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Installations and large scale projects

Seascape Shower - Piedmont, California

We built this commission for a marine biologist who teaches at UC Berkeley! He and his wife were remodelling their home and wanted to have a shower that creates an underwater experience!

This is my mock up of all of the walls in a flat view (obviously) The client has sent many photos of the fish and other organisms they want to feature. I added the reef elements and put everything together in a realistic setting.

Making field tile

We are using a steel tile cutter with a spring plunger. I didn't like using the plunger ...the slabs were desiged to yied 4 tiles each.

Every tile needs a quick smoothing of the edges....

These are the drying racks, The tiles are sitting on drywall boards. We also set a piece directly on top of the tiles for some period of time for compression, which helps them stay flat. At one time this entire room was completely full of tile boards.


After the tiles have gone through the bisque firing we store them in piles of 10, more would be too heavy.


Yes, each tile needs a little sanding to ensure the edges are free from any flashing and that there is no debris on the top surface.


Making the turtle

First I blow up the image of the turtle to what the wet size needs to be. Then I make a tracing of that on 6mil plastic.


Doug has made a special frame to premold the clay for the slab rolling process. We need a very large and thick slab for the turtle.


This is after one pass.

Now we check the slab to determine how much more length we need.


The slab weighs over 50 pounds so we cart it into th garage for sculpting.



After carving the slab down to create a ridge along the top, I place my plastic template over the clay and begin to trace off the design. Here we are making only the shell. The appendages have already been made ....

It's hard to cut up such a nice big piece but the best way to sculpt, dry, fire and install a piece this large is to cut it up ito pieces and the nature of the turtle's shell makes this easier.




Making the octopus

I needed a refined drawing/tracing of the octopus before I could sculpt it.

Here it is almost completed.

Here it is cut into pieces.

The final step was to add the porcelain buttons for the suckers.

Making the reefs

Making the seafan

All the mosaic pieces after tracing and cutting.

The same pieces after the bisque firing.

Glazing using sponge application and wax resist.

Making the fish

Here are some of the art elements drying out.

I have many referenes for the glazing process.