Sunburst Basslet Wall Sculpture by Barbara Melby-Burhans
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  • I bought this cast paper wall sculpture at People's Pottery in Willow Grove, PA, which closed down years ago
  • I love all different kinds of tropical fish because of their bright colors and unusual shapes
  • This wall sculpture cost me about $36, and I think that was reasonably priced, considering how unique this piece is
  • What I like about her style is that this piece really does have the look of paper mache, and that's something that I don't have in any of my other wall hangings

    • by Lisa Pellegrini
      TRUSTWORTHY

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      I bought this cast paper wall sculpture at People’s Pottery in Willow Grove, PA, which closed down years ago. They carried all kinds of handmade metal sculptures as well as art glass, ceramics, and jewelry. I love all different kinds of tropical fish because of their bright colors and unusual shapes. I have a couple of painted metal fish wall sculptures that I bought in another store, so I thought it would be a nice idea to hang this piece up in my bedroom along with those pieces. That was one of the things I liked about People’s Pottery. The artists expressed themselves by using all different types of media. This wall sculpture cost me about $36, and I think that was reasonably priced, considering how unique this piece is.

      Melby-Burhans creates her wall sculptures by using a combination of handmade paper, watercolor, and weaving techniques. It says on her website that she is known for her fish wall sculptures, but she also creates sculptures of cats, birds, insects, and lizards. The wall sculpture I


      purchased at People’s Pottery is of a sunburst basslet, which is a fish that I had never heard of before, but of course we learn something new every day. What I like about her style is that this piece really does have the look of paper mache, and that’s something that I don’t have in any of my other wall hangings. I can even see the fish’s scales, so this piece has some real texture to it. This is a fairly small piece (about six inches high and about eleven inches long), which means that I still have plenty of room on my wall to hang up other pieces.

      Melby-Burhans uses a variety of color themes in her work. Some examples are pastel tones, Caribbean tones, and autumn tones. She created my basslet wall sculpture using jewel tones, and the colors featured are lavender, deep purple, and turquoise. That is perfect for me, because I have many of those colors in other areas of my bedroom. I have a little stained glass mirror that has ...


      • purple and teal in it, and my bedspread has shades of aqua. I also have some glass collectibles that are either blue or purple. So by purchasing this wall sculpture, I was continuing with the blue and purple color theme.

        I love that color combination in this wall sculpture, especially the lavender and turquoise. They really pop. And I like the way that Melby-Burhans tried to make the fish look somewhat realistic by creating a ribbed pattern on his fins and tail. Then she created added interest in the piece by dotting his eyes, body, and tail with what looks like little metallic dollops of paint. She finished the piece off with a couple of squiggly lines of more metallic paint on his body and tail. You might think that all of those lines and dots would make the piece look busy, and to some extent, it does look pretty busy. But in many ways, those lines and marks add to the basslet’s charm and they give him more personality and warmth.

        I like the combination

        of paint and handmade paper, so I really admire the way Melby-Burhans used her imagination in putting those two media together. Her work has a style to it that I have never seen before. I think the colors of this basslet are beautiful, lively, and cheerful. So this wall sculpture really dresses up my room. The basslet almost looks like he is smiling, so he is a happy fish. That makes the piece even more cheerful to look at.

        I think anyone who likes marine life and likes to decorate their walls with fun pieces should go online and google “Barbara Melby-Burhans.” You will then notice the website “www.claypaper.com.” That is the website that features her whole collection of wall sculptures. There is something for all kinds of tastes, as long as you are an animal lover of one kind or another. I am very happy with this sunburst basslet wall sculpture, because I think he is a cute and amusing fish whose colors make him blend in perfectly with the decor in my bedroom.




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