“Poseidon” was created in a mask workshop. I took a pile of newspaper, crumpled it into a head-like shape to create a form, rolled a slab of stoneware sculpture white clay, and then draped it over the newspaper mold. Standing there looking at how the clay draped, I began to see the possibilities and starting carving. No planning, no forethought at all. Purely in the moment responding to the clay and the marks I was making – each one leading to the next until I felt I was done.

I lived with the bisqued form for several months, not sure what I was going to do with it. Then picking it up one day I said, “Finger bones!” and knew exactly how this needed to be finished. Yes, I’m completely serious. We’ve been using parts of sea creatures as adornment for centuries, it made sense to me that sea creatures would use parts of us likewise.

Using sprayers I applied 7 different colors of acrylic paint to build the base color. Then I began adding glass seed beads into the carving one at a time using beading tweezers, with white glue as the bonding agent. The bones were sculpted using Sculpey. Further embellishments were created using wire and semi-precious beads: jade, malachite, jasper, carnelian, moonstone and clear quartz. Poseidon’s beard was made using horse hair, humanely sourced. Of all the work that went into this piece, the beard took the longest to craft. What you see here is the second version of his beard. This mask was the fourth I made and like those that went before, was very much a learning curve. An enjoyable one!