Posts Tagged ‘egg carving’

Egg Carving

March 9, 2015

I decided not to renew my art website last year. It was not longer serving a purpose. However, I do still have an affinity for the egg carvings I had there so I have decided to create a blog post where they can continue to live.

Hawthorn2

Hawthorn1

fairies1

fairies2

gaurdians2

gaurdians1

flowers2

flowers1

IMG_1173

IMG_1171

IMG_0928

IMG_0886

IMG_0925

 

~harold

 

 

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Summoning Love & Strength

May 13, 2011

Summoning Love & Strength

I completed a commission this week and thought I’d write a blog post about it. It is for a wedding, and when I was told about the couple my mind wandered around about what marriage takes to be successful. I came upon two supports: Love & Strength. Here’s the letter I wrote to the couple.

Dear Jon and Jessica,

What is created when two individuals join in marriage? I believe that when two whole and complete people come together to celebrate their individuality their relationship becomes an expression of the greatness of each person. This union brings forth something to the world that was not there before.

There are two components, or halves, to any relationship: Love & Strength. The circles in this piece represent your individuality, your tapped and untapped potential. You are coming together to create an interlock of your individual beauty and expression. The hearts express the two unique shapes of each of your personalities that, when together, create something new that cannot be created alone. You are surrounded by your love for each other. Your love can also been seen through you (the hearts are visible through the centre of the circle of your individuality).

You two are embarking on a life together that with both inspire others with your love and your strength. Love as the expression of the divine within each of you as well as the divine love created with your union. Strength for the times when challenges surface within life and your relationship. I wish you both the greatest life you can possibly create together. It has been an honour to ponder the power of love and strength while creating this art for you.

peace and love,

Harold

Since I enjoy seeing artists through their process, I am going to share a couple photos of the journey and then the finished product.

Side

Other side

As usual, feel free to comment in the space provided.

Harold

Summoning Wholeness

January 2, 2011

I recently completed a commission. The piece was ordered for a doctor and my instructions were simple, “Carve an egg for me as a gift to my surgeon.” The great thing about this commission was that there were no guidelines. I could create whatever I wanted. I immediately had an idea that I liked a great deal. I worked through some design ideas but nothing was working. My ideas just couldn’t take form. I thought this was weird because I was jazzed up about what I had planned. I struggled with it for a couple of sessions and then had to reevaluate.

While in the reevaluation state, I ended up thinking about a previous piece, Summoning Intuition, which I had completed for the December show in Terrace Art Gallery. I found out that I wasn’t done with the driving force for that piece yet. When I started to think about it again a flood of ideas came pouring into my head at once, competing for the limited space available there. I then spent some time pondering why these empty circles were so powerful for me. This is what I came up with.

“I am currently fascinated by the potentiality of empty space. Space that appears to contain nothing which actually contains everything. A simple example that everyone can relate to is the empty space of a womb. A swimmer and an egg are both floating in this empty space and BAM, a human life begins the process of becoming. This happens in the realm of potentiality, or comes from the realm of potentiality (?). Out of this nothing comes something. There is this magic potential which is always available. Every single thing in this universe at one time only existed in the realm of potential. This fascination of mine has surfaced in the circles found in my current series of goose eggs.”

I created Summoning Wholeness, photographed it, and delivered it. With the delivery came a letter to the surgeon who will be receiving this piece. Here is a portion of that letter for you to read.

“I have always created circles in my art, but have also always filled them with something. I think the circle is a beautiful shape: strong, symmetrical, infinite. Recently though, I have been spending a great deal of time thinking about potential. I began a series of carvings that build around circles unfilled. The emptiness in them represents the potential nature of that particular piece. Your piece, Summoning Wholeness, has three circles. Because you live the in the healing arts, these three represent body, mind, and spirit. These are the essentials of wholeness, the feeling/sense of being a healthy and whole human. Each circle contains within it the potential of unbounded health in those three areas. You have the potential to inspire people. To approach these three platforms for healing and initiate change that alters the course of their lives. This has been very inspiring for me to ponder while working through the design phase of this egg.”

I thought I’d include photos of the process for this piece. I hope you enjoy them.

peace,

harold

Riding the Carousel

December 27, 2010

There are five stages to creating the eggs I do. The first stage is the design. For the Carousel no.1 that was already done. This piece is a reproduction piece that I make available on a regular basis. They sell for $125 plus shipping unless you are close enough to pick it up, or have it delivered. So, the design is already taken care of. For some eggs, like The Guardians Among Us, the design portion can take many many hours. Each angel in that piece was created in the negative space by arranging the flowers and leaves in such a manner to create the lines of the angel.

The second stage of creating Carousel no.1 was to draw it on the egg. I do this by eyeballing the top and bottom of the egg and marking these two points with an X in pencil. Then I put masking tape down and redraw the X. I measure the egg top to bottom in millimeters and divide it by two. I grab my trusty compass and attempt to mark the halfway of the egg by making a mark from both the top and the bottom with the compass. If the two meet, then I do the same on the other side. If those also meet, which doesn’t happen very often, then I know that I have found the center of the egg and go ahead and use the compass to draw a circle around the circumference of the egg. If it doesn’t work, which is most of the time, then I have to adjust either the top X of the bottom X, and sometimes both. Now the egg is divided exactly into two halves. From here I measure the other horizontal lines in a proportionally decreasing fashion so they will taper as they move up the egg. I then disect the egg into however many parts there are. For example, Carousel no.1 has five points on it. So I measure the circumference at the bottom and divide it into five equal parts. From there I then do the same for each horizontal ring. Even though this is a production piece, each egg has to be made from scratch because goose eggs come in quite a variety of shapes and sizes. So the numbers I use for one will not work on another.

Once I have each layer broken down I create a paper template of the shape for each point. You can see that I had a bump while using this template. This line will be cleaned up prior to the third stage. The template takes quite some time to create because the one template must fit exactly five times around the egg.

Once all the drawing is done I am ready for stage three.

Stage three is etching. This is where I carve the lines that I have drawn onto the egg. Technically I carve just on the outside of the drawn line because I want the space between the lines to be the width of the line from pencil to pencil. I just realised that I don’t have a photo of Carousel no.1 in the etched stage so I’ll show you what Summoning Intuition looked like at this stage just to give you a visual.

From this point I can start to see home plate, but I never get excited here because there is still a lot of work to do. I can now clean the egg using soap and water, and sometimes a scrub brush or toothbrush to get the pencil off. Once the egg is clean we are on to stage four. Stage four is the carving stage. This is where all my work so far begins to show. At this point it’s too late to make design changes. That’s why stage one and two are almost the most important stages in this process. Carving involves a quiet mind and a still hand. The carving process can take many hours depending on the egg.

Once the carving is done and the lines are cleaned up with my drill, I am ready for cleaning. This is a stage I don’t take lightly anymore. Many years ago I had a completely carved rhea egg. It was a beautiful piece called The Clouds of Alyssum. It was filled with these tiny carved flowers. Anyway, I had it tied to a string so I could lower it into the bleach water (a few drops of bleach in a can of water to kill the bacteria and help remove the inner lining of the egg). It was completely finished and I lifted it up by the wooden rod holding the string and the string came loose. The egg fell into the can of bleach separating into many pieces. I was in a pretty good place spiritually back then so the event didn’t get much attention other than a soft farewell. I always had the motto that I was more interested in the process than the result.

After the egg is put through the bleach water I wash it many times in regular water to clean off any bleach residue. Then it’s time to finish it. Carousel no.1 gets a top glued on and then a gold ring put through the tiny loop hole. I then hang it from one of the walnut based hanging stands and it’s ready for a new home.

That’s my carving process for Carousel, which is pretty close to the process for all my eggs depending on their design.

 

peace,

harold

 

 

The Heart of Life is Good

December 22, 2010

I’m not one for adding things to my carving, but I did for the Winter Solstice show at the Terrace Art Gallery. I’ve had this drawing in my sketchbook for a number of years and decided that now was the time to try this one. Once I started working with the egg though I realised it wasn’t going to be exactly as I had drawn it. In the original drawing I had thin arms coming down from the top. I didn’t feel this was possible because of the fragility of the goose egg. It would probably work on an ostrich egg though.

Here you can see how I created a template, which I then flipped over to get a mirror image on the other side. This shows some of the mathematical precision of egg carving that I really enjoy. Dissecting and oval-tapering-sphere into halfs, quarters, fifths, sixths, and eighths is fun, and sometimes very trying.

I then bought a Swarovski Crystal for the middle of the egg. Getting this crystal to hang in the middle of this empty space was a challenge that was beyond me at the time. I trudged down to the local craft store and got a much needed tutorial on how to hang the crystal using gold hoops. I ended up making a one off loop system so I can remove the crystal for shipping, thereby minimizing the potential for breakage. I even bought fancy pliers that let you create hooks and small hoops from long gold pins.

Swarovski Crystal

I have a dirty secret to admit to. I was listening to a lot of John Mayer while getting these eggs ready for the show and this one didn’t have a title while I was working on it. I love the guitar work Mayer has in the song The Heart of Life, as well as others, so I decided to listen carefully to the lyrics. They are heart warming so I decided to go for it. I think the two things coexist in a reasonable manner.

peace,

harold

 

 

Facelift and a little tummy tuck

November 28, 2010

I decided to give my website a new look recently. Since I purchased an iMac I hadn’t been able to use FrontPage, the Microsoft program that was on my old computer. It’s not that a mac can’t run that program, but I just wasn’t into getting it for the mac. All macs come with iWeb, a web building program. What took me two or three weeks a couple years ago with FrontPage only took me two days with iWeb. The program, with the help of google and very knowledgeable people in the internet world, was simple to use and has been easy to update and make changes to. Just another reason, on the vast list, to buy a mac.

If you have never visited my website you can access it HERE. I have never posted any of my carving on this blog, something that I am going to change soon. So what you’ll find there is completely different from what you’ve found here.

Here’s a photo from my carving page (I may be changing the carving page to “Gallery” soon as I’ve had some new ideas pop into my head lately). This piece was carved from a Rhea egg. It’s called “The Hawthorn King” and the flowers you see are from the Hawthorn tree. The Hawthorn flower symbolizes hope.

If you have any suggestions for improvements please leave them in the comment box. I love to hear other people’s ideas.

peace,

harold


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