Kate MacDowell create some fantastically detailed works of art from carved porcelain. She was a big inspiration on me when i was doing sculpture in college so i have to include her in my collection of favourite artists who do play with the memento mori theme. A fantastic artical on her work can be found here: kate mac dowell and In her own words:
I hand sculpt each piece out of porcelain, often building a solid form and then hollowing it out. Smaller forms are built petal by petal, branch by branch and allow me the chance to get immersed in close study of the structure of a blossom or a bee. I chose porcelain for its luminous and ghostly qualities as well as its strength and ability to show fine texture. It highlights both the impermanence and fragility of natural forms in a dying ecosystem, while paradoxically, being a material that can last for thousands of years and is historically associated with high status and value. I see each piece as a captured and preserved specimen, a painstaking record of endangered natural forms and a commentary on our own culpability.