Original Thought

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What I think about most is having the chance to hear the opinions
of some of the innovators (please don't be shy, you know who you
are). What did it feel like to have that first "original thought"?
People view your work and say things like "I have never seen
anything like it". Other people emulate your style, possibly try to
copy what you have done, but you had the "original thought" 

Here’s an original thought, two actually.

A few years ago, I entered a competition called in Boston called
“Cavalcade of Cod”. It was similar to the Cows of New York, Pigs in
Toronto, etc. Part of the application was a drawing of cod which
represented a five foot long, 3 foot wide fiberglass cod on a stand.
There were all kinds of ideas, “Postcod” for postcard, fish wrapped
in newspaper (The Codfather) and others. What I ended up with was
“Fine Dining” which eventually was sponsored and purchased at
auction by Legal Seafoods. I drilled 545 forks into the fish, all
connected up. It looked like a series of fish scales representing the
restaurant industry for fish. It was selected and I built the piece.


A new competition has just popped up for a Whale Tail. Same idea, but
whales are harder. They are mammals, you don’t eat them (except in
Japan), they are endangered, etc. Making fun of a whale is not the
same as a cod. How can I both involve historical content but make a
striking point to the whaling industry. Here’s what I came up with.

I plan to cover the entire whale with a white resin. Once it is
dried, I will draw with pencil or permanent black marker, scrimshaw
patterns which depict scenes of migration routes of whales. Using a
rotary tool and bur, I will scratch the scene into the surface and
later cover it with ink. The surface ink will be wiped off, leaving
the black ink in the recesses. The trick will be to mimic the crude
pin scratches of the era which will lend an air of authenticity.

Inspiration is everywhere! Keep a sketchbook with you, doodle while
on the phone or cut out shapes of colored paper and move them
around. Ideas are endless.

Karen Christians
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
Ph. 781/891-3854 Fax 3857
Jewelry/Metalarts School & Cooperative Studio