Tag Archives: Relief

I Have Been Involved In A Murder

Yes, it’s true, and I am not alone in bringing this murder about. In fact, there were dozens of us who contributed to it and, since no body will ever be found, I feel safe in admitting my involvement publicly on this blog. What’s more, I am inviting everyone who reads this post to witness the murder for themselves. It is taking place in Indiana – Terre Haute to be more precise – and it all begins tonight.

Now, before you reach for your cell and start dialing 9-1-1 to report this murder, perhaps I should explain…

Arts Illiana Gallery

Tonight, the Arts Illiana Gallery is unveiling The Crow Show, a juried exhibition running Feb 5 through April 22, featuring crow-themed work from artists in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. And, as we all know, a group of crows is referred to as a murder.

Crow Show

I was invited to have my “Odin’s Ravens: Hugin & Munin” relief in the exhibition and am delighted to have them in the collection especially as I am only a couple weeks away from releasing the second piece in this series. They (and all the other work on display at The Crow Show) will be available for sale throughout the 3-month event.

Odins_Ravens

Now, I know someone is bound to write in and say, “but, Aric, Odin had ravens, not crows,” so allow me to set the record straight. The term “crow” is used for an entire family of birds (Corvidae) that includes the raven species. To put it simply, all ravens are crows but not all crows are ravens, making The Crow Show a perfect place for Hugin and Munin to roost.

So, if over the next three months, you find yourself in a drivable distance from Terre Haute and have a free afternoon, I encourage you to stop by what promises to be a very unique exhibition of dark avian art and witness the murder for yourself.

~Aric Jorn

Sculpting Myth: Triptych Tile series

Today I’m sharing a new series that I started this spring – I call them Triptych Tiles and each one seeks to capture the essence of a mythological story or idea in three, four-inch tiles. Those who found me at any of my spring/summer shows (Farmington, Birmingham, Ann Arbor or Lansing) got a sneak peek at these as I experimented with various finishes, patinas and framing options. I have been overjoyed at the response they have received so far and both are now available in the Jivotica Gallery Shop.

Fishing-brass-full
FISHING FOR JORMUNGAND
This triptych captures the story of Thor as he fishes for the Midgard Serpent, Jormungand (Jörmungandr). Long before Captain Ahab set out to find Moby Dick, Thor was after something vastly larger, for the Midgard Serpent was so large it encircled all of Midgard and was a source of dread for the Aesir Gods themselves. With hammer held aloft, Thor waits for his nemisis to take the bait. When he does, Thor pulls on the line so hard that his feet break through the bottom of the boat. The struggle continues for a time but eventually, Thor is obliged to give up the chase. Although this encounter proves inconclusive, the two are destined to meet once more in combat at the great, world-ending battle of Ragnarok, during which each will die at the hands of the other.

Ratatosk-copper-full
RATATOSK
The second triptych depicts the great world tree, Yggdrasil, and three of its more notable denizens.
High in the canopy is Eagle (interestingly, the only important character in Norse mythology never to be identified with a proper name). Eagle represents the positive aspects of creation (the ordered cosmos). Beneath the tree is Nidhoggr (who’s name means “He who strikes with Malice”). He is a dragon who despises creation and is attempting to bring about its destruction by gnawing at the roots of Yggdrasil and drawing the cosmos back into chaos. Between them is Ratatosk the trickster – a squirrel who delights in running up and down the trunk of Yggdrasil, spreading gossip and insults between the Eagle above and the dragon below, ensuring that they will forever be at odds.

Each piece in the Triptych Tile series will be strictly limited to 50 signed & numbered castings in each of three finishes (in the case of these first two piece, the finishes are copper, brass and stone.) Each triptych comes beautifully mounted and framed, accompanied by a signed COA/story card that tells the tale upon which the art is based.

If you are interested in acquiring either of these triptychs, you can find them in the Jivotica Gallery Shop.

A SPECIAL NOTE: Although I will be devoting an entire blog entry to it next week, I would like to acknowledge that the photography for these pieces is the work of my dear friend, wonderful photographer and fellow creative spirit, Donna Kert, of Life in Focus Studio.

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.) 

Hugin&Munin

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.

ArtisanMarket

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.

ann-arbor-sunday-artisan-market

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

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.

Buddha-Bronze-on-stone

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.

Buddha-coppr-on-bronze-1Buddha-Bronze

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.

Buddha-framed

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

Sculpting Myths: Mjölnir

Last year, I made the decision to walk away from several other ventures to concentrate on my sculpting and bring my vision for Jivotica to life.  That vision is to create art that celebrates the human spirit and imagination as it finds expression through culture, myth and story.

Perhaps it is my Scandinavian blood, fired up by Thursday night’s season premier of Vikings but I couldn’t be more excited to introduce the first piece in my new line of relief and free-standing sculptures – Mjölnir: the Hammer of Thor.

My inspiration for this piece is a well-documented artifact found in Skåne, Sweden that is held in the collections at the Historical Museum in Stockholm. Although I put my own spin on this raven-headed hammer, I also wanted to remain true to the original. There have been many attempts to capture Mjolnir as wearable art, but I wanted to create something larger that could be framed and hung on the wall – something that looked like an artifact from an archeological dig.

Initially offered in two finishes – stone and steel – they are produced in durable stone/metal-infused resin, accented with a lowlight painting technique to bring out every detail and sealed to ensure a long life. Each piece is then mounted and showcased in a high-quality shadow box.

Jivotica-Mjolnir-stone1smJivotica-Mjolnir-steel1sm

This piece is the first of many reliefs and sculptures in this line, a new addition to which will be unveiled at the end of every month along with information on any upcoming shows where you can see my work in person. Each piece will also be available at the Jivotica store on Etsy.

Jivotica-Mjolnir-stone_caseJivotica-Mjolnir-steel-case

I’d love to hear what you all think of this piece, and welcome comments below.

~Aric Jorn