Sunday, November 12, 2006
Just received a message from Louis Le Vaillant at the Auckland Museum who purchased one of my art works from the Lopdell Exhibition in July. This alone made my year and now this piece is being display in their decorative arts exhibition called Encounters.
Excuse me while I have a screaming fit of excitement and run around the room.
From the body of a Whale - Blanket Piece.
This work began life when I found some genuine meat hooks in a Woodville second hand shop, exactly what I was looking for to make a "hanging"sculpture. I made the piece as large as I could as the kiln was only 700mm in depth. I look forward to making larger works.
Paper clay has more mechanical strength for making sculptures due to the addition of a percentage of paper pulp that burns out. It was then fired three times for the clear crackle glaze, which results in an antique look with the white stoneware, my favourite and then to set the decal transfer. The skin on the verso is painted with Bakelite dissolved in ethanol which gives an interesting patina.
The whole then hangs from spliced natural rope.
Despite research, no one knows how long it takes for a whale to die when harpooned. When it is hacked, cut and stripped of blubber it may still be alive. The blubber was marked with a deep continuous cut winding around the whale. This was hooked and a "Blanket strip" was torn off with a winch, fibres ripping free as it was peeled like an orange. Then this oozing blubber was cut into chunks called "Horse Pisces". These were then sliced up to increase the surface area for boiling, but left connected on one edge so they resembled a book, which were nicknamed "Bible leaves" because of the spine of black skin.
Bible leaves - 2005