My roommate and I play this "game" wherein we try and determine if people we're studying are Dead or Alive. It's not quite as morbid or strange as it might sound, but when you study and write about people born in the 1920s and '30s, its quite possible that they may no longer be with us on earth. The game really got started when we were without internet for two weeks in February because of the Great Snow of 2010. (I abhor the portmanteaus created to describe this massive meteorological event.) Fortunately, the internet in our apartment was restored and is very handy in helping us figure who is dead and who is alive.
Recently, I was happy to discover that Richard Shaw (a ceramicist I am researching for my thesis) is still alive and working! I love trompe l'oeil, and his is whimsical and fun. A Funk potter from California, Shaw always seems happy and like he is having fun with his work. As someone who was trained that functionality is the number one goal in making a ceramic work, I am excited when I see people using clay in fun and non-functional ways. His current work (above) is funny and technically amazing. The piece pictured is called "Rejected Lover Teapot" and while I feel a little bad for the guy on the edge of the plate, it also makes me laugh. See more of Shaw's great work here.
Photo from Shaw's website.