Eileen Braun’s ceramic work is heavily influenced by nature, in particular her love of the ocean and fascination with the mysteries that lie beneath it. The smooth organic shapes of her ceramics resemble oceanic creatures, such as sea urchins and blowfish, immediately striking and otherworldly. Eileen works with a medium that typically produces functional items, such as bowls, vases, and teapots. However, she takes the medium out of the realm of function and into the world of fine art. A piece may take the shape of a teapot but it has been transformed into a fish plugged with matches where the hot water would pour from, rendering it purely sculptural. This provides a sense of humor and surprise to the work. Eileen sketches many of the pieces before she sculpts them, and sees herself as an architect, building the foundation before she begins each piece. She has an enormous collection of tools, taken from her kitchen, trips to the hardware store, or objects found on walks. She particularly loves her collection of chopsticks, which she uses for delicate stippling on the surface of the clay. The careful detail and artistic craft of each piece is obvious, however, Eileen is able to make the work feel natural and infused with character. Her ability to balance perfection with imperfection is even more mystical than the sea creatures she interprets.