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The Thrush's Promise


Jim Kelso

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Hello all. Sorry for my quietness lately. I've been really busy trying to finish this piece up that I've been working on since May. Still some details to tidy up but this photo gives the idea. I'm going to paste in details I've written to follow so it will sound a little stiff, but no time to write it over again. Thanks for looking.

 

This piece was conceived as an homage to Spring and the promise of new life to come, and the Wood Thrush, which in my opinion has the most beautiful song of all Vermont birds. Early this Spring I chanced upon a nest at eye-level. Perhaps because of my immersion in this project I was unusually moved by the fragile hopefulness that it conveyed. It was a symbol of how deep and strong nature’s wildness is, but at the same time how delicate and vulnerable. In these challenging times, I think we are all looking for reassurance and hope. I find nothing more heartening than the continued power of the cycles of nature, and I strongly hope we will move toward a renewed reverence for our wild connection.

 

I have wanted to make a nest in metal for several years and only just recently was convinced mentally how to proceed, both technically and aesthetically. In large part this was aided by seeing a koro lid by Shoami Katsuyoshi with chased pine-needles, and also a hanging basket in the form of a bird nest, chased in metal, by the same artist. Seeing these pieces convinced me of a visual and technical path that I felt capable of, and I’m most grateful for this prodding from the past.

 

It is often challenging to reconcile the limits of technique with one’s conceptual imagination, and a work either feels strained or inadequate. In this work, even though I was challenged by the demands, I felt surprisingly comfortable; within my limits, as though years of thinking about it combined with technical and aesthetic gains gave me the hands that I needed. I found the tray, or bon, form a natural extension of my combining of wood and metal and look forward to making more of this appealing object.

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That's beautiful Jim- thanks for posting. I think I'm familiar with the historical inspiration which you mention. I can understand how daunting yet seductive it was to try and take this piece on. Out of curiosity, what wood have you used for the background, and are the metal elements secured with pegs?

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Thanks very much guys.

 

Doug, the main piece is West African Ebony, the leaves are Gabon Ebony and the limbs are another Ebony, I think of Philippine origin. The metal bits are secured with pins. One is behind the eggs. Another extends from the light colored leaf, and another from the wood twig sticking up lower left.

 

Tom, I'm going to show some details of making in another thread and will be happy to answer questions there. I'll try to get to that later this evening.

 

Thanks again! ;)

 

Jim

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hi Jim, what can i say ? just one word: "superbe". I prefer tell you that in french, because you know all the other word in english like "wonderfull" "very nice", and i hope that it changes you a little to ear them in another langage. Seriously, your work is beautefull. I hope you have a good trip in Japan. If you make some photos, perhaps you show us something ? Thanks.

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Thanks all!

 

Fred, thanks very much. I appreciate that tip of the hat. Surface texturing is one of my most favorite things.

 

Doug, it's an easy thing to mistake materials if someone doesn't tell you what they are! ;)

More to follow.

 

Sergio, merci beaucoup. A compliment in any language is fine by me! I do plan to take lots of shots in Japan.

 

Jim

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Mr. Kelso,

Okay, I usually lurk but, the beauty of your work compels me to step out the shadows. I find the "quietness" and "restraint" of your pieces to be unbelievably beautiful--not to mention, your absolute ability to "master" your chosen materials.

Thank you and regards-Beverly Carter-metalsmith.

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