First, let me say thank you — the red key pieces were a lovely success, I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did making them. The boxes sold out, but I have one of the mini art pieces left (can be finished as either silver or red) — if you’d like it, email me and I’ll hold it for you! If you missed the post, you can check it out HERE.
But back to business! I’ve been promising you photos of my recent commission work, and I’m very excited to share this next piece with you. The design is based on a copper tree I made two years ago, which inspired a similar piece last year in a deep teal blue (the piece displayed in the PNC SmartHome, for those of you who saw it). I brought the teal version along when I met with a potential customer, and her husband fell in love with it. So she decided to surprise him for his birthday, but she wanted to personalize it to make it more meaningful. She emailed me a copy of a poem, and a list of words/ identities — things like “father”, “patriot”, “husband”, “son” — to somehow include in the finished piece.
The poem is a lovely piece about bravery and determination, and is read from the bottom of the trunk to the top branches. I curved the words to mirror the irregular shapes, and transferred them onto the copper.
The individual words were much trickier. I had to do a lot of experimenting — my first versions, with words etched into the background, were clunky and awkward. A bit like a first grader writing in crayon. So I started working with photo transfer again, but the font still felt very thick and overbearing. I simplified it down to the thinnest, lightest writing I could find, and it finally started to click. It needed to almost disappear into the background to feel natural. So I placed the words on the Japanese maple leaves, accenting a petal here, a petal there.
What I like most is the way the lines of the letters echo the outline of the leaves. There is a delicate lightness to both of them. And the text is somewhat hidden, so it became a more private message between husband and wife. The words become apparent when the light strikes them just right, and they are never all completely visible at the same time. Much like the identities themselves, they may surface or recede based on the circumstances around them.
The finished piece:
As for the teal copper branch, I’m happy to announce that it will soon be in the collection of Fairmount Minerals! They recently purchased it, along with a companion piece that I will be sharing in the next few weeks.
Until then, take care and have a great week!