Radiolarian, Kathryn Parsons

Made of porcelain, these miniature wall-sculptures were primarily inspired by exquisite old drawings of radiolarians (microscopic sea creatures) made by 19th century scientist Ernst Haeckel.

Making miniature porcelain radiolarian

This project was born from a delight in Haeckel's drawings, the increasing concerns about the ocean-life on this warming planet, and a desire to use porcelain to capture some of the intricate details and beauty of these tiny, precious life forms.

Not long after seeing Haeckel’s drawings for the first time, Kathryn was invited to visit the Natural History Museum, London. While there, the curator showed her some of Charles Darwin’s collection of barnacles. They were beautifully arranged, nestled in hand-made open-topped cardboard boxes.

Radiolarian Natural History Specimen boxes - handmade porcelain - Kathryn Parsons

For this collection of radiolarians the two strands of inspiration have come together - with handmade porcelain radiolarians displayed in handmade porcelain open-fronted specimen ‘boxes’.

These radiolarians are not copies of the ones that Haeckel drew. Instead, they are imagined to be new species, recently discovered and displayed here for the first time.

Some of these precious radiolarian sculptures are currently available for purchase - please contact Kathryn for details.

Porcelain Radiolarians, Kathryn Parsons (2019)

Miniature porcelain radiolarian, Kathryn Parsons (2019)