The blue stone, a mixed azurite, is also known as Eilat Stone, though it doesn’t come from there. When I got the stone, it appeared like some map, or perhaps the CMB. I decided to make it into a map of the world, with a sun (aptly made of sunstone, a form of feldspar) rising above it.
Renaissance foliage is fun to carve in wax. When I made these pieces I was thinking about frames and settings. In the first piece the settings disappear into the design, becoming flowers. The frame is modest.
Here the frame and setting are given prominence. The foliage has been subsumed into the frame. The setting has the swoops and curves beloved of renaissance goldsmiths.
The labradorite really lights up when the light hits it at a certain angle.
A pendant depicting Orpheus and Euridice in the Renaissance style. He is playing a fiddle rather than a lyre, as was common in depictions at the time. Her feet don’t touch the ground.
Orpheus looks back
If you can walk without looking
Back, you may need no reminding
Of the reason for the stricture.
You will not want anyone pointing
Out that there is really nothing
And nobody coming behind you,
And like this you will continue
As long as you are playing
On the lyre and singing,
Knowing that your retinue
Of only one is following,
Breathing, right behind you
All the way up the avenue
Out of hell, always matching
Steps with steps towards the rapture
Of Apollonian light and blue
Heaven, always with hindsight seeing
Her living body walk behind you.
Everyone’s doing selfies as though it were a sudden new discovery, but of course artists have been doing what used to be called self-portraits forever. The arrival of digital photography has just put the possibility of creating an image of oneself in the hands of the masses.
One thing, though, is new with photography – the artist is for the first time able to see him/herself without mirror inversion – or without contriving some contraption of mirrors that inverts the inversion. Was it van Gogh’s left or right ear that was, possibly, severed in sword-play with Gaugin? Did he look in a mirror?
Here’s a pencil self-portrait done by copying a photo that my son Sky had taken, as I saw it on my screen. This method has the advantage of not inverting the face – plus the model keeps still.
Here’s the back cover of Sunderland – have a look, it says some nice things about the book. It’s due to be launched tomorrow, 6th of May 2014. I’m a bit apprehensive as I have still not seen a copy, but I have faith in the printers.
I did post a cover earlier here, but this is the final version: