Black Dog

Heavily grogged black stoneware ceramic sculpture.

25cm x 19cm x 30cm.


Churchill's famous term for his own depression, Black Dog is a piece about self-medicating (in this case with alcohol) in an attempt to cope with the situation.

The 'dog' is based on the molecular structure for alcohol (or more accurately, ethanol).


The Oxygen molecule forms the head.
The two Carbon molecules form the body.
The six Hydrogen molecules form the legs, nose and tail.

The clay is red until you fire it when it turns to a dark brown/black. The texture is due to the grog - crushed and fired clay particles that give the clay enough support to hold it's shape when modelling and reduce shrinkage. It seemed to fit as a visual reference with the idea of someone having a rough time.

The cheeky air hole is for the practical purpose of releasing air as the clay is fired. The sculpture is hollowed out and without an escape hole it would explode in the kiln. It is also a nod to the human spirit and the notion that even in the midst of suffering people can still have the capacity for humour.