✿❀ Would you like your home urinal, toilet bowl or wash basin to look like an orchid flower? ❀✿
At the age of 54 (in 2014) and brought up by strict Mormons in Salt Lake City, Clark Sorensen used to design costumes and video games in his former professions. Whilst he has ceased exercising digital playfulness and creative quirkiness through such a pursuit as releasing a video game depicting a Barbie doll doing gymnastics, he has found his ultimate calling in transforming the ugly and dirty into the pretty and glossy through the juxtaposition and contradiction of the functional and the pedestrian, and of the masculine and the feminine.
According to clarkmade.com:
The juxtaposition of contrasting beauty and functionality in a bathroom fixture typically seen in men’s public restrooms has lead Clark Sorensen around the world — from South Korea to Bermuda to Scotland. Sorensen’s art has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions and home design shows. Installed in 13 commercial locations and over 20 private residences, Sorensen’s one-of-a-kind, handcrafted urinal and sink sculptures are startlingly beautiful additions to any bathroom.
Using catchphrases such as “Flush With Beauty” and “Urination Refined”, modern sculptor Clark Sorensen creates fascinating and functional art in his San Francisco basement studio in the Mission District. Many of his oeuvres have been inspired by Nature, and are scaled to the dimension commensurate with the fixtures and amenities of toilets and latrines to accommodate gentlemen with refined taste and humour.
The shapes of his high-fire shiny porcelain urinals range from Snail Shell, Spiral Shell, Nautilus Shell, Pitcher Plant, Venus Fly Trap, Tulip, Poppy, Hibiscus, Lotus, Jack-In-The-Pulpit, Hollyhock, Easter Lily, Calla Lily and Sego Lily to Paphiopedilum and Cattleya, as well as what seem to be Cymbidium and Dendrobium.
Sorensen had exhibited eight new urinals at the opening of the annnual Pacific Orchid Exposition in 2005, where one of the urinals was in the shape of a saxophone in keeping with the show’s theme “Orchids And All That Jazz”. In 2008, Sorensen’s orchid urinals were featured at the Patrick Moore Gallery, San Diego, and at the California Orchid Exposition, San Francisco, and also at the Barton Grange Garden Centre, Preston, UK.
It is interesting to surmise as to why Sorensen has frequently choosen orchids as the subjects, given that there are many other kinds of flowers to choose from. Perhaps the reason could be that the morphological asymmetry of orchid flowers lends themselves very well to be adapted or modelled as urinals.
Clark Sorensen’s work has been twice featured at the Pacific Orchid Exposition chaired by Dennis Westler working in the gardening/landscaping sector at San Francisco, California. Having had first-hand experience of Sorensen in person in the same city, Westler has revealed to SoundEagle about the sculptor as follows in a post published in the Queensland Orchid Society Facebook Group:
… He is a really nice guy, and a skilled artist.…
… But I will add that he is not specifically inspired by orchids, and has other fixtures inspired by other things. At our show there were bathroom fixtures inspired by musical instruments, venus fly traps and other plant material as well as orchids. He is not an orchid grower himself, and strives to maintain the same level of accuracy in depiction regardless of what he is inspired by.
What is important about his work is the humor, the mixture of function and decoration, and the desire to enrich the home environment with expertly crafted objects. While the cost of production and shipping these things to the most distant possible part of the world is prohibitive, it is still great to get the word out about him to as many people as possible.
In case you were not aware, he does bidets and vanities. And commissions.
K-w SoundEagle It would be an addiction if it becomes an obsession that interferes with his life.
Besides, some artworks and everyday objects have been made into the shapes of various orchids. I have a candle that is very realistically shaped into a cattleya flower. Granted that orchid-shaped urinals are quite rare if not bizarre, they are nevertheless legitimate fixtures with practical utilitarian values; and to some connoisseurs, are highly desirable collectables, cultural capitals and status symbols.
Alison Viatos In other words it’s not going to burn any time soon ! LOL
A friend brought back a soap carved orchid from Bali – they are great carvers . Back to the urinal – I get that it’s a fashion statement & yes a $ amt is involved . Taking this toilet art to the ridiculous a urinal cake could be made to not only smell sweet but look good enough to eat !!
Alison Viatos Getting back to the original subject of orchid – i do believe the is an addictive nature to the very often overly beautiful & long lived bloom . After all plant hunters were often sent to their death to collect them from the wild for wealthy addicts . The book the orchid thief is a good read as is the true story of the 2 English travellers who were taken hostage while trekking in the jungle – looking for orchids !! It is well documented about the spell orchids have over the enthusiasts who collect & grow them – this could well be you !!!!
K-w SoundEagle Hi Alison,
It would be prudent of you to learn more about addiction and to use that word with greater caution.
Also, the demise of some plant hunters are/were not due to the “addiction” (to use your own word here) of their wealthy patrons or sponsors. Rather, it is/was due to the arduous nature of the expeditions, plus diseases, socio-political strife, poaching, isolation, means of communication and transportation, food and cultural differences, as well as geographical factors, climates, and other challenges and complications.
Alison Viatos Surly kw u would acknowledge the existent addictive nature of orchids . It is not just my opinion but well documented over the ages .Could it be that you are in denial ? This being the case why don’t you put the question to the group ? – for a fair assessment Independant of our opinions .
K-w SoundEagle Alison, it is quite clear that you have been mistaken and/or careless again. Please read my previous comments carefully. Also, please read up on addictions, and there are many types. Your understanding of addiction is that of a layperson, and very loose and inaccurate, not to mention the many recurrent problems and patterns with your logic and how you arrive at certain conclusions, both here and elsewhere since we were first acquainted.
K-w SoundEagle No reasonable and well informed person would rush to a conclusion that an(y) artist making a urinal in the shape of an orchid is sufficient to demonstrate or prove (by your own first statement above) that “Wow , this confirms that orchid’s are addictive ! Even when a bloke takes a pee he can see his beloved orchid !”
As for where, how and why you have erred in your later comments, I shall leave them to you to work them out in your own time and space.
Sharyn Kann As the wife of a “Once was a Plumber” – that is how he describes himself – I can only comment that if any flower lends itself to being used as a model for a urinal, surely it has to be a Paph!. As for addictions, I suspect that most of us Orchid Addicts are just compulsive acquirers. Not sure if that makes us addicts.
K-w SoundEagle The wife of a “Once was a Plumber” reminds SoundEagle of a lady living on the Wisteria Lane in the TV series “Desperate Housewives”.
There are diagnostics tools used by behavioural science professionals for determining whether and to what extent avid collectors, keen hobbyists, compulsive acquirers and obsessive hoarders suffer from addiction.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Sharyn. The weather has been much cooler and more bearable after the heavy storm a day or two ago.
- May Birthstone, Orchid Jewellery and Accessories (queenslandorchid.wordpress.com)
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- Superb Illustrations and Paintings of Paphiopedilum Shared in the Queensland Orchid Society Facebook Group (queenslandorchid.wordpress.com)
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