Jump to content

Sculpture In Vera Wood, Copper, Shibuichi, Shakudo And Gold

Jim Kelso

Recommended Posts

So more or less done and dusted on this one. I call it Kinship of Cherished Ephemerals.


My aim with this work was to evoke the mystery and fleeting beauty around the relationship of seemingly unremarkable bits of nature. Thoreau wrote much about the value of looking closely at our home ground for inspiration: “The discoveries which we make abroad are special and particular; those which we make at home are general*and significant. The further off, the nearer the surface. The nearer home, the deeper.” [Journal, September 7, 1851]


Overall length is 13 inches. Vera wood with copper, shibuichi, shakudo and 18k gold.


Here is a link to a gallery with more photos:



And a tutorial of how the feather was made:



The wood-carving resolved into an area on one end suggestive of weathered wood or sculpted stone in a stream-bed, or perhaps both, and on the other end as a small area of moving water flowing between mossy patches. Rather than be too literal I would rather leave interpretation to the imagination of the viewer.

The metalwork also evolved very differently than usual, the end result being the third generation of concept. Initially I had thought of a larger piece of metalwork but decided that small details would be better as the wood is so powerful. I chose to portray specimens from the animal, vegetable and mineral worlds to illustrate the harmony and relationship of elements (Classical or Asian mode).





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jim as always amazing work. I still would love to study under you but life is as it is. I wish that you would write a book. If you do I would buy it. What books would you recommend if I were going to to start doing metal work similar to the work that you do?


by the way it does look like a feather floating on a rocky stream. i can just see the water lapping around the stones just before the feather becomes water loged.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks very much Ken, Dan and Nelson!


Dan there is so much information available these days on the net on technique, more-so than in books. I would rather spend my time making work, as I enter the home-stretch of my career, but I appreciate your comments. My website and blog have a lot of information about technique as well as motivation.




Thanks again.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

oh i agree learned just about everything i know on the net but its just not the same as a good solid book to collect dust and pull down when i cant remember something. or to grab to use as an example when im trying to explain what i know but dont know how to describe.


i was showing your feather to a workmate and we were talking about a creek we would play in as kids. i can just about feel the sun shining down through the trees as we spashing through the creek jumping from stone to stone climbing down the "giant waterfall". that waterfall i now see in a different light as an adult. I can remember laying on a large boulder that was in the middle of the creek trying to catch minnows in my hands over the edge of the rock. thanks for the warm memories jim i think this is my favorite of all your work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks very much guys.

Ed, Vera is a very interesting and unusual wood. It is a cousin of lignum vitae and is super dense(does not float) and infused with a fragrant oil. It has a strange interlocked grain which makes it very challenging to carve as the grain direction constantly changes. When freshly cut or worked it is mostly gold and yellow, but when polished, after a few days much of it turns green with some gold tones remaining. Cannot be glued effectively and I doubt there is any finish that will stick to it, but no matter as it takes a beautiful high polish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...

Mr Kelso,


First few minutes of the movie "Men In Black" - the rookie ranger is mesmerized by seeing something his mind was totally unprepared for, and all he could was stare and blabber .. "what - what - what" ... :o


Now I understand how he must have felt. This is a fantastic sculpture ...


Best regards


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...