Surreal ceramic sculptures with shapes found in nature

Ceramist Carol Long creates detailed sculptures that capture the beauty of nature through their patterns and shapes.

Ceramicist Carol Long captures the delicate complexity of nature in her detailed ceramic sculptures. Many of their organically inspired pieces, with spinning spikes and twisted handles, have insect and wildlife inspired shapes.

The vessels that do not pay homage to the spectacular nature of the flora and fauna somewhere on their surfaces. Each of these ornate sculptures is created by hand, either on the lathe or that the artist builds them from slabs and extrusions.

Then comes the meticulous process of molding the piece into its final shape, peppered with details that mimic the patterns that appear in nature. Everything from butterfly and bird wings to caterpillars and pupae is present in Long’s ceramic pieces.

“Most of my shapes start with a discarded piece,” Long says. “I love outlining the shapes to make them look flowing, extending the handles into space, gliding the glaze on the surface designs to bring the whole piece together.

It is low-tech and time-consuming ”. Once sculpting is complete and the ceramic has completely dried, each piece is glazed and fired to cone 5. With these specifications, the kiln reaches temperatures of more than 1,150 degrees Celsius; and what was once soft, malleable clay solidifies into its final shape. “But”, explains the artist, “then I spend a lot of time dirtying them to make them look old and seem to have gone through a magical atmospheric fire.”

Long’s ceramic containers, whether they are towering vases or small covered bowls, manage to capture the fluidity and expressiveness of the medium with their curved lines and ragged handles and bases. These textured works of art almost take on a life of their own, as enchanting creatures born from nature and the artist’s own creative hands.