Fishing For Compliments.

A recurring theme in my part-time pottery hobby has been fish. It started one night when I was going through the instructor’s box of patterns and found a fish one, so I used it to make a pencil jar and a coffee mug, both of which now adorn my desk.

Also pictured: Mark Twain, Jon Pertwee, Patrick Star, and a few unmentionables.

Also pictured: Mark Twain, Jon Pertwee, Patrick Star, and a few unmentionables.

I also just made some flat fish for, er, some reason. They’re purely decorative.

schooloffishAnd that, combined with a desire to find a bigger project, gave me an idea. I started making more fish.

fishbowl1 fishbowl2 fishbowl3fishbowl4Then I formed them around a mold and a base. I applied vinegar, which makes clay stick to itself, gradually building up layers.

fishbowl5fishbowl6It’s a fish bowl. Get it?

fishbowl7I have no idea how this will ultimately turn out which is why I’m sharing the process with you now. Pottery tends to explode or fall apart or do other strange things and, as the saying goes, the journey is more important than the destination. So I’m sharing it now before the destination disintegrates.

22 Comments

  1. halfa1000miles

    CW!!!!! I love your damn fish!!!!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Aw shucks, yeah, I’ve thought about giving them away as prizes when I do one of those pop quizzes. Except my rule is: everybody plays, everybody wins. I should do that before my blog gets so popular I have to make more than a dozen fish.

      Reply
  2. Donna Kirner

    Looks cool! Hope it turns out. Reminds me of a school of fish that the dolphins herd into a bait ball.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That’s exactly the effect I was going for–a school of fish swimming in a circle!

      Reply
  3. Gilly Maddison

    Oh yes – ALWAYS the journey! Well said. But the journey with the fish is looking GOOD!
    And I Love that song too.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It’s ironic the fish are going in a circle given that I feel they’re really taking me somewhere.

      Reply
  4. mydangblog

    It’s gorgeous–can’t wait to see how it will turn out. And now Mishima’s jealous and all like, “Why can’t you make pottery fish too, instead of fixing a damn grandfather clock for the shed outside?!”

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I feel for Mishima, I really do, but he needs to understand there’s a big world outside his little bowl and you’ve only got time for so much.

      Reply
  5. Spoken Like A True Nut

    Love your random “just because” fish. They remind me of a stained glass fish mobile I had when I was a kid.

    You are making me really, really miss having access to a kiln. I might have to go hunting around for a studio so I can start throwing clay around again. Plus I’ve yet to have a piece explode on me and I feel like having something I made go *BOOM* is one of those things a person ought to accomplish before they die.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      My pottery instructor suggested turning the fish into a wind chime and I thought about doing that but decided to make the first batch decorative–that “just because” thing again.
      And I’ve had a couple of things explode in the kiln but I wasn’t around for it. I’m not sure a pottery explosion is all that satisfying anyway. A much better plan would be to make something, fill it with firecrackers, wrap it with primer cord then blow it up.
      Kind of like the M*A*S*H episode where Hawkeye builds a Washington Monument out of tongue depressors and blows it up.

      Reply
      1. Spoken Like A True Nut

        I actually did a wind chime once using star cutouts from a slab of clay I patterned using a piece of lace and a rolling pin. Came out pretty great, if I do say so myself. My parents still have it hanging in their back yard.

        My uncle used to build incredibly detailed model ships only to blow them up with fireworks in the back alley. There’s a reason he’s my favorite.

        Reply
  6. gerald Franquemont

    I like the fish concept in your pottery….thanks…good luck

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Thanks. I hope it turns out but the beauty of pottery is if it doesn’t work I can always start over and try again.

      Reply
  7. Mrs Fancy-Pants

    Looking forward to seeing the finished product! Love the fish in the second pic, are you using them as a wall decoration?

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      At the moment the fish in the second picture are just sitting in a box, along with some of my other pottery efforts waiting for a decision about their eventual fate. There’s a consignment store I know of that sells “weird stuff and cool things” and I’ve considered putting them there, if they’ll take ’em.

      Reply
  8. Ann Koplow

    No need to fish for compliments, Chris. I am so impressed with your fishy talents that I might commission you to do a rendering of “Fish Committing Suicide” which is a fish floating above water, attached to a balloon.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      The “Fish Committing Suicide” would be a fun commission and something I may have to try. It reminds me of a Far Side cartoon. Two fish are in a bowl on a table. On the floor is a fish skeleton. One of the fish in the bowl is saying, “Well I guess he made it. It’s been a week since he went over the wall.”

      Reply
  9. Pingback: The Finished Product. - Freethinkers Anonymous

  10. Kristine @MumRevised

    That is really amazing!
    I took the bait. Can’t wait to see the final product.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Oh, I’m afraid if you skip ahead a post or two you’ll see the final product. Spoiler alert: it didn’t turn out as nice as I hoped.

      Reply
  11. Michelle

    I was never any good at making sh… er I mean, STUFF with clay… my sister though, she’s slightly obsessed! Especially with pottery on a wheel! I tried that once and it was totally that scene in Ghost with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze, except The Naked Gun version.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That was pretty much my version too, but alone. Every time I sit down at the wheel I end up covered with clay. It’s very frustrating because a really good potter–like my instructor–makes it look so easy. But she also said it took her seven years of working at it daily to get that good.

      Reply

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