Blobs and sea squirts and larvae, oh my!!!

Reported by Robert Kokenyesi, Ceramic Artist, Beachfront Pottery, Godfrey, IL, 62035, USA.

When you live on the coast you just never know when you’ll run into something news worthy.  How about the discovery (or re-discovery) of floating blobs in the ocean near Monterey Bay.  The national Geographic Magazine wrote about this, and below you can see pictures of the blobs.

Mysterious Ocean Blob Found for First Time in a Century

Scientists have confirmed the finding of a strange, elusive creature that hasn’t been conclusively seen since it was first described in 1900. The mysterious, blob-like animal was collected by a remotely operated vehicle deep in California’s Monterey Bay by scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

Could this blob be an actual living being? The part of the animal that’s easy to see is a translucent bag-like structure that can be several feet in size.  This bag (named the blob) traps food particles for a much smaller critter (little more than 3 inches long) who resides inside the blob.  The animal( stuck in it’s larval development stage) is a relative of seasquirts, and it spends all it’s life drifting in deep ocean currents.

How could this creature (whose latin name is Bathochordaeus charon) inspire creating ceramic pieces?  One inspiration comes from it’s elusive nature.  If there are animals whom we see once in every 116 years, could there be animals or other creatures that we haven’t seen in 500 years?  How about creatures whom we haven’t seen at all?  My ceramic sculpture series titled “Out of the Deep” is inspired by the thought of just how the moment looks and feels like when an unknown or unrecognizable creature emerges from the waves.

“Out of the Deep, II” by Robert Kokenyesi

While this sculpture of mine doesn’t look like the blob, the inspiration from long-hidden creatures helped me to create this piece in the series.  The emerging dark blue creature is getting the first glimpse of us, and it is deciding what to do. The lighter blue sheets of ocean water is just parting over it’s back.




The other inspiration that comes from the unexpected and ever changing shape of the blob. For my ceramic pieces the forming process to express such a changing/shifting shape is a major challenge.  I have tried my hand on the concept of the changing shape by making experimental versions of the “Ocean Currents” series. I’ll have to report on the progress in a future blog.


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