Becoming a Ctenophore

Along our coastline one will sometimes encounter little spherical jelly balls on the beach. I always loved running into these guys because I understand how beautiful they once were out in the ocean. In a past life, prior to the animal & art world, I wanted to be a marine biologist and Ctenophores were one of my favorites in the floating ocean zone. Also known as comb jellies, they are little eating machines consuming zooplankton in the ocean and estuary waters. They propel themselves using cilia and have dangling long comb- like strands to capture food. They are bioluminescent!  In other words, they generate a glow if disturbed (think of a boat at night passing through water and watching the wake behind. Sometimes it will glow green from these or other water critters). It’s a chemical thing. 🙂

Over the past several days I have been wondering what to do with the recent paper experiment. It was starting to take on an onion sort of feeling and I wanted to move far away from this notion. This morning I was reading through blogs I follow and I saw  the Draw and Shoot posting. Karen is an amazing photographer and artist and I was quite taken by the jellyfish she had photographed. Please check out her blog here. The her images reminded me of Ctenophores. The parts came together in my brain enough to follow a path.




Ctenophora4-geverettIt still has more to go. I’ve just started laying down the copper tape and I ran out of my 20g copper wire. That will be resolved in time. This is all an experiment that has become more interesting as it progresses. I would have loved this idea to pop up last year for the plankton show. Oh well, sometimes the brain takes a while to catch up with things. The Ctenophore will become a lighted wall piece. Maybe it needs some friends too.


Published by paperstew

I'm an artist in Albany Oregon focusing on paper and natural objects for inspiration.

4 thoughts on “Becoming a Ctenophore

    1. Thanks Anna! I might have even found a home for the first experiment even before it’s completed.
      Karen’s work is always impressive. It was nice to see something this morning that just clicked.

    1. Excellent Karen! Looking forward to your comb jelly post! I’m looking forward to finishing this first piece.
      Your work is incredible and it’s always a joy to see what you’re producing.

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