Tuesday, 29 April 2008

It's got eyes now...

To day I started work on carving the body. Because of the way I've chosen to set the wings so low on the iron the point at which they join the body must naturally also be quite low. I've fiddled in photoshop to simulate what that area will look like when it's done because the open area there is a bit distracting right now and I wanted to present an idea of what I'm working towards.

Although the point of attachment for the wings is very low I've been able to leave the head, and more importantly the eyes, quite raised. The abdomen is also quite proud of the surface, almost completely 3D in effect.

The eyes are done in black lip, mother of pearl and seem to work rather well. I've given the body, which is shakudo, a bit of colour like it will be when completed. I intend to inlay a pattern along the body, in gold. The wings at this stage look a bit garish but there I will be engraving my "new and improved" vein pattern on them and filling the very fine lines with black lacquer. This will hopefully bind the black and gold body and the black and gold wings together as a whole. The wings are now close to their final thickness and are showing some lovely flashes of green and pink.


Fred Zweig said...


The concept is trully magical. I would think that the difficulty will be maintaining the same texture of the stone once you set the head and abdomen. Photoshop is a great tool.


Ford Hallam said...

Hi Fred, thanks..it's getting there. I'm doing a quick trial piece now, to test my idea of cutting the metal away behind the wings, just leaving a sliver around the edge so that it might appear like a "window".

As you see it now the head and body is already inlaid, the bit I fiddled with is just a bit of shading where the wings meet up. The wings are also at this point actually recessed into the iron stone.I'll only glue them in once the patina is complete, right at the end.

I'll add some more images this week as it progresses.

regards, Ford

Anonymous said...

Frankly, you are selling yourself short every time by not working directly from life. My best suggestion, in order for you to reach your full potential, is to work directly from life. Put the time, energy and focus into it and you will be truly rewarded in all your endeavours. I wish you the best and hope you will realize your full potentail.

Ford Hallam said...

Hello anonymous,

I wonder what makes you think I'm not working from life. Also, I'm not entirely sure what you feel I should be getting, from working directly from life...care to elaborate?

thanks for the suggestion...I'll ponder some more.

regards, Ford

Anonymous said...

It's obvious to an experienced eye.

If you need to ask what you should be getting by working directly from life, well, there is no short answer. You will find the answer by simply doing it. The practice of it will reveal the reason why to you. There are no shortcuts either, the work must be done to reach where you wish to, that is, if you wish to.

Ford Hallam said...

Hi Anonymous,

I didn't recognise you for a while ;-) good to know you're still around, Kathleen.

Thanks for the interest in my work...I'll think about what you're suggesting although the assumption that working from life is "the only way" is, in my opinion, not always as relevant as is often imagined. I think it may also depend on the intention behind the work...

I've said it a number of times, subject matter is less important to me than the way I handle my materials and attempt to express my feeling through form, colour and texture. I regard my approach as being more abstract in this way.

regards, Ford