Macro image of an orange sponge growing on pottery.
In 1999, I began making pottery to be placed in the ocean for the Seaworthy Project. The last of these pots were placed in 2003, and still lie in situ today. Over time, organisms have encrusted the pottery, forming a living and vibrant texture to the art. Thousands of various organisms live on the claybody: calcareous tube worms, muscles, sponges, tunicates, barnicles, coral, etc. Various fish, octopus, seahorse, starfish and many other underwater creatures also frequent the art! It's a wonderful symbiosis to observe; The organisms use the pottery for shelter and the art is embellished by the beauty of nature.
Pots for the Seaworthy Project have been placed in several sites around Key Largo, FL. Some were placed along a mangrove river, others near a coral reef or in sea grass beds. Some pots were even suspended 150 feet above the ocean floor at the Deep-Sea Array site.
Many pots have been destroyed over time. Some via vandalism and a few by boat anchor. Many have been lost to the elements themselves: The mangrove trees overgrow the arrays as they build their island and the pottery from the Deep-Sea Array have yet to be found.
There have been many contributors to this project: Photographers, Jeremy Prater and AJ McCoy, were essential in helping to document the process of the Seaworthy Project and the organisms on the pottery. Since 2001, Dr. Chris Olstad (Marine Lab, Key Largo) has been involved with the Seaworthy Project. He is the lead scientist; helping us with organism identification, engineering new sites, as well as, observing existing project sites. There have been many others, including my wife Renee, who have contributed to Seaworthy Project. Thank You!
It is my plan to continue placing more pottery in Key Largo. I also would like to expand to other areas of the world: I want to see what grows on the surface of my pottery under the artic ice or in a brine pool, deep on a sea floor. What will grow on the pottery if placed near a heat vent along the Marianas Trench? There is a lot to be discovered and a lot of questions to ask. I never know what I'll find when I dive and explore.