Dry as a Fish, Side view Picture

Raku body, glowworm wood firing, cone 9-10 (we're uncertain about the back of the kiln.)

Side view

Fish are a common symbol in world myth, being associated with fertility, virility, abundance, renewal and life. In Christian mythology, the mythosphere I grew up in, Jesus of Nazareth is associated with fish not only because of his followers fishing habits, but also as a symbol of resurrection and renewal. Jesus fed his followers and those who came to listen to him miraculously with fish, he used fish to pay taxes (well, the money paid the taxes, but the coin was in a fish's mouth) and he used fish to show his men that abundance comes from God.

Of course, while thinking about the piece I was looking at plenty of other myths, and found a Native American Myth attributed to the Maliseet of the Northwest Woodland. While I don't claim to understand the cultural meaning of the myth it appealed to me, and so I've named the piece after it.

The Impounded Water

Aglabem kept back all the water in the world, so that rivers stopped flowing, and lakes dried up, and the people everywhere began dying of thirst. As a last resort, hey sent a messenger to him to ask him to give the people water, but he refused, and gave the messenger only a drink from the water in which he washed. But this was not enough to satisfy even the thirst of one. Then the people began complaining, some saying, "I'm as dry as a fish," "I'm as dry as a frog," "I'm as dry as a turtle," "I'm as dry as a beaver," and the like, as they were on the verge of dying of thirst.

At last a great man was sent to Aglabem to beg him to release the water for the people. Aglabem refused, saying that he needed it himself to lie in. Then the messenger felled a tree, so that if fell on top of the monster and killed him. The body of this tree became the main river [St. John's River], and the branches became the tributary branches of the river, while the leaves became the ponds and the heads of these streams. As the waters flowed down to the villages of the people again, they plunged in to drink, and became transformed into the animals which they likened themselves when formerly complaining of their thirst.
Continue Reading: The Myths