Art Elements Monthly Theme: Tidal Pool

The theme for May 2018 Art Elements Blog is Tidal Pool.

I have always wanted to see tidal pools, but have never had the opportunity (yet).

So with my ceramic pieces, I approach the inspiration with color and textures.

Marsha Neal Studio Ceramic Beads. Tidal Pool Glaze on Left. Ocean Textured pieces on Right.

Collections of objects from the ocean spanning from the 1980’s.

Through my younger years I collected and purchased items (sea shell shops* at the beach here in Delaware and in Florida on vacations). After college, when I began carving texture plates to use for my reverse printed textural pieces, I decided to make some pressed object texture plates as well. When I press these items into soft clay, I usually use a sponge to press the items in as many are fragile and have sharp edges.

*As an adult my mind struggles between the arguments about taking items from the ocean for human use and overexploitation of these marine resources and the though about how like insects, many of these life forms have hundreds of offspring, so hopefully a few can make it to reproductive age. But with what destruction we humans are doing here on earth, how can those few even get to that point. My heart is torn. I still love the ocean and the life there.

Bisque Fired Ceramic Clay Ocean Texture Plate

I have always loved marine creatures. The octopus swims the line of creepy and magical. Here is one I created with wool by needle felting over a pipe cleaner armature.

My First Needle Felted Octopus (based on the Blue Ringed Octopus).

And like anything else I make, my brain goes into what I call production mode: how to make these better, faster, and with a high quality and still enjoy the process. The three smaller ones below are not yet finished.

Various Sized and Stages of Needle Felted Octopus

Thanks for stopping by my blog for this Art Elements Themed Blog Hop for Tidal Pool. Please make sure to check out the other artists work:

AE Team Members:
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Marsha (you are here)
22 Responses to “Art Elements Monthly Theme: Tidal Pool”
  1. Jill Egan says:

    Oh you have a family of octopi, is that the correct word? I’m really enjoying seeing the diversity of this theme.
    I’m drooling over your texture plates, I want to touch them, if I were you I would have those on my wall

  2. Lesley Watt says:

    I’ve always loved your tide pool designs Marsha and I have one of those ocean textured pieces in pride of place in my bathroom. But oh those Octopuss’s (or whatever the plural is) ow freaking adorable are they – love them! Thank you for taking part in this months challenge.

  3. Oh my goodness i LOVE that texture plate! And I love that glaze, I too have several pieces from you in that color! And the felted octopi are wonderful!

  4. That texture plate you created is a feast for the eyes! So many shapes to play with when you create your beads & components. BUT THOSE OCTOPI…. OH MY! I am in love with those little creatures. You did a fabulous job with them. How fun!

  5. Kelly says:

    Um…I need one of those octopi so bad, you have NO IDEA. I love them…like desperately!!!! Unbelievable work! And that texture plate reminds me of fossils — I can’t wait to see what you do with it – it’s amazing!!!

  6. Leslie Pope says:

    I also love the ocean and it’s creatures. And of course Marsha you know I just love, love, love your Tidal Pool pieces.

    After seeing your octopi and some of your other needle felting creations, I might have to try it myself.

  7. Anita says:

    I really like the textures in your ceramic beads. The octopi are so cuddly-looking (though I’d be wary of cuddling a real one, lol…) And the texture plates are just magnificent – I feel like running my fingers over them!

  8. claire says:

    I need some of those texture plates as well! They are pieces of art themselves! But the octopus… they all could come and live with me! ALL of them! I so love them, your version as well as the real ones :)

  9. Raven says:

    Oh I LOVE your felted Octopi!! They are just so cool. I’m very new to needle felting and through it into my work now and then but still have yet to fully master using the technique for a whole piece in of itself. I love the spotted octopus and the personality in their eyes.
    Those textured plates are AWESOME!! I would display the plate just as it is in my own home but I’m also curious to know what it looks like when you use one for a textural piece! Love your work :D

  10. Kathy Lindemer says:

    I have a few of your ceramics in the tidal pool glaze that you posted and they are gorgeous. That is a wonderful color.
    Your octopi are so cute. I love the spots. When they are all done; they will make a darling little family.

  11. Windbent says:

    It great to see what inspires you, hear how thoughtful you are, and thanks for sharing different mediums.

  12. Cat says:

    Wow, just wow.
    I am in love with the texture plate, I would probably want to feel it all the time. What a fantastic look!

    And as I have always been a fan of octopuses, I have to love them too, no question about that :-D

  13. Love your texturall ceramic plates amazing. And your soft octopi are sweet!

  14. Niky Sayers says:

    I drooled all the way through your post Marsha, I love your components the colours and textures are stunning and your texture plate oh wow, and then your needle felted pieces are just adorable!

  15. Alysen says:

    Marsha, I think those little octopi are so cute and I just want to touch them and feel their texture! I’ve done needlefelting and know that it takes time. And let’s not forget the texture plates and beads which both leave me awestruck!! Really!

  16. Jenny says:

    yes – I shop those shops too – and debate with myself. I have always loved your tidepool texture – and the way it catches glaze. Are you still making lil dishes? Or maybe tidepool cabs. for me? Pretty please?

  17. Your ceramics always have such divine textures and depth of color. And those octopi are simply the most adorable. I have similar concerns about collecting/using shells. I have a small jar that was gifted to me, but I’ve never picked up any myself, possibly because my first trip to a beach didn’t happen until I was in college. I admire them in place, sometimes take a photo to remember. Even if the inhabitant of the shell is dead, I figure the shell itself serves a purpose in the ecosystem.

  18. The octopus is so sweet… and difficult to make, I presume, especially the tentacles! But the effort was worth it! Sometime I wonder about those shells in the stores – are they collected on the beaches or from the sea? Hopefully, people everywhere gradually realize how destructive we are and that we have to stop harming nature!

  19. Laney Mead says:

    I love the octo-pussies :D

  20. Caroline says:

    The texture plates are beautiful, the ceramics pieces from them remind me of fossil rocks you sometimes find on the beaches here. And the Octopi are wonderful, I love the character in their eyes!

  21. Sarajo Wentling says:

    OMG… I love your octopi!! So cute!

  22. Jen Cameron says:

    Those texture plates are so amazing! The beads and discs are some of my favorites and those octopi are adorable! I am so glad you participated in the challenge!

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