Thursday, August 12, 2010

Effigy Feast Bowl

This bowl is based upon what is thought to be one of the earliest surviving examples of Woodland effigy sculpture, perhaps dating to the 17th century.
I am quite taken with this design, the minimalism of the effigy features transmit to my eye an expressiveness that has been seldom exceeded in so few strokes. The face draws me in and bespeaks of a culture in touch with their innermost subconscious creativity. It is not a creation of academic preliminary sketches nor theoretical art concepts, it is raw emotion expressed by a natural artist.

What I find fascinating about "primitive" works of art is the quality of abstract Modern Art they possess. Perhaps I should say that the other way around...often, Modern Art by design strives to capture what people who live within nature express intuitively. Is our affinity for primitive art our desire for that Paradise wilderness once inspired?

I made this bowl in collaboration with my friend and master bowl maker, Mike Combs. (Mike's web link can be found at the right of this blog) Mike carved the black ash burl bowl, leaving a portion of the rim blocked out for me to carve the effigy and patina. The inegmatic smile on the effigy is the result of the natural grain, nothing I could have anticipated.

This bowl along with my previous 2 works, Hoyaneh, and Compassion I consider to be a devotional trinity.

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