Inspiration Monday: Tidepools and Taihu Rocks

by | Mar 6, 2022 | Inspiration Monday

Inspiration Monday: Tidepools and Taihu Rocks

by | Mar 6, 2022 | Inspiration Monday | 0 comments


I’ve been asked to show some of my coffee clay spheres (see below) at an upcoming show at the Third Street Gallery in Moscow Idaho. 

The theme of the show is ‘Restoration’. 

Coffee-clay spheres are hand crafted objects that can serve a bioremediation function in degraded streams- definitely full grist for a future blog entry!

The ultimate intention is for these spheres to be site-specific installations. They integrate into their environment and change with time. So- how do you present these in a gallery setting?

I’ve been obsessed with wave and water-carved stone for a long time. I love the apertures that are inscribed in rock by peddles in tidal vortices, or the eddies in a cataract.

In some ways, this beauty-in-erosion is emblematic to me of the whole concept of ‘restoration’.

Ceramic Plankton

You can see these patterns in macro-scale in Volcanic rock in Hawaii and the Galapagos, or in finer detail in coastal tidepools.

I’m not the only admirer of these signals in stone… the Chinese obsession with Taihu Rocks is emblamatic of how ancient and broad this appreciation is.

So- my current plan is to try to render in abstraction some of these forms, and use them as a display base for the spheres.

Here are some initial experiements in raw clay….


Here’s an example of an effort that went too far (in my opinion). A bit too busy and mechanical in appearance… although it kind of evokes the Firefly from Serenity, which is all kind of awesome….

Dictyocha speculum

I’m still playing with surfacing… none of these early experiments are exactly what I’m after. In the end, I think I want a coarse, organic surface… and maybe a life gradient (from sterile/degraded to vibrant). 

I’ll post another entry when I’m finished (which will need to be soon, since the exhibition deadline is April 13).

David Roon

David Roon

An artist working at the interface of visual art and Conservation Biology, and a professor at the University of Idaho (Natural Resources and Society).

Mixed media and printmaking, with a strong grounding in ceramics. Exploring the interface between humans and the global biosphere (particularly coastal and marine ecosystems). Installation, sculpture, and ginormous functional pots.

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