2019 Sculptures

L-R: Porcelain teapot original design, handmade & painted high fire porcelain. Maquettes: The Cry, Flight, Last Man Standing, Achilles, Solitude, Three-Masted Bark, Dragon.

Besides volume and shape, my abiding interest is in surface and texture. The shipworm distressed mangrove wood provided the perfect surface, shapes, and aesthetic for this project facetiously titled The Diet of Worms.

Story Mask Project

These are colored sketches for a new porcelain mask project. It will be similar to the Mask as Self Portrait project, but are intended to be “story masks.” They are made using Aquarelle pencils, water brush, dip pens and color India inks.

Mask 5 Sketch
Mask 4 Sketch
Mask 3 Sketch
Mask 2 Sketch
Mask Sketch 1

Painting Heads

Painting heads has been a decade-long project with over 650 extant examples. Mr. Harris calls the pictures “heads,” as they are not true portraits, but representations of types, or the impression that a sitter or observed person projects. They range from informal sketches to wildly abstract versions of the real and imagined.

Most of the head paintings were made on iPhone or iPad using various painting apps. The impetus to use digital mobile devices to make art came from Mr. Harris’s longtime friend and colleague, Patricio Villarroel-Bórquez, a legendary musician and artist based in Paris.

The book Painting Heads is a teaser for a more complete volume that will contain the cream over 700 heads made over the last decade.


From The Diet of Worms

All the sculptures in this series are made from a stump of a mangrove tree found floating in Sarasota Bay four years ago. The wood was riddled with holes made by Teredo navalis, or the shipworm, a marine clam that bores into most woods in salt water environments. The shipworm was the bane of the wooden ship navies.

A friend, John Lynch, delivered it to my home where I let it dry out for two years. To make the sculptures I chiseled small pieces from a piece of the main root that had broken off when I accidentally dropped the stump. I glued and shaped these pieces into sculptures. The bases are stones and tiles rescued from building sites. The broken piece of the stump is in my studio, but the bulk of the mangrove is living in my Zen garden where it is being further distressed by termites.

The title is a word-play on the 1521 Diet (an assembly) of (at) Worms, convened by the Holy Roman Emporer, King Charles V, to address Martin Luther’s protestant uprising. In this case, the wood used to make the sculptures had been the diet of shipworms.

The Cry

The Last Man Standing
Three Masted Bark
Teredolites Plaza