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10Clay has been building ships in bottles since 2008 when he attempted to build a kit that was given as a gift.  That project was never completed, but the experience hooked him on the art form.  Clay’s first few ship in bottle builds were based on plans found in books on the subject, but now he makes his own plans and builds each ship from scratch.  Each project is based on a specific ship or ship type, and is modeled as realistically as his skills allow. 

Clay collects and uses books on maritime history and shipbuilding as well as any book he can find about ships in bottles.  Planning and building ships, or other whimsies, in bottles can be an intense yet calming way to focus the mind and forget about everyday worries.  Clay enjoys producing handmade objects in a machine-made word, and feels that that his skills improve with each completed project.

In addition to his building, Clay was the co-editior for the Ship-in-Bottle Association of America (SIBAA), and coordinates the printing and mailing of its quarterly Journal, the Bottle Shipwright. 


Plans for the Lexington, 1776


Bottles by Clay Rakes


Click on a picture to view the bottle and description in the Gallery

Bottle ID: 892

Bottle ID: 893

Bottle ID: 894

Bottle ID: 895

Bottle ID: 1109


Other examples of this Artist's work - Click on a picture to enlarge