Schoolhouse Beach Sculpture by Alex Mandli

We are so grateful to sculptor, Alex Mandli for donating his beautiful sculpture of Schoolhouse beach to the Washington Island Art and Nature Center. This is finally your opportunity to get a piece of Schoolhouse beach and Washington Island. The ANC will be selling raffle tickets at one dollar per ticket. Someone is going to be very lucky and we are so grateful for Alex's generousity.


A note from the artist:

I am a ceramic artist represented by the Edgewood Orchard Gallery in Fish Creek, Wisconsin. In 2012, I was invited by the Edgewood Orchard Gallery to participate in an exhibit entitled “ Door County Treasures “. Each artist was to submit a piece in the medium they were known for. When I began this piece, in January of 2012, my first thought about creating a piece for this show was the beauty of Schoolhouse Beach in Washington Harbor on Washington Island. I am always impressed that visitors to the beach are more than willing to use the rocks to create sculptures or totems. I was also stuck by the fact that many “human beings” were taking rocks from the beach prompting the good citizens of Washington Island to put up signs, warning of fines for doing so. Let me assure you that, “no Schoolhouse Beach rocks were damaged or stolen in the process of making this sculpture”.

About the piece:

The sculpture was made using white earthenware clay. The larger rocks were thrown on a potter’s wheel, then paddled and altered to look like a rock. The smaller rocks were made by hand. The finished ceramic rocks were then decorated with colored clay slip and fired in an electric kiln to make them permanent. The color of the base of the sculpture was selected to emulate the color of the sky and water on a warm summer day. The birch frame containing the rocks was taken from a construction site, where they were to be destroyed.

I originally wanted the sculpture to be played with. Viewers could construct and de-construct the sculpture just as visitors to Schoolhouse beach would do. These ceramic rocks are not as durable as the real rocks. The clay slip on the surface of these ceramic stones can chip. I suggest while the piece is on display that you discourage viewers from touching it.