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Saturday, 31 December 2016

A dream commission.

One day at the beginning of summer, a gentleman, whom I had made a set of figures before, contacted me to commission a work. I booked a slot for it in autumn. He sent me loads of photos. They were taken during his very special trip to see Northern lights in Norway, which changed his life. He sent me about twenty phrases to go with the photos. I thought they were like flashes of his memory.

He requested me to create a sculptural piece inspired by the photos and phrases with a generous budget, without a deadline. There were no conditions, except for one thing. The piece should be a surprise, so he would only see it for the first time when he would receive it.

Like other commissions, I started thinking about it whilst out walking. What the aurora would look like? How cold was it? What was like to be on dog sleigh? I have tried to follow in his footsteps, reliving the experience. This is the most important part for my creation. Unless I could imagine it, that is, I could re-live the moments, I can't make. So I took as long as I needed.  

After a while, I started researching images of landscapes, aurora and the important places of the client. Finally I got a vision.

Here is a photo record of the making. I usually share the images of my kiln shelves. It was not very easy to avoid any part of the mask being visible in any of the photos. But I managed it, and the lovely client didn't have any idea what he was getting through any images he had seen on social media.



The initial idea. I wanted it to be asymmetrical, to start with. I don't sketch because sketching will limit my feeling. 


However, next day, I realised that it will need a pair of horns. The vikings' bridge has gone, too. I have added more details from the client's life. They have fallen into place naturally. 




After a bisque firing. They all stayed on, thankfully.


I was not sure about the forehead. I took a photo and slept over it. 




I thought a triangle would go well with the theme of the mask. 




In the end, he didn't want the pointing corners. 





The first glaze-firing was ok, but he needed dark bluish tinge on the sky parts. This was taken just before the second glaze-firing.




The third glaze-firing.  It went well. I was happy with how he came out. I told the client that it was ready to ship.

An accident happened.  Whilst packing, a part got broken. Usual repair method failed. I bought a special repair concoction. And it went through bisque-firing and glaze-firing. It was finally ready to be shipped. The repair itself took a month. In total, from the very beginning to the end it took about 5 months.

It was a dream commission. All pieces came in places, and it was like a puzzle. I knew it was a good work because I was happy with it.

The lovely client was also very happy and he even uses the mask as his avatar. Thank you so much for your trust, patience and understanding. I couldn't be happier to create this piece for you.



The client named him  Jeg v√•kner' (I awaken).



You could see sleigh dogs behind.


The details of the church. And a walnut. 

  

6 comments:

  1. WOW! You got what is probably the best commission ever!
    The results are delightful!
    Have a happy and hope filled 2017

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Suzi. Yes, I did. I felt like Michelangelo! :D Hahaha!
      Thank you. Wishing you very good 2017!

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Thank you! he has come out nicely. Both the client and I are very happy. : )

      Delete
  3. *_* Oooooh.... I Dare this Face and Her Story.

    ReplyDelete