Wheel Thrown Ceramic Sculptures: Drawing Inspiration from the Pottery Wheel and from Nature

Last week I was throwing some dinner plates and I noticed a really cool texture as I was carving clay away from the wheel. The images below show how I start my 12” dinner plates by throwing a wide cylinder. I cut clay away with my wood knife before folding the lip down into a plate. While carving the clay away, I noticed an interesting squiggly coil.  I kept all of these funky clay coils and assembled them into snail sculptures.

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I added a rolled up coil of clay to the backs of these slugs, turning them into snails. I try to use a spiral texture on every piece of my pottery and most of my sculptures.  I like using this texture that occurs so often in nature because it helps relate my clay pieces to the natural world. Clay is harvest from nature, so I like to communicate this in my work. Spirals are found in the natural world as infinite shapes and sizes. Similarly, every one of my pots has qualities that set it apart from the rest. Even when I make plates over and over, no two plates will ever be exactly the same.

These pieces were also inspired by my visit to the Redwood Nation Forrest – totally overrun with Banana Slugs and snails.

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These taller sculptures shown below were also made on the pottery wheel, thrown in separate sections then attached. I want my sculptures to give the illusion that they grew from the ground. They remind me of rainforest mushrooms or plants. I’m having trouble coming up with names for these types of sculptures. Any suggestions?

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