head, we could give you a list of 500 things we would rather do than catching and tagging a live shark. That is probably just as well since the current methods of baiting, hooking and monitoring sharks and other large fish is invasive and often prohibitively expensive.
Beachfront Pottery Pieces
The “Hint of a Shark” series were born out of my fascination of those invisible, but very plausible traces. The hint of a shark is an artistic approach to expose the presence of those traces that we do not normally see.
This is the very first completed piece in this series. There were two experimental pieces to determine if the white sheet of glass would settle on the depressed region of the shallow clay bowl. And then there was the experimentation on the use of India ink at the edges, and the pigments to use in the middle, to visualize cracks.
This is a slightly larger, and much better controlled piece. Here I achieved that the whit glass slumps towards the edge in a very appealing fashion. The center of the glass sheet crackles a lot more, and the red pattern turned out to be more dense than I envisioned.
This is the piece with more exaggerated claw-like feet, and with a more stretched overall shape.
Inspiration for Future Ceramic Pieces
There are several ways to follow up from the “Hint of a Shark” bowls. First, the shape of the bowls may be changed to look like an imprint of a shark, so like a stretched streamlined oval. Second, sculptural assemblies of several “warped tile” segments may recreate the water channel an animal has swum through. A warped tile is a geometric shape where the normally square or rectangular tile shape is folded to serve as the foot/stand part of the piece, and then the rest of the tile is curved. The end result is a flat, upward projecting sheet that can stand on the folded foot.
Other animal imprints (whales, dolphins, rays, etc.) may also be constructed along those two design ideas.