Blogs ... & Life its own self

Stream of Consciousness Backfires

In early March of 2015, I started working on a sculpture to put outside in the plantings by my front door. It quickly grew larger and larger … then morphed into a tall coral mound as seen in underwater reefs. As it got larger I began to wonder how on earth I would move it from my second floor studio to my kiln in the garage. I began to post on the subject in the Ceramic Arts Daily Forum as my quandary grew.

Needless to say, it got wrangled downstairs and into the kiln. I let it dry for a month then fired it … and of course, it exploded.


During that long month I made a few hundred fish to put around it and in the shrubbery along the walk.

I put holes in a hundred other fish so they could hang from the trees from thin fishing line.

I cut holes ito the bottom of others so they could be held up by sticks … others will be glued onto forms.

Yes, this is all made from colored clay.


Well as long as I was at it, I decided to make more coral mounds. These would be nifty areas to attach fish to or to have the fish swimming around. At this point they are all bisque fired only.


Not one to stop with an idea once I get going … I decided it needed sponges … lots of sponges.


My absolute favorite things in the ocean are anemones. 

There is always something living in them and they the favored habitat of the damsel fish …  also clown fish … the fish that is so aggressive we thank our lucky stars that they are so tiny. Oner quarter inch long and they will attack a diver’s mask trying to get you to leave..

So here I am, months later and I hope about half way through the project.

I have torn out all the shrubs from my front walkway leaving bare pine straw so I can now plant what I want to highlight my undersea Artwork. I’m thinking of a low retaining wall and short plants for the fish to peek in and out of.

When it is all placed my concern is that it will disappear and I will realize I need 600 more fish and a whole gaggle of ocean stuff. Luckily I don’t need a tank of air to get it done … I can stay on my reef as long as I need to.

Here are images of two other outdoor Art spaces in my yard ...


Workshop in the Woods


Last week I taught a colored clay workshop at Touchstone Center for Crafts in Pennsylvania. This is in the mountains, just southeast of Pittsburgh. 

The clay studio is in the open air, covered by a roof but not enclosed. There is a brook rushing by that we could hear all day long. Here is an image with some pieces drying in the sun.


They have been having an unusually wet summer, so the mossy rocks were flourishing everywhere.

It rained/drizzled for the first couple days but by Wednesday the sun came out and the weather was lovely.

I had a small group of very talented potters.


Here are some of the demo pieces I made during our week ...


… and below are some of the pieces my students made …


At the end of our week, I placed a fish I had made beside the stream in the woods because at one point in the week, she could have survived there just on the rain!!


I took four of the demo pieces home, never expecting them to survive the bumps of the long drive … but surprisingly, they made it.


I will post images of them fired as soon as they are dry and ready.

Copyright © Chris Campbell Pottery, LLC