Tag Archives: sculpture

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

Indulging My Inner Geek

I hope you will forgive me for getting my geek on as I am about to do. Although I rarely discuss my early influences, I find on this particular occasion, an irresistible force compels me to do so.

In 1977, I saw Star Wars on the big screen and my eyes were immediately adjusted to what storytelling could be. I was eight years old and knew at that moment I would be an artist and a storyteller. Up to that point, my imaginary worlds were mainly inhabited by dinosaurs, army men and matchbox cars – fueled by reruns of Lost in Space, the original Star Trek and Godzilla movies on Saturday afternoons. While these certainly offered fuel enough for my overactive imagination to work with, Star Wars gave me blasters, light sabers, an evil empire with incredibly cool costumes, aliens, dogfighting starships hurdling through a galaxy far, far away and … the force. All these things were revealed through a story that seemed vast, deeply satisfying, strange and yet somehow familiar.

Darth Aric and Princess Cassie

I was obsessed with the universe that Lucas had created and wished I could live there in the way many people now wish to live on Pandora (the world of James Cameron’s Avatar). I collected the action figures and dressed up as Darth Vader for Halloween (that’s me, dueling with my friend, Cassie, who obligingly agreed to go as Princess Leia.) Being an industrial designer, my father made the costume with which I won a city wide contest, complete with prize money and a photo op with the mayor that ran in our local newspaper. The lights of the chest plate blinked, the dome of the helmet was sculpted from Bondo with about 20 coats of auto-grade glossy black paint … it was truly awesome.

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Like so many artists of my generation, I credit the experience of seeing Star Wars for the first time with jolting me awake, opening my imagination in the same way a stick of dynamite would open a pop can – mind blown. Since that day, the Star Wars universe has offered me a wellspring of inspiration – but it did more than that. Wishing to understand how Lucas came up with his world and the story that so engaged me, I began looking into the things that inspired him, hoping one day that this would lead me to create a world of my own. I learned that he was drawing on two of his personal interests – history (especially World War II) and the works of Joseph Campbell (professor and author of many books on the comparative study of world religions/mythology including Hero With A Thousand Faces and The Power of Myth). This got me interested in these areas and lead me ultimately to the historical, cultural and myth-based art I create today.

Jar-Jar-Binks-jar-jar-binks-25900310-830-371

The prequels came out when I was an adult and like most who grew up with the original trilogy, this return to Star Wars left me disappointed. I hated several of the characters (like Jar Jar), plot points (midi-chlorians) as well as the over-use (and in some cases oddly ineffectual use) of CGI. I also found the humor in these new scripts agonizing. Consequently, I wrote these new films off as “written for children” and wondered if my adult mind was simply immune to the magic of future Star Wars films. This never really rang true however and I hoped one day there might be something new worth celebrating in the Star Wars universe that could make me feel the same exhilaration I had felt as a child.

leia - disney princess.jpg

So, when I heard that Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney, I had intensely mixed emotions. I felt betrayed by Lucas who started out as a rebel director fighting the evil empire that was the American film industry only to forge his own empire – now ultimately to sell that empire to an even larger one. Simply put, he had started out as Luke and was now Darth Vader. Facebook memes showing Leia Organa as “the next Disney princess” made my stomach turn. On the other hand, I felt cautiously optimistic that Disney would find a way back to the original Star Wars universe I loved.

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Successfully avoiding all spoilers (I only allowed myself to watch the official trailers), I walked into the IMax 3D theater with my wife and daughter a few days after Christmas without a clue what to expect.

Star-Wars-The-Force-Awakens-sun-.jpg

So, what is my reaction to seeing The Force Awakens? I want to call director, J.J. Abrams, and the producers at Disney/Lucasfilm and thank them for breathing new life into the muse I have drawn on for as long as I can remember. It is good to see Star Wars alive and well again after its long hibernation and I look forward to many more films exploring the far reaches of that galaxy far, far away.

-Aric Jorn

Viking Prows: Setting Sail

It has been extremely exciting to see my VIKING PROW: COILED SERPENT come to fruition after kicking around in my head for several years – and what a joy to hear the response from collectors and fair goers who have brought it into their homes and offices or stopped in to discuss them with me over the summer art show season.

This piece became available in June (after several frustrating production delays). Now, only five (5) remain of the initial batch of twenty and these will be the last ones available until after the holidays. So, if there is a deserving Viking in your life, you can claim one at etsy.com/shop/Jivotica prow-batch-2015

For those who may not know about this piece, it is a tribute to the mighty sea kings of ancient Scandinavia (the Vikings) whose reach extended from Constantinople to North America and from the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean Sea between the 8th and 11th centuries. It is modeled after one of the most famous archeological finds in Scandinavian history – the Oseberg ship. The piece seeks to capture a sense of the majesty, mystery and artistic flair of ancient Scandinavian culture.

My VIKING PROW: COILED SERPENT weighs about 3 pounds and stands roughly 16 inches tall. It is strictly limited to 95 signed/numbered castings and a handful of artist proofs. Each piece is hand painted, weathered and sealed (so no two are exactly alike). It comes with a signed COA/story card as well.

Many thanks to all those who have commented on – or purchased – one of these Prows. Your support and patronage is what drives me forward as an artist and allows me to make a living doing so.

~Aric Jorn

Last Stops: Late Summer Show Update

Back in June, I announced the summer art fairs at which I would be showing this year. The booth numbers had not been assigned at the time, so, as several people have contacted me about it, I will give the updated information here. If you’re looking for something fun to do over the next two weekends, here’s where I will be…

1j-art-and-applesSEPTEMBER 11-13
Nestled in a beautiful 30-acre wooded park (the Rochester Municipal Park to be exact), the Art and Apples Festival is a joy to walk through, divided in two by a winding stream. Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, it consistently ranks among the top 30 fairs in the country with 290 artists engaging with 200,000 visitors. I’ve walked this fair as a visitor in the past and am overjoyed to be participating this year as one of its artists. (You can find me in BOOTH #107.)

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1j-common-ground-logo

SEPTEMBER 19-20
I’ll wrap up my summer show schedule with Common Ground’s Birmingham Street Art Fair. Celebrating it’s 41st anniversary, this show (along with the Ann Arbor Street Fair) is of special personal significance because it is one of the shows I grew up attending when my mother was active as a fiber artist. Now, as an adult and working artist in my own right, it is wonderful to find myself doing the very same shows I remember from my childhood. (You can find me in BOOTH #101.)

If you do decide to attend one of these shows, be sure to stop be and say “hello.”

~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.

Free V.I.P. Art Show Passes

I have three pairs of VIP passes for the Orchard Lake  Fine Art Show in West Bloomfield this weekend. If you follow this blog at Jivotica.com or through my FB page and will be in Michigan this weekend, let me know and I’ll send you a pair of tickets. Admission is only $5 normally but, hey, free is still better, right? If you’re interested, please message me through this post by tomorrow (Wednesday) night and I’ll be sure you have them by the weekend.

1j-ORCHARD-LAKE

 

Here is a link to the map of the show:

Map – Orchard Lake

You can find me at BOOTH #108 on the South end of Daly street near the patron parking at Beaumont Medical Center and the Barnes and Noble. I’ll have Norse- and Celtic- inspired art including my new Triptic Tile series, the Viking Prow along with work inspired by other traditions around the world.

Hope to see many of you there!

~Aric

 

 

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.

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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)

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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.

Aric on PBS: Update & Link

Back in July, I wrote about my experience on the 9th of that month as a camera crew from PBS’s Detroit Performs shadowed me for a day – both at my sculpting studio and at The Henry Ford’s Liberty Craftworks where I present early American pottery and demonstrate various decorating techniques. It was my most widely read blog post to date and I’d like to think it wasn’t solely due to its title, “Aric Has Been Shot.

Last month, I announced that the interview would be broken up into two episodes. The first, which focuses on my work at The Henry Ford, aired this past Tuesday evening. For those of you who missed it (or don’t live in Michigan), here is a link to the entire Liberty Craftworks episode of Detroit Performs. The pottery segment itself starts about 5 minutes in with other segments on our glass blowing and weaving shops directly thereafter. That said, I encourage you to watch the entire episode – particularly if you have never visited The Henry Ford – as it really captures what we do in the Liberty Craftworks.

The second piece of my interview will focus on my work as a sculptor and will air later in the season (likely early January, 2015). I will post the date here once I know it. Among other things, the second piece will feature the making of my “Hugin and Munin” relief as well as a large free-standing piece that I will be previewing here in December prior to the official unveiling on Detroit Performs.

~Aric

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