Wednesday, October 8, 2008

collaborative piece #2

Bruce Gholson of Bulldog Pottery in Seagrove has agreed to collaborate on a large platter together with me. He's going to add his fossil fish design in the middle of one of my large platters, possibly in the shape of a triskelion (triple spiral). I was inspired after talking to him about it the other day to design a new stamp for the outer area of the platter. I have a friend from way back in the early 70s who recently viewed my tree platters online and shot me an email with a link to a photographer, Clyde Butcher, who has some beautiful photographs of mangrove trees. My friend suggested I make a motif of mangrove trees. Well, here it is.
I remember mangrove trees growing in the waters of southern Florida, out in the backcountry and around the coastline of the Florida Keys, where I spent my summers as a kid and young adult. My father had a boys camp in Tavernier Key, and my friend and I ran it one summer when I was just 18. Many of the islands that dot the waters off the Keys start out as a single mangrove "fruit," a tuber that hangs down from the limbs of the mangrove. This tuber falls into the water and floats until it sometimes rests in the shallow water and begins to grow a tree. This tree can grow and eventually become an island.
The Florida Keys is a string of islands that juts off the bottom of Florida. On one side of the string of islands, you have the Gulf of Mexico, and you have miles and miles of shallow water with a variety of different sized islands. You can see mangrove trees everywhere. Their root system extends up above the water.
Anyways, I thought mangrove trees would be appropriate to adorn the outer edge of a platter with Bruce's fossil fish. You can see Bruce's work on his website (link above).
I spent most of a day carving the stamp. Okay, my days don't always start until late morning, but I did spend most of the afternoon on it. I'm excited about the collaboration, doing something new.
Collaboration among artists isn't new, but it can be a challenge. I'm hoping there will be some interesting results at the gala event of Celebration of Seagrove Potters, where collaborative pieces will be auctioned off.