Hades: Keeper of the Balance


In the fall of 2010 I also worked on a large sculpture of a prehistoric predator called a hyenadon. This animal was a member of a group of carnivores called credonts, that no longer exist today. I was able to combine the features of modern day predators like lions, bears, and hyenas, to recreate this massive animal.

This piece was made using the solid building technique again. I also made the sculpting cart using plywood and large caster wheels to help me move the piece around in my studio and get it to the kilns. A lot of paddling and carving was used to rough out this initial form. The piece was then cut into multiple sections, hollowed out and reattached.

This piece took about a week to construct solid, and then 3 weeks to hollow out. The detail work over the surface included a lot of embellishments and texture from press molds and slip cast animal bones. In the surface of this piece there is an element of the cult of remembrance. This is a strong idea in romanticism that sees death as a part of nature that balances life.

The Komo Society masks of the Bamana people in Africa were a large part of the inspiration for this piece. Each mask is made using a collection of items over time. So bone, horns, hair, or claws, make the object more powerful as they’re added. These masks are also used in the trials of criminals and to keep order in the society. In the same way, I wanted  this piece to collect the bones of other animals over time, adding to its power as a predator.

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About Ariel Bowman

I grew up in Dallas, Texas where I learned to love nature, animals, and art. I graduated with a BFA in ceramics from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2011. I am currently working towards my MFA in ceramics at the University of Florida. This blog serves as a way for my friends and family, as well as anyone interested in my work, to view not only the finished pieces, but some of the process as well. You can subscribe to this blog to keep up to date on what I am currently working on in the studio, research, new sources, and exhibitions.
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One Response to Hades: Keeper of the Balance

  1. Clayton Bell says:

    Alton and Sweetie are good friends and I stopped by this morning and was taken by your art. Dryads piece in the corner and Hades, although I don’t have room for him. My wife and I are artists too. Love yer stuff! Ours is at artrocksstudio.us

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