Handmade Ceramic Fish & Nature-based Art

Rochester, New York

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Joseph and Marjorie Lake

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Joseph and Marjorie Lake


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5 out of 5 stars
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About LakeCeramics

Sales 371
On Etsy since 2009

Family, Meet Fine Art.

Hey there! Thank you for checking out LakeCeramics, a family run business of entirely handmade items, based in upstate New York. All of our items are original, handmade, ceramic pieces, designed and created by husband and wife team Joe and Marjorie Lake. Currently we’re making an array of fishes, as well as turtle shells, and sculptures of frogs, slugs, and frog-shaped boxes.

The process of making our fish begins with Joe, the primary craftsman and fisherman of the team. When he has a good catch, Joe brings it home to make plaster molds of it facing left and right. He then presses slabs of clay into the molds, shaping and setting them, and creating the built-in hanging structure at the piece's most balanced point. Once they look cleanly crafted, he fires all the fish in a ceramics kiln before passing them to Marjorie, the primary artist of the team. From a long time love of creating art and a lifetime of practice, Marjorie has the knowledge of colors and skills with patterns to bring the stone-colored fish to life. Every type of fish requires a different set of translucent glazes in the right order of overlapping layers, and Marjorie has invented and memorized all of them. When she’s done the fishes are fired a final time, and they emerge almost as bright and beautiful as their models in nature. At long last they’re given to me, and I get to photograph them and share them with all of you, here on Etsy.

This same creative system is used for the turtle shells in the shop, except Joe shows his more artistic side with these. He finds and molds a real turtle shell, then makes a clay shell and fires it in a kiln same as he does with the fishes. The second firing however is done in a Western adaptation of traditionally Japanese raku kiln, with raku glazes. Many of our ceramics are glazed and fired in raku, as you’ll see by the smoke-black raw clay on the backs of some fish and all the shells. The intensity of raku and its capricious nature combine to create some of our most stunning pieces, and each and every one is unique and inimitable.

If you see any sculpture items in the shop, they are definitely a work of Marjorie’s! Frogs, toads, frog boxes, slugs, and every one of her sculptures are handmade and hand-glazed. These are entirely unique each time, and very difficult/scary to pack and ship, so we don’t list them online as often as other items. If you see one in the shop it is a rare and treasured find, and if you’re interested but don’t see any, shoot us a message. Maybe we have something “in the back”.

We’re so happy people love what we love doing, if you like our work please leave a review and if you have any questions please send us a message! It means a lot to us.

Signed by their daughter, photographer, and biggest fan,
Suzannah Lake

Shop policies

Last updated on November 6, 2014
These fish are glazed with layers of translucent glazes. Our photos show you the actual fish you are buying, but may not do justice to the colors that have been created by layering and multiple firing. We think that you will be pleased when you hold your fish in your hands.

Accepted payment methods

Paypal Mastercard Visa American Express Discover Apple Pay Klarna Giftcard
Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
Returns and exchanges
All fish are double boxed and packaged to arrive safely. We cannot be responsible for your items once they leave our hands. If a fish is damaged in transit, please contact us and we will forward copies of the USPS insurance forms.
We accept PayPal. Payment expected at time of purchase or receipt of revised invoice (if requested).

You do not need to have an account with Paypal!
When you check out, select the Paypal button and then select 'Use Your Credit Card' button.
The shipping costs noted in each listing is estimated for USPS. Delivery times are usually 2 - 6 days depending on your location. We also insure your package.

If shipping ends up being less than our estimate, we will refund accordingly. It is not our intent to profit from shipping charges.