Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Void of Life

This carving was completed last month but I didn't get a decent photograph until this weekend. It's depicting a dead ptarmigan and was created for an online exhibit to open shortly.
It measures just over 3 inches in length and is carved from boxwood, with a light scumbling of paint made from animal glue and gofun. I had a tought time with the finish on this one- I really liked the bare wood, especially in a soft light where the volume of the body and the feathers showed to an advantage. A recent trip to New York and an exhibit at the Japan Society changed my mind. There were several basketry pieces coated in rough mixtures of gofun, ash, sumi and clay. The tactility and coarseness attracted me and I left thinking I'd like to explore more in this vein. At any rate, after three trial coatings and subsequent strippings, I settled on this wash of paint that was dabbled on.
It gives a nice soft effect- absorbing light and adding a satifying feel in the hand. The paint forms a sort of crust on the high points of the carving and suggests fleeting life inside.

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