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Who would have thought that sponges were so cool?

Updated: Mar 17

detail of Leucetta corticata (after E. Haeckel)
detail of Leucetta corticata (after E. Haeckel)

Recently, I was scrolling through "Die Kalkschwämme. Eine Monographie" by Ernst Haeckel and have since become giddy over sponges. They are amazingly varied, and simply bizarre little animals. Soon, I will be exploring glass sponges through my art, and the list of inspirational images is long!

Many of the source materials come from this amazing site of archived scientific publications: .

Haeckel's monograph can be found here. His book gives a broad overview of many kinds of sponges. Texts on specific types of sponges can be found on the above website.

For now, I just thought I'd share some of the progress pics of this new piece, inspired by Haeckel's illustration of Leucetta corticata.

Shea Wilkinson Шиа Вилкинсон

This piece was a tricky one to start, due to the continuous weaving of its branches. First, I machine stitched interweaving lines into the background. Then, I roughly laid down wool in a light tone and a shade, in order to keep the branches organized as being "over" or "under" one another. Once all the branches were arranged, I could start to bring it all into order and smooth out the coloring. The last 20% of the piece took 80% of the effort, as they say. There were so many cycles of deepening and blending midtones into the shadows and highlights. I could have kept going on and on, but at a certain point, you have to put your foot down and call it done.

Felted artwork, Leucetta Corticata
Leucetta corticata, 29.5 x 17 inches

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