Tag Archives: Jivotica

Jivotica goes a-viking: 2015 Spring Art Show Announcements

Many people don’t know that the word “viking” started out as a verb. Scandinavians looking to explore, trade, raid or otherwise seek their fortune abroad would “go a-viking.” While I have no intention of raiding anywhere, I am going a-viking in the trade sense. Perhaps I should explain…

Having returned from a short but necessary hiatus to build up inventory and develop several new sculptures, I have much news to share. I will spread that news out over the coming weeks and months but today, I am announcing my official Spring Art Show Schedule – all the places I will be setting up shop between now and the Summer Solstice. I am extremely excited to be participating in these shows and hope to see many of you there (logos are linked to the show sites for additional information.)

BAF logo only
MAY 9 & 10
My first show of the season will be the 34th Annual Art Birmingham. Originally known as the Birmingham Fine Art Festival, it takes place in the streets surrounding Shain Park, in downtown Birmingham, Michigan. This highly respected event will showcase 160 juried artists. You will find me in BOOTH #90.


East Lansing Art Festival Logo
May 16 & 17
My second show is the East Lansing Art Festival, a two-day celebration of art and culture established in 1964. The juried festival is ranked 54th on Sunshine Artist Magazine’s Top 100 Best Fine Art and Design Shows in the country. The event includes live music and performances on two stages and attracts over 70,000 patrons. **You can find me at the North end of the festival in BOOTH #167 (near the art demos area)


Art on the Grand Logo
June 6 & 7
My third show for Spring is Art on the Grand, a juried fine arts show located downtown in the charming, historic city of Farmington, MI. Now in its sixth year, Art on the Grand features 100 fine artists from around the country. **You can find me at the North end of the fair around Grand River and Warner street in BOOTH #60.

I’ll be participating in many other events throughout the year and I’ll post summer/fall shows as the various juries make their announcements. Until then, I hope you will catch up with me at one of these fine spring shows.

Yours in the Arts,
~Aric Jorn

The Prow and The Press

With a new sculpture to announce and my second appearance on PBS’s Detroit Performs airing tonight at 7:30 p.m., my year is starting with a bang. This second interview focuses on my sculpting work and was taped last summer in my studio. In case you’re not in the Detroit PBS viewing area, you can watch the episode online at http://www.detroitperforms.org. For more about my experience with the wonderful people at PBS, check out my blog post, “Aric Has Been Shot.”

That brings me to the second announcement. I am pleased to share with you my latest piece, The Prow: Coiled Serpent.

Inspired by the Viking long ships, The Prow seeks to capture the grandeur, might and mystique of the Scandinavian sea kings who carved for themselves a permanent place in history and our collective imaginations as they raided the coasts of Europe and beyond from the 8th through the 11th centuries.

The Prow represents the next step in my journey as I continue the exploration of my Scandinavian heritage through art that began with my 2014 sculptures of Mjolnir (Thor’s hammer), Yggdrasil (the world tree) and Hugin & Munin (Odin’s ravens).

Standing at 16.5 inches tall and hand cast in the same durable resin I use for all my sculptures, The Prow: Coiled Serpent is the first in what will be a short series of variations. This piece (and each variation in the series) is limited to 95 signed and numbered pieces. Sculpted in the round with a nice weight and solid feel, it is designed to make a statement on table, desk or shelf.

Advanced orders will be accepted from followers of this blog starting February 1, and will be available to the general public in mid-February.

~Aric Jorn

p.s. As always, you can see other work that is currently available on my Etsy store.

Free Tickets to The Henry Ford

As a “thank you” to those who follow the Jivotica blog:

I have five pairs of tickets to The Henry Ford to give away.

These tickets are available at no cost, on a first-come basis, to any follower of my blog. Simply reply to this post (on www.jivotica.com) if you’re interested. I’m doing this not only to thank those who follow my work but also to support The Henry Ford by introducing new people to this world-class history attraction.

Each ticket is good for a single admission to Greenfield Village (Friday, Saturday or Sunday through the end of November) or the Henry Ford Museum (through January 31, 2015.)

Admission to Greenfield Village is normally $24 per adult, so if you want to check out this wonderful place (whether again or for the first time), now’s your chance.

I’m offering these in pairs, however, if fewer than five people respond, I’ll make any unclaimed tickets available to those who express an interest in additional tickets.

That’s it – no strings, no purchase necessary (you don’t even need to pay for the stamp to mail them out to you) – just free tickets as a thank you for following Jivotica.

I’ll accept requests posted on http://www.jivotica.com through Friday, October 24 at midnight. After that, I’ll divide up any remaining tickets.


Jivotica in Autumn

It is nearly impossible for me to believe that fall is officially upon us. Like most of the summer, August and September have been a whirlwind – art shows, filling online orders (I must confess the shear number of which took me by surprise), working at The Henry Ford and preparing to direct my fall theater programs dominated my time and obliged me to put several projects on hold. It was great fun but I am happy to return my focus to sculpting.

That said, there are a few dates that I would like to share with you all…

I have confirmed two more Sundays at the Ann Arbor Artisan Market – September  28 (11am – 7pm) and October 19 (11am – 4pm).

I’ve also been informed that the interview PBS conducted with me in July for Detroit Performs will be broken up into two episodes. I had pitched them on the idea of dedicating an entire 4-segment episode to the Liberty Crafts Works at The Henry Ford and they decided to do just that. So, the portion of my interview that took place at the pottery shop will now be included in the Liberty Crafts Work episode of Detroit Performs that is scheduled to air on October 14 at 7:30pm. The bulk of my interview (shot in my studio) will be a separate segment airing sometime in November.

Many announcements coming soon. Thank you as always for your interest in my work.
~Aric Jorn

Sculpting Myth: Hugin and Munin

The next piece in my “Sculpting Myth” series (available in my Jivotica gallery store and limited to 150 signed/numbered castings) explores another symbol from my Norse heritage, the pair of ravens who served none other than Odin, the All Father, himself. Their names are Hugin and Munin and they were sent out each day to fly around Midgard (Earth) and report back on the events of the world (it is in this way that Odin achieved something like Omniscience.) 


The ravens are shown intertwined in knotwork to symbolize their interconnectedness – not only to each other, but also to Odin, the physical world and the knowledge they seek. They are perched on a rune stone upon which is carved a sampling of Futhark (the Norse alphabet) and a depiction of Odin astride his eight-legged horse, Sleipnir.

This piece is fashioned from four separate reliefs using cold-cast bronze, nickel silver and stone-infused resin. Next, patinas, inks and paints are applied and the pieces are buffed to bring out highlights. They are then assembled, covered with a clear coat and mounted in a beautiful black shadowbox frame.

Because they are closely associated with the seeking of knowledge and the king archetype, people often display images of Hugin and munin in their library, study, office or wherever they do their most profound thinking or make their biggest decisions.

Digging deeper into the story of Hugin and Munin…

The Eddic poem Grímnismál mentions Odin’s thoughts on Hugin and Munin:

Hugin and Munin
Fly every day
Over all the world;
I worry for Hugin
That he might not return,
But I worry for Munin more.

The names Hugin and Munin are commonly translated as “thought” and “memory” respectively. While it is widely accepted that the name Hugin does indeed mean “thought” (derived from the Old Norse “hugr”), given that the Old Norse word for memory is “minni,” it is more likely that Munin is derived from the Old Norse word “munr” meaning “desire.”

odin, hugin and munin

So, with this alternate translation in mind, Odin seems then to be saying that he is worried about losing his mental faculties (thought), but is more worried about losing his zest for life (desire). I think this expresses the importance placed on a raw passion for life that is fundamental to the Viking world view.

For additional information on Hugin and Munin (and other tales of Norse mythology), I strongly recommend the site Norse-Mythology.org

This piece has joined the others on my Etsy store and I will also have them available at the Ann Arbor Artisan Market. As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions.

~Aric Jorn

Brighton behind me and Ann Arbor ahead

Thanks to all those who stopped by my booth at the Brighton Fine Arts and Acoustic Music Festival this past weekend. Uncertain whether my work would be a good fit for this show, I was very pleased at the response it received. I was fortunate in other areas as well…

Despite a forecast that included daily showers and a possible thunder storm, not a single drop fell on my tent the entire weekend. Following a celebratory dinner at Stout’s Irish Pub Sunday evening, we packed up, drove back to the studio, unpacked everything and closed the door. Not even a minute later, as though the heavens had been waiting for us to finish, there was a torrential downpour.

Looking forward, and for those who didn’t make it to Brighton, I will be setting up shop at the Ann Arbor Artisan Market for the balance of August. Confirmed dates are August 10, 17, 24 and 31 (weather permitting). Additional dates will be added in September and October as I can fit them in.


One of the best things about the A2 Artisan Market is that the roster changes from week to week, so there are always new artists to discover.


The Artisan Market is located at 315 Detroit Street in the heart of Ann Arbor’s historic Kerrytown shopping district at the intersection of Detroit Street and 5th Avenue. An outdoor show, it runs Sundays from 11am to 4pm April through December.

I hope to see many of you there!

Aric has been shot!

It’s all over. The camera crew is gone, the shoot has wrapped and a sense of normalcy has returned to my studio. My head has stopped spinning and after a day spent unwinding and picking up some fresh supplies (including a badly needed lamp), I’ve managed to ground myself once more.

But let me back up a bit…

About a month ago, I was contacted by a producer of the 2014 Emmy Award winning PBS show, Detroit Performs, and told they were interested in featuring me on an episode. This was all thanks to someone I had met years ago who turns out to be on the advisory committee for the show (unbeknownst to me). When the themes for the upcoming season were announced, she thought my work would be a good fit and submitted my name.

A few days later, the phone rang and I had a delightful conversation with the show’s producer. We set the date, I sent her the information she needed to prepare for the segment and I waited for July 9th to roll around.

So it came to be that yesterday, I had a production crew shadowing me as I lived out a day as a working artist. In the morning, we were at my home studio talking about my work as a sculptor while I roughed in two new pieces for my Sculpting Myth series.


In the afternoon, we relocated to The Henry Ford where I demonstrated early American pottery decorating techniques like slip trailing and sgraffito.

It was a surreal experience to spend a day with a camera crew in tow. It was exciting, eye-opening and genuinely fun and I hope for the chance to do it again someday.

The episodes have yet to be placed on the fall schedule but I will post the date as soon as I know it. You will also be able to find it on the Detroit Performs Website (following the air date which will be sometime this fall/winter.)

My deepest thanks to the wonderful people at PBS-Detroit for their kindness, patience and professionalism – particularly to the creative team, Sarah, Matthew, Kim and Tina and to the wonderfully synergistic Colleen who thought of me and was kind enough to make the connection on my behalf. Thanks also to my family who had to put up with my craziness as the shoot date loomed near.

I have been blessed this year and I thank everyone who has helped support me as I make my way down the left-hand path.


Aric on Display: Brighton


This is an invitation to see my work and have a chat at the 31st annual Brighton Fine Art & Accoustic Music Festival, AUGUST 1-3, 2014

While shopping for art online can be a convenient, inspiring and at times overwhelming way to discover artists who would have otherwise remained unknown to you, the experience cannot compare to seeing the work in person accompanied by the opportunity to speak directly with the artists who make it.

Going to an art fair gives you the chance to ask questions, discover what motivated the artists to create their art and generally become more informed about each piece before you buy it. For the artists, it is an opportunity to better understand their patrons and gain insight into what attracts people to one piece over another.

Despite these advantages, many artists prefer to show exclusively in galleries, shops and online venues where face-to-face encounters are rarely required. Personally, I am always looking for opportunities to share my art in more interactive ways and love discussing my work with people who are drawn to it.

brighton mill pond

So, for those of you in Michigan during the first weekend in August, I will be showing my work at the 2014 Brighton Fine Art & Acoustic Music Festival. This is a wonderful mid-sized event tucked alongside the beautiful Mill Pond in downtown Brighton. It’s a scenic walk filled with a wide variety of fine art, acoustic music, good food and quaint shops.

While I greatly appreciate all those who have bought my pieces online, I am looking forward to meeting many of you in person. Can’t make this event? Not to worry, I have several more announcements coming up, so stay tuned.

~Aric Jorn

Creativity in the Face of Oppression

My art does not tend to be political. I am more interested in exploring the human imagination and its quest for meaning as revealed through myth, culture and story. However, today was June 4 and, upon its 25th anniversary, I found myself reflecting upon China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre – and not for the reason you might think. tank man I was attending art school at the time, my sophomore year about to give way to summer break, so those young protestors putting themselves in harm’s way were the same age I was – full of ideas and a natural human desire to express them. They were attempting to secure for themselves those fundamental freedoms that I in the United States took for granted.

So it was, as I attended a college actively teaching me how to think outside the box and encouraging me to express my ideas openly and creatively, that I suddenly became fully aware of the billions of people who live in political systems where freedom of speech and of expression is far from guaranteed and often nonexistent – places where it is literally dangerous to claim these simple freedoms as basic human rights. My understanding of such places to that point had been purely intellectual – seeing the instantly famous images like the one of the loan student facing down an entire column of tanks made it real for me. Here were young people putting their lives on the line for something I woke up with every morning – the freedom to express themselves without fear.

Only a handful of places can compare with the level of government censorship endured by the people of China. Surely North Korea has taken it to even greater extremes and I cannot help but pity those who are forced to live in such abject darkness. But however distasteful I find the suffering of those living in that type of closed-circuit system – shut off as they are from the world around them – what gave me reason to reflect was an article in the Los Angeles Times. It tells the story of how, despite the government’s best efforts to seal them, people continue to find creative new ways to shine slivers of light through the cracks. tank man uncropped Every year, it seems, there is a dangerous game of cat and mouse being played between small groups of citizens trying to keep the memory of Tiananmen Square alive and the government who is trying to eradicate all record of it. This has forced protestors to be innovative and to find ever more creative ways of sharing their story.

Just as 9-11 has become short hand for one of the greatest tragedies in American history, many Chinese came to refer to the events at Tiananmen Square as simply 6-4. When censors realized this, they established a ban on this number combination for weeks before and after the infamous date. People reacted by calling it May 35th or 63+1 to get past the censors and I imagine this worked a few times before officials caught on. As stated in the article, “as the date gets closer, even words as innocuous as tomorrow and today are often banned from the Chinese Internet.”

Since signs and banners are prohibited in the square, one group tried to get thousands of people to come to the site and join together to perform “Do You Hear the People Sing?” from Les Miserables. I have yet to hear whether this flash mob style protest succeeded and, if it did, I am waiting with fingers crossed to see if someone managed to capture it on their smartphone and smuggle it onto the internet. Playing cards at Tiananmen Square Innovation and creativity has kept the events of 1989 alive. Again the article tells how someone armed only with a deck of playing cards took a photo at the square directly behind a guard, arranging a hand to display cards that read 8,9,6,4 (in reference to the date) and A,K,4,7 (referring to the rifles that cut down so many innocent students 25 years ago). They blocked their face with the fanned out display to avoid the punishment that would surely befall them were they to be caught by authorities.

To me, these attempts and the hundreds like them, demonstrate that the human spirit will always find a way to express itself despite any and all attempts to oppress it and that the capacity of the human imagination to find a crack no matter how thick the wall, is truly boundless.

~Aric Jorn

You can read the Los Angeles Times article in its entirety here.

Sculpting Myths: Buddha

April placed an unusual number of demands on my time that made it difficult to blog as often as planned. Despite this, my work has continued and I would like to present the third piece in my “Sculpting Myth” series, Buddha: The Awakened One.


This piece is actually two reliefs fused together, fashioned of cold-cast metals and resin-infused stone in various combinations to achieve several different looks.


My Inspiration for Buddha: The Awakened One

Buddhism has long provided a source of inspiration for me and I have incorporated several of its practices (such as meditation) into my life.

As with many early traditions, symbolism in Buddhist art is highly nuanced, its meaning often missed by those unfamiliar with it. For instance, each mudra or hand gesture of the Buddha represents an important Buddhist teaching. For those interested, here is a great article that outlines ten of the most common mudras.

When I decided to leave the traditional career path and strike out on my own as an artist-entrepreneur, it was not without trepidation. The Buddhist idea of living in the present moment while rejecting fear and worry about the future did much to give me the courage to keep moving forward in the face of uncertainty.

With this in mind, I chose the Abhaya mudra. Abhaya is sandskrit for fearlessness and the open-palm hand gesture represents protection, peace and a sense of deep inner calm in the face of fear and uncertainty. It is the perfect symbol for me as I continue my own artistic journey and, in sharing this piece, I hope others will find it equally inspirational, seeing their own potential reflected back upon them and realizing there is nothing to fear.


Like the Yggdrasil piece I unveiled in early April, Buddha: The Awakened One is 10 inches in diameter. It can be hung as a plaque and is also available framed in a high quality shadowbox. Each Buddha is hand detailed, weathered and sealed for a long life, stamped on the back and accompanied by a signed certificate.

Produced in the USA with materials supplied by local, small businesses and offered to the world in humble gratitude. Available as always at the Jivotica Etsy store.

~Aric Jorn