Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hoyaneh in Bronze

"Haudenosaunee, (Iroquois) 'chiefs' are called 'Hoyaneh' and on their headdress they wear the antlers of symbolizes that the people depend on that leader like they depend on the deer for sustenance." **

It is with a feeling of pride and a deep sense of historic continuity that I present my first artistic expression rendered in bronze.

I am excited to see my conscious and sub-conscious ideas and passions melded together in this sculpture. This union of the artistry from the New World combined with the Old World tradition of bronze art manifests the mystique I have always felt for our ancient world and the whole of human history.

This sense of reverence and appreciation for historic cultures began when I was five years old the moment I found a beautiful stone arrowhead. It was lying in a patch of dirt, surrounded by grass as though it had been framed for my personal education. I was so young that I'm not even sure I had ever actually seen a real Indian arrowhead before but I instantly knew what it was and I had a feeling then that the land upon which I lived held many mysteries from the past. It was a magnetic moment; the past was drawn forward into my time. It remains one of the most indelible memories from my childhood. And to this day, I want to pull the past forward by bringing it into the future through expressions of contemporary art.

For this first venture into bronze, I decided to create a very limited number of sculptures -- only six, plus the "artist's proof." By utilizing the ancient "lost-wax" casting technique, every minute detail and grain texture of the original burl-wood carving has been captured and translated into each bronze sculpture. I have learned that it is rather unique to cast a bronze from an original carving made from a lasting and precious material. Most castings are traditionally made from impermanent materials such as clay or wax. I chose to custom patinate each bronze myself in order to create a unique coloration that most closely resembles the character of the rare black ash burl.

Although they are cast from the same mold, each bronze is unique in many subtle ways. As with the original Hoyaneh burl-wood carving, (see July 31st 2010 blog entry) I have attached real deer antlers in the same manner as the early European artists who incorporated organic materials such as ivory and various metals to accent their bronze sculptures.

Each bronze is adorned with a pair of handmade sterling silver ball & cone style earrings hanging from the stretched earlobes. I did not randomly select this style of earring. Ball & cone earrings are a very ancient design and they were a favorite trade item of Native Americans, worn by both men and women. The "ball & cone" is also the overall geometric theme of this sculpture.

My sculptural bronze works are available exclusively through Lord Nelson's Gallery Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

My most sincere appreciation goes out to John and Shannon Watts for their support of my work, their enthusiasm toward my inspirations, and their encouragement to help me see this project through. I would also like to thank Thomas Poyser and staff artists of SinCerus Bronze Art Center for their talent and advice. Lastly, thanks to Patrick Kipper, master patineur and author of "the book" on bronze patina.

It is all about the process. Everything is a process.

** Quote of what a Hoyaneh represents by Michael Galban.

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