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Stacked toad teapot effigy and the mathematics of artistic license

The Stacked Toad Teapot Effigy is alive and well, so far.

After languishing at the back of a shelf in the studio for many weeks wrapped in damp paper towels and layers and layers of plastic film, the Stacked Toad Teapot Effigy has finally been fully sculpted and is drying, awaiting further surface treatment (terra sigillata and slips) and firings.  Between the last episode and now, I’ve added a new under-toad hanging upside down off of the main toad’s belly, and refined the detail of the piece, textured all the toads, and cleaned up the crannies.

If you’re having a tough time seeing why it’s a teapot effigy (and it is Toadlier than Teapotly), here’s a visual aid:

Remember the issue of pentadactyly in the studio and the fact that unlike the majority of tetrapods toads have only 4 digits on their front pair of limbs?  Here are the final numbers:  Potential (actual biological) toe count: 7 (# of toads) x 18 (# of toes each toad has) = 126!!  One hundred and twenty six toes on a piece that’s less than 12″ tall!  Yikes!  Does it have 126 toad toes?  No: Actual toe count = 108:   This is known as artistic license which can also be expressed as Biological digit defecit: 14.3%.  A close call! — it’s generally considered that greater than 15% and it becomes Grossly Inaccurate (over 25% and it’s just Wrong). There are, however, the requisite number of paratoid glands — 14 — in case you were wondering.  And, the flying insect “finial” has no toes at all — too tiny.

Posted by Allison on Mar 2nd 2009 05:09 pm | No Comments yet
| View art/clay,effigy vessels,increments,reptiles and amphibians,three star owl category

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