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The Porcelain Vertebrae

Updated: Nov 11, 2022

The Fragile Bone

Bones are the structure and scaffolding of every animal whether thats Mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. Bones come in all different shapes and sizes and they all share common features. Bones are living, made mostly of collagen, a growing tissue which allow the bones to grow with us, and calcium phosphate, a mineral which make them strong and hardens the framework.

"To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone." - Reba McEntire

As part of my studio practice for Year 3 I have made a porcelain replica of a single deer vertebrae, which is fiddly in general, but I have played around with the scale and made it 10 times the size. looking at scale is an interesting concept because the porcelain vertebrae I have made look so surreal for a deer bone, but it might be a perfect match for a giraffe bone for example, but its very unlikely to find a giraffe vertebrae hidden amongst the leaves in a West Sussex woods.


By recreating an already existing natural form I have given it a new function, not the one it had before which was to support a living being, but now it is making people aware of those once living beings. For what was once so small, strong, perfect and full of purpose, I have made it ten times the size and made it completely useless, it has no purpose other than to look nice and confuse people who have never seen a vertebrae before. Something that was once incredibly strong, I have recreated it using an incredibly fragile material and make it weaker whilst doing so, it's purely for aesthetic.

"Your bones are for life. Look after them and they will carry you far." - Susan Hampshire

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