Under the Scope


Hippos, elephants, giraffes, donkeys, a bright orange flipper and even a Frog Prince may greet you at the Scope Gallery. Created by sculptress Trinka Roeckelein, these unique whimsical creatures delight visitors of all ages.


Before discovering the joy of clay, Trinka earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Design and worked as a graphic designer for 15 yrs. She also taught classes in photo manipulation on the computer, 2D and 3D design, and design history at George Washington University, Hood College and American University. But, photos and designs were just not enough! Trinka started sculpting human figures and then shifted her focus to animals. She has travelled on safari to remote areas in Botswana to examine animals in their natural habitats.  A native Washingtonian, Trinka is inspired by the vastly different habitats and landscapes in Botswana. She hopes her sculptures will encourage respect both for animals and the environment(s) needed to sustain them—and us!


In creating her figures, Trinka studies the photos she has taken on her safaris and then uses a combination of techniques to build a piece. The hippos, for example, are made on a hollow armature, while the donkeys are built from a solid block of clay and then hollowed out and finished with added coiled sections. Then, she gives them personality. She likes them to be happy and whimsical and make people smile.  She is very successful!


Her figures range in size from about 3” to 22” in height and 4” to 14” in length. The hippo (see attached photo) is 7” high, 6.5” wide and 14” long. She uses either Standard 266 or Soldate clay for most of her sculptures and constructs and fires them in her studio at home. She uses a variety of surface techniques, sometimes applying clay slips and underglazes while the work is leather hard before it is bisque fired. She also uses oxide washes and commercial glazes. To achieve the effect she wants, she may fire a piece several times.


Trinka was juried into Scope in 2014. In addition to Scope, she sometimes exhibits at Gallery Underground and the Focus Gallery in Crystal City, VA, Gallery 75 in Alexandria, VA, and at Sterling and Burke and the Touchstone Gallery in Washington, D.C.


For more of Trinka’s creations, check out her website – www.trinkadesigns.com.

Scope Gallery

Torpedo Factory Art Center

105 N. Union St.

Ground Floor, Studio 19

Alexandria, Va 22314

Phone: 703-548-6288

Winter 2022 Hours:

11:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Thursday - Sunday


Check the Torpedo Factory website for any changes to the building open hours. www.torpedofactory.org/todays-hours/

Scope Gallery is a cooperative gallery shared by two of the oldest ceramic organizations in the Washington, D.C. area. The Kiln Club and the Ceramic Guild alternate months in this shared space. See calendar page for 2020 gallery schedule.