/* Pinterest website claiming thingie */ /* That's it for the pinterest thingie */ Aberrant Ceramics: March 2010


Aberrant Ceramics is the artwork of Aaron Nosheny,
ceramic artist and potter in Tucson, Arizona.

I work in the medium of stoneware clay and make hand-built pottery, sculpture, hamsas, ornaments, masks, and a variety of other forms.

Self-taught artist on the autism spectrum. I like monsters, insects, weird animals, body horror, horror comedy, Halloween decorations, fast food mascots, kitsch – and all of these creep into my work, but there’s really no overarching theme. I feel like I'm frantically birthing as many clay monstrosities out into the world as I can.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Runes are symbols used as an early writing system for some Germanic and Scandinavian languages. They have since become popular as a New Age divinatory system.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Cancer Bunny

To continue with the Lewis Carroll theme of the Cheshire Cat, I made a White Rabbit Column. This is the second version.

The first version lost an ear somewhere in the bisquing/glazing process and was recruited to act as a scarecrow/guardian of my compost pit. Composting doesn't work well in the desert. Nothing rots except during the rainy season. Even then, there are no earthworms and I have to rely on fly larva as decomposers. During the rest of the year, my dog Leona eats the tomatoes, the rabbits and packrats eat the greens, and whatever is left over dries out and remains for a long time. Last summer, the implements used to stir the compost kept disappearing. First I lost a small shovel, and then the end of a broken clay pipe. I suspected feral desert children, so I wrote threatening messages on the one-eared white rabbit column reject (such as "Hi, I'm the Cancer Bunny! Go ahead and steal me, but I'm going to bring cancerous pestilence to you and your whole family if you do!") and buried it in the vegetable muck. It has remained in the compost pit ever since. Thank the gods for black magick.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Zombi Jesus Love

The Zombi Jesus Love objects did not sell at either of the sales over the last two weekends. Could it be that no one else finds this concept as profoundly amusing as I do?

Zombi is a valid alternate spelling, by the way.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tucson Museum of Art Craft Fair

The Tucson Museum of Art's Craft Fair was this weekend and my studio had a booth.

Between the street fair last weekend and the TMA sale this weekend, I sold 4 pieces for a total of $18, of which I get $12.60. It's a new record.

The sources for the molds; enquiring minds want to know.

Meerschaum pipe from Turkey

The small skulls come from this Dollar Store Halloween decoration.

The large skulls come from a Skull Night Light.

Bride of Frankenstein Halloween candle

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ancient Crinoid Pilgrim

Here is your creator god!

I have great respect for cultures whose gods were not envisioned in the image of their human creators and for science fiction writers whose aliens didn't resemble simplified human beings. Lovecraft wrote of an ancient race of aliens that colonized earth in the remote geological past and may have accidentally started life on earth. These beings, termed "primordial ones" or "elder things," do not have the appearance of idealized human archetypes but rather resemble crinoids or sea lilies, deep-sea, echinoderms with radial symmetry.

An interpretation of the Elder Things from The Call of Cthulhu RPG.

A Dungeons & Dragons interpretation of the Primordial Ones from the first edition of Deities & Demigods in which the authors used several fictional mythoi without permission from the authors (Lovecraft, Moorcock, Leiber) or their estates. They were forced to remove the chapters from later editions of the book, which is unfortunate because the book served as an introduction to those three authors for me and probably for other D&D geeks of the time.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Large Version of Warlock

A larger version of Ningauble the Warlock, this time with hands.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


This is the miniature used to represent my Dungeons & Dragons character. It's meant to be a warlock, an arcane spellcaster which draws his power from nameless entities beyond known space. I find it difficult to work with clay at this scale, but it's still larger than the plastic figures manufactured in China that are popular in the current incarnation of Dungeons & Dragons. I've been told my figure looks like a bear or like the character of Wimpy from the Popeye cartoon.

  • The figure and thus the character lacks hands, having lost them while performing some unspeakable ritual.

  • The character's name is Ningauble, a sorcerer in the short stories of Fritz Leiber.

  • I don't actually know how to role play unless I'm role playing myself. My main reason for playing D&D is to participate in Geek heritage, like an atheist Jew lighting Hannukah candles.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Grell Shroom

The best Dungeons & Dragons monsters were the ones influenced by H.P. Lovecraft - the mind flayers, the grell, and to a lesser extent the aboleth.

The grell was a floating brain with a sharp beak, no eyes, and a mass of tentacles.

The Grell Shroom uses a brain-textured mold from a grell toy.

My dog Leona also makes an appearance in this picture:

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cthulhu Madonna

I wanted to make a Cthulhu Nativity scene, but I only got as far as the Cthulhu Madonna. I think she looks saintly and chaste for an extradimensional monstrosity from the Far Realm.

One of the tentacles broke off and in my limited experience, broken clay sculptures are rarely successfully mended with glue. The hat looks like a mortar board, but it's meant to be the same headdress worn by the Duchess.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lira da Braccio

The source for this piece is The Treasury of Fantastic and Mythological Creatures by Richard Huber. This particular image is labeled "Grotesque face and female torso, from the body of a lira da braccio by Giovanni d'Andrea, Verona, 1511."

The lira da braccio was a violin-like stringed instrument of the Renaissance and since Giovanni d'Andrea the maker of lira da braccios lacks a Wikipedia page, I can only assume he was a pornographer who liked to combine images of bearded men and female breasts to whip the players of his instruments into an erotic frenzy.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

4th Avenue Street Fair

My pottery studio had a booth at the 4th Avenue Street Fair. I sold pots for a few hours this morning. 

One of my small mold ornaments sold for $4.00, which means I get $2.80 after the studio's 30% cut.

The mold is made from a Bride of Frankenstein Halloween decoration candle.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Crucifixion and Centipede Swastikas

The crucifixion scene was meant to be offensive. I wanted to see if obnoxious content matter affected the survival rate of my work. The cross lost most of its bottom section, which could have been an accident or poor workmanship on my part, but the clay barbed wire looked like it had been wiped off the figure's forehead, which makes me think someone was offended. I was a little disappointed, but I guess the crucifixion was a success if it pissed someone off.

I found a plastic centipede with some leftover Halloween candy last year and it started an obsession with making molds. I made a swastika using the centipede mold and was curious to see if anyone at the studio would take offense.

The Nazi swastika actually rotates in the opposite direction, not that it matters. One person did actually ask me what the plaque-like object was for and I told her that I thought every Jewish household needed a clay swastika. She told me she was the daughter of Holocaust survivors and walked away, so I guess the question of whether a left-facing centipede swastika is offensive was answered. The use of a venomous, aggressive, many-legged horror to compose an alleged Nazi symbol could be interpreted as a statement on Nazism by an irreligious half-Jew, but I wouldn't want to insult the noble arthopods of the Sonoran desert with such an implication.

The centipede swastika mold was also used on the cap of this mushroom sculpture.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Anomalocaris means "odd shrimp" (although I remember how to spell it using
ano malo which means bad anus in Spanish, not to be confused with
año malo or bad year).

The odd shrimp it refers to is the shape of its mouthparts, which were thought to be a shrimp-like creature when the fossil was first discovered.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

Can't Sleep; Clown Will Eat Me

The head of this column sculpture is based on the clown bed that Homer built for Bart in the Simpsons episode "Lisa's First Word."

Other Simpsons-related work, clockwise from the top:

  • Zombie marge surrounded by 13 skulls

  • Non-Zombie Marge

  • Two Maggie Simpson coins

  • Three Clay Collage faces containing portions of
    Maggie, C. Montgomery Burns, and Lisa respectively.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Duchess

The character of the Duchess is often left out of film versions of Alice.

Perhaps the filmmakers are afraid of confusing the viewer with another unstable, violent, confusing female authority figure. Perhaps it is the demented songs that seem to promote child abuse (although who can resist joining in with the chorus of "Wow! wow! wow!"?)

Speak roughly to your little boy,
And beat him when he sneezes;
He only does it to annoy,
Because he knows it teases.

Wow! wow! wow!

One of John Tenniel's original illustrations of the Duchess from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

The Duchess was the first boss in American McGee's Alice PC game. If she catches up with you, she gnaws on your head in a gruesome way. When she is defeated, she sneezes her own head off.