Karen Jean Smith - Ceramics
Water Chestnuts: Art
Individual water chestnuts
"Fool the eye" technique
1st in a series of five
"August" is a series of five clay panels designed to be displayed in a vertical format, one beneath the other.
On each of the four tips of the nut grows a barbed spine that serves to secure the nut to the bottom of the water body or attach itself to a bird or animal, by way of the many barbs. These are very sharp and can be very painful if stepped on.
Each of the spine sculptures pictured here portrays the spines magnified many times.
People in other countries have long eaten the nuts of trapa natans, although there is now concern regarding toxic metals from polluted waters being absorbed into the soft tissue of the nuts. Also, they must be carefully boiled to eliminate a parasite that often lives in them.
"The Barbecue" is an imagining of how the water chestnuts might be cooked here in the United States - if only it were safe to do so.