Mermaid Series

Philosophy. Undersea chimneys bubble away as the mermaid spirits from her sacred treasure trove. Lined in gold, the secrets she keeps, hidden, transformed in the lilting ribbons of light that shimmer down from the surface, watery, reflecting. Upward she swims, hair flowing in the currents deep, sunlight playing on her tresses.

The Mermaid Series is inspired by the original red-headed mermaid herself – Tori Amos. Connecting “Siren,” “Liquid Diamonds,” and “Pandora’s Aquarium,” Tori Amos’s three mermaid songs, allowed a design to emerge: an abstract allusion, elegant, able to tell the story with unfettered ease.

Creation. Pieces in the Mermaid Series are turned from the highest-quality burl wood, finished “green” so that when drying, the natural textures of the wood begin to emerge. Burls move in dramatic ways: some parts sinking inward, others rising from the surface to create a marvelously tactile canvas.

Oriented in specific ways, burls reveal the most incredible grain. In Mermaid Series pieces, one side will be filled with burl eyes, an allusion to bubbles rising from the sea chimneys in the ocean floor. The other side will show striking rays, a reference to currents in the ocean deep. After turning, the vessels are then dyed with metal-complex dyes, the most permanent and light-fast available, creating layers of color to add depth to the piece.

I love to mingle the mermaid’s hair with the “currents” in the wood, as though they were carrying her beautiful strands and locks upward. Couture fibres are chosen, and crocheted right through the vessel walls via tiny holes that have been drilled in the surface. (Fiber is never glued on – you can see the stitches on the inside). Twenty-four karat gold leaf is applied to natural edges and sunken features to give the illusion that the inner walls are hiding solid gold.

Works in the Mermaid Series:
(Please click on images to see the larger photo)


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