Photos and text by Robert Kokenyesi, Ceramic Artist at Beachfront Pottery, Godfrey, IL USA.
In a couple of preceding blog posts I showed examples of multitudes of ocean critter appearing out of nowhere, and by the virtue of the mass of these creatures we not only notice them, but form a completely unique impression of them. There was the post on the invasion of Florida coast by a particular jellyfish species (http://beachfrontpottery.com/blog/jellyfish-invasion-florida-atlantic-coast/), and then, just a short while ago I wrote a post on the swarm of crabs marching on the ocean floor (http://beachfrontpottery.com/blog/submersible-meets-swarm-crabs-ocean-floor/).
On a piece of pottery the multitude of critters provide a unique look. Imagine the Jellyfish Swarm platter below with only one white jellyfish. Not too impressive. Adding a few more gave this platter a more life-like appearance. The movement of the individual jellyfish are evident from the dented shapes of the jellyfish as they bump into each other while swarming. The idea was very similar with the jellyfish swarm trivet’ here the jellyfish are colored slightly differently.
Another example of the use of repeated ceramic elements is the Sargasso Sea, I wall hanging below. There are four rhomboid-like sheets representing the unending tiles of the ocean surface. And then there are the Sargasso weed shapes; the yellow rope-shaped pieces were formed individually, and the assembled on top of the rhomboid sheets. The jungle of the Sargasso weed would be very difficult to conjure without using the repeated elements.
Sargasso Sea, I by Robert Kokenyesi
The sculpture “Out of the Deep, II” is also the result of using repetitive elements. This sculpture depicts an ocean dweller creature (whether real or imagined) as it exits the deep waters of the oceans. The mass of the creature is made of pinched clay ropes. The pinched ropes are simple structures that by themselves couldn’t represent a creature, but when bundled together, and shaped/curved they create the impression of something substantial.