It is so satisfying to hammer metal and create something that was never there. How can I get those who want a break from the virtual world to come and try to bang on some metal?
My student is molding a piece I made inspired by the creation of a pearl “A pearl started by a grain of sand that irritates and oyster…” not true! Mollusks are the ‘lungs of the water’ and filter gallons of water a day. A grain of sand doesn’t bother them in the least. So how does one oyster start a pearl and other doesn’t? To be clear, we are talking of natural pearls and not cultured in which a bead is inserted into a mollusk and then put back in the water to cover the sphere with layers of nacre. Before this technology, pearl fishers/divers had to search for the pearl in the oyster. It may have been caused by a parasite, a worm that got to the oyster through a crack in the shell. Possibly damage to the exterior causes a piece to break on the inside that would be turned around inside the shell to form a pearl. I love the idea that there are dead worms in pearls ‘worm sarcophagi’ if you will. I made this piece of silver and pearl but made the worm the necklace instead. It is titled “Distomum Duplicatum” after the worm!
I was thinking about the Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. The political interpretations are not widely accepted but I can’t help enjoying the preposed symbolism. Dorothy represents “the American People” – a phrase I have come to detest when used by politicians. She is taken by a tornado (representing revolution) from a colorless land to a new world. Her journey in silver slippers (in the book not the 1939 movie interpretation) may represent the old silver standard as it changes to gold which she subsequently follows as a road of yellow brick. This leads eventually to the Emerald City, which may symbolize the fraudulent world of greenback paper money that only pretends to have value. Flying monkeys may represent the Native People, Scarecrow is the plight of the farmer and migrant worker. The Tin Man is the factory worker…it goes on and on. The ideas behind the story makes it so much more interesting and it involves things that I love – metal and gemstones!