Friday, July 30, 2010

embracing chaos part two

I believe I am improving the less than perfect job of cleaning the sprue off of the ring shown above. (The sprue is a sizable hunk of metal attached to cast jewelry where the metal was poured into the mold.) In the case of traditional jewelry, the intent is to have a seamless match to the shape and texture of the surface adjoining the sprue area. The item is usually designed in a way that the sprue is in a smooth, easy to clean area. With representational organic designs, the area surround the sprue is often made with a texture that can be easily duplicated after the item has been cast into metal. However, with three dimensional, non-symbolic organic surfaces, rarely is the sprue location so conveniently located and textured. With non-jewelry sculptures, this problem can often be solved by placing the sprue on the flat, bottom surface.

I feel that having a bottom on 3-d organic jewelry items ruins the concept. What I am going for is not a representation, or symbolic version of nature, but something that would seamlessly fit in nature, whether the actual item really exists or not. (No one would mistake a bright red square box sitting in a patch of woods to be an organic, natural part of the scenery.)

Recently, I think I have made a step forward in this regard - at least in concept. In the case of the tree bark ring, instead of trying to exactly imitate the surface of the bark, it is more appropriate to find a carve-able texture that complements or belongs to the natural item - perhaps a small remnant of a mostly-peeled-off outer bark. Nature itself does not imitate, it interprets desire. Approaching the problem from this perspective, the sprue areas that I am now finishing are slowing beginning to disappear into the whole.

I am attempting to incorporate this concept in future pieces that are in the design phase. A new level of asymmetry that makes nature, nature, and makes symbolic representation, 'not nature'. An obvious example of this type of symbolism is a grade-school-level pie face. We all know what it is supposed to represent, but it is unlikely that anyone would mistake the drawing for a photo of an actual person.

This takes me one step closer to no longer making test pieces, and starting on complete pieces that I hope to get done before I am done.

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