Seedpods: the Future?

Born in the Bronx and now living in New Jersey, Elaine Lorenz grew up influenced by both New York City and the countryside in Massachusetts’ Berkshire Mountains. Her parents were landscape painters who taught her to observe and appreciate the beauty of the natural world. Her father also had his own industrial design business in Manhattan, so she grew up working in his shop that produced the teaching aids that he designed. She received her M.F.A. from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Lorenz has had many solo exhibitions and has been included in group shows and sculpture sites, among them the Carter Burden Gallery in Soho. Her talents have earned her awards and fellowships including a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, NJ State Council on the Arts Fellowship Grants in 1988 and 1999, Athena Foundation Grant for Socrates Sculpture Park, a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Grant in 2001, and a Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellowship.

She says of her work: “Originally I was attracted to the burgeoning, ripe, and luscious forms of new seedpods. The complexity, color, and variety of the seeds’ protective covers are astounding and often supernatural in appearance. My research and interest soon shifted to the somber beauty of the dried, opened, and empty shells. I began to consider if they had merely given up their seeds for the season, or could they be the last of their kind? Would they ever be filled again? These thoughts resonated more with reality – global warming and human destruction of our world. In my mind the empty pods became metaphors for many things – species extinction, hunger, destruction of habitats and shelters – the natural world’s loss in general. My work depicts the remains of what once was, yet my hope is to spur viewers to consider the realities of loss and take actions to protect our future.” You can find more of her work at



Dried Anemone, 2017
Ceramic, acrylic stain (10″h x 13 x 13)

Banksia mouths, 2017
Ceramic, glaze (23.5″h x 10 x 9.5)

Bundle flower, 2017
Ceramic, acrylic stain (16″h x 14 x 14)

Buddha Nuts Nature Morte, 2017
Ceramic, oxide stain (10.5 “h x 15 x 12)

Eucalyptus Spray, 2017
Ceramic, steel, epoxy, paint (17.5″ x 24 x 18)

Balloon Pod, 2016
Ceramic, acrylic stain (18″h x 16 x 16)

Rise To It, 2016
Ceramic, acrylic stain (16″h x 19 x 15)

What Has Been Lost, 2016
Ceramic, acrylic stain (16″h x 16 x 14)

What Remains, 2016
Ceramic (28.5″h x 12 x 8)

Empty Promise, 2016
Ceramic, oxide stains, wood, steel (25″h x 18 x 13)


  1. gorgeous — a kind of natural Ikebana in these forms — which (sorry to argue) remind me less of death and destruction and more of cornucopias — the generous spilling of seeds like well-kept secrets whose time to share has come! New life for all!

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