Tag Archives: celtic

Faeries of the Wood

Faeries of the Wood is the latest in my triptych series where I attempt to capture a mythological story or concept in three 4-inch tiles.

faerie-triptych-blog

Faeries in their modern form have been capturing imaginations for two centuries having gained prominence in the Victorian Age. It was at this time that what we now think of as fairies (beautiful young girls with tiny dresses and delicate wings that spend their time flittering about in the woods) took hold. This image of the faery would eventually lead us to the ultimate form of “cute” fairy – Disney’s Tinkerbell.

To say that this is a far cry from the faeries found in works pre-dating the Victorian Age would be an understatement. While the faeries of old might occasionally help out a human, they were just as likely to be malicious tricksters who delighted in toying with the mortals they encountered. They were powerful and wild forces of nature. While the Victorian Age skewed our idea of faeries as beings far more consistently benevolent, they still retain their magic, mystery and deep connection to nature and these are after all the most important aspects of the faerie folk.

I will explore the earlier forms of faeries in future pieces, but decided to start with something more familiar. So, it is from the modern traditions of Ireland, England and France that I drew most heavily when envisioning my Faeries of the Wood triptych.

Faeries of the Wood is limited to 75 signed and numbered castings presented in cold-cast brass. Each piece is hand numbered, signed and mounted in an elegant beaded frame (available in black or aged walnut).

There is a large number of books available to those who are interested in exploring the world of Faeries. One of my go-to sources on the subject is Anna Franklin’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Fairies. I also enjoy the many books by Brian Froud, whom many consider to be the current embodiment of the faerie spirit.

As always, whether you choose to contact me privately or leave a public comment, I welcome your feedback and suggestions.

~Aric

The Wolves of Ragnarok

A year and a half ago,  I created Odin’s Raven’s: Hugin & Munin. I greatly enjoyed working with a pairing of mythological creatures who were not only significant to the time and culture that created them but who’s wisdom still rings true today. So I’ve decided to follow it up with another powerful duo from Norse mythology, the Wolves of Ragnarok: Skoll and Hati. Just as Odin’s Ravens are a symbol of curiosity, awareness and the thirst for knowledge, The Wolves of Ragnarok are a symbol of endings, reminding us to live life while we can.

Wolves-of-Ragnarok-ETSY

Wolves appear in many mythologies but nowhere are they more central than in the ancient Scandinavian tradition and few events in Norse myth are as central as Ragnarok. It is the end of the world (literally “Twilight of the Gods”) and several wolves play key roles in the story.

So, who are Skoll and Hati?

Skoll and Hati are massive wolves who run through the heavens chasing the sun and moon. When Ragnarok is upon the world, they will catch their prey and swallow them whole, marking the end of the world we know and paving the way for a new world to begin.

However, this sobering image is not as bleak as it appears at first glance. Consider that the Norse gods know Ragnarok is inevitable – it will come no matter what they do – and when it comes, they too will cease to exist, pulled back into the chaotic void of Ganungagap from whence our universe was created and to which it must return. Yet they do not allow this fact to stop them from working hard to delay it, building up their world, finding joy, love, honor and adventure, engaging in everything life has to offer. In this sense, the symbol of Skoll and Hati as harbingers of unavoidable doom stand as a reminder that all things end and that we should use every moment we have on earth to the fullest.

About the art

This layered relief is created from four separate castings using cold-cast nickel silver, brass, copper and stone. Patinas, stains, inks and/or paints are applied and the individual pieces are buffed to bring out highlights. They are then assembled, clear coated and mounted in a black, glassless shadowbox. Wolves of Ragnarok: Skoll and Hati is limited to 150 signed and numbered pieces and is available here. I am also reserving a small number of matched sets that will include Odin’s Ravens and Wolves of Ragnarok with matching edition numbers.

Wolves-and-Ravens

Digging a little deeper into the story of Skoll and Hati…

The Eddic poem Grímnismál has a few passages that refer to Skoll and Hati. Here is the one that inspired me to create this piece (translated into English):

Skoll is the name of the wolf
Who follows the shining priest
Into the desolate forest,
And the other is Hati,
Hróðvitnir’s son,
Who chases the bright bride of the sky.

It is worth noting that “Hróðvitnir” (loosely translated as “Famous Wolf”) refers to Fenrir, Loki’s son. Fenrir is the enormous wolf who himself will be the death of Odin at the time of Ragnarok. It is therefore Hróðvitnir’s (Fenrir’s) children (Skoll and Hati) who will swallow the sun and moon. There is some dispute among academics as to which of these celestial wolves chases the sun and which the moon, and there is an interesting article on this dispute to be found here.

So, take the message of Skoll and Hati to heart and seize life while you can.

~Aric

Last Stops: Late Summer Show Update

Back in June, I announced the summer art fairs at which I would be showing this year. The booth numbers had not been assigned at the time, so, as several people have contacted me about it, I will give the updated information here. If you’re looking for something fun to do over the next two weekends, here’s where I will be…

1j-art-and-applesSEPTEMBER 11-13
Nestled in a beautiful 30-acre wooded park (the Rochester Municipal Park to be exact), the Art and Apples Festival is a joy to walk through, divided in two by a winding stream. Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, it consistently ranks among the top 30 fairs in the country with 290 artists engaging with 200,000 visitors. I’ve walked this fair as a visitor in the past and am overjoyed to be participating this year as one of its artists. (You can find me in BOOTH #107.)

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1j-common-ground-logo

SEPTEMBER 19-20
I’ll wrap up my summer show schedule with Common Ground’s Birmingham Street Art Fair. Celebrating it’s 41st anniversary, this show (along with the Ann Arbor Street Fair) is of special personal significance because it is one of the shows I grew up attending when my mother was active as a fiber artist. Now, as an adult and working artist in my own right, it is wonderful to find myself doing the very same shows I remember from my childhood. (You can find me in BOOTH #101.)

If you do decide to attend one of these shows, be sure to stop be and say “hello.”

~Aric Jorn

Jivotica Story Cards have arrived!

Story cards have arrived fresh from the printer for Odin’s Ravens and Viking Prow:Coiled Serpent, as well as for the Ratatosk and Fishing for Jormungand triptychs. I am in the process of sending these out to all those who made purchases this summer. Although I have a fairly comprehensive list, I’m certain there are some patrons who did not add their contact information to my list at the time of purchase. So, if you are reading this and find yourself lacking a properly signed COA/story card to go along with your piece, please contact me and I’ll dispatch one right away – be sure to include the edition number on the piece (if applicable) along with your mailing address.

Story card pic

~Aric Jorn

Sculpting Myth: Triptych Tile series

Today I’m sharing a new series that I started this spring – I call them Triptych Tiles and each one seeks to capture the essence of a mythological story or idea in three, four-inch tiles. Those who found me at any of my spring/summer shows (Farmington, Birmingham, Ann Arbor or Lansing) got a sneak peek at these as I experimented with various finishes, patinas and framing options. I have been overjoyed at the response they have received so far and both are now available in the Jivotica Gallery Shop.

Fishing-brass-full
FISHING FOR JORMUNGAND
This triptych captures the story of Thor as he fishes for the Midgard Serpent, Jormungand (Jörmungandr). Long before Captain Ahab set out to find Moby Dick, Thor was after something vastly larger, for the Midgard Serpent was so large it encircled all of Midgard and was a source of dread for the Aesir Gods themselves. With hammer held aloft, Thor waits for his nemisis to take the bait. When he does, Thor pulls on the line so hard that his feet break through the bottom of the boat. The struggle continues for a time but eventually, Thor is obliged to give up the chase. Although this encounter proves inconclusive, the two are destined to meet once more in combat at the great, world-ending battle of Ragnarok, during which each will die at the hands of the other.

Ratatosk-copper-full
RATATOSK
The second triptych depicts the great world tree, Yggdrasil, and three of its more notable denizens.
High in the canopy is Eagle (interestingly, the only important character in Norse mythology never to be identified with a proper name). Eagle represents the positive aspects of creation (the ordered cosmos). Beneath the tree is Nidhoggr (who’s name means “He who strikes with Malice”). He is a dragon who despises creation and is attempting to bring about its destruction by gnawing at the roots of Yggdrasil and drawing the cosmos back into chaos. Between them is Ratatosk the trickster – a squirrel who delights in running up and down the trunk of Yggdrasil, spreading gossip and insults between the Eagle above and the dragon below, ensuring that they will forever be at odds.

Each piece in the Triptych Tile series will be strictly limited to 50 signed & numbered castings in each of three finishes (in the case of these first two piece, the finishes are copper, brass and stone.) Each triptych comes beautifully mounted and framed, accompanied by a signed COA/story card that tells the tale upon which the art is based.

If you are interested in acquiring either of these triptychs, you can find them in the Jivotica Gallery Shop.

A SPECIAL NOTE: Although I will be devoting an entire blog entry to it next week, I would like to acknowledge that the photography for these pieces is the work of my dear friend, wonderful photographer and fellow creative spirit, Donna Kert, of Life in Focus Studio.

Free V.I.P. Art Show Passes

I have three pairs of VIP passes for the Orchard Lake  Fine Art Show in West Bloomfield this weekend. If you follow this blog at Jivotica.com or through my FB page and will be in Michigan this weekend, let me know and I’ll send you a pair of tickets. Admission is only $5 normally but, hey, free is still better, right? If you’re interested, please message me through this post by tomorrow (Wednesday) night and I’ll be sure you have them by the weekend.

1j-ORCHARD-LAKE

 

Here is a link to the map of the show:

Map – Orchard Lake

You can find me at BOOTH #108 on the South end of Daly street near the patron parking at Beaumont Medical Center and the Barnes and Noble. I’ll have Norse- and Celtic- inspired art including my new Triptic Tile series, the Viking Prow along with work inspired by other traditions around the world.

Hope to see many of you there!

~Aric

 

 

Springing Into Summer: Show Recap & Announcements

Thank you to everyone who came to my spring shows. Whether you bought one of my pieces or simply stopped in to chat, it was a pleasure sharing my art with so many visitors and meeting several of my online customers in person. I think that is the real magic of an art show – the chance to speak directly to the artists and they with their patrons.

Jivotica-Booth-2015

Despite a few bouts of poor weather, the spring shows were wonderful. It was exciting to break in my new tent at Art Birmingham and the East Lansing Art Festival and I was delighted to be invited to share the story behind my work with Fox 2’s Robin Murdock, the Dearborn Press & Guide, and WKAR.

farmington2015-best-in-show-604

Perhaps the most exciting thing took place at Art on the Grand in Farmington where I was awarded “Best in Show.” There were so many talented artists in attendance, the honor came as a surprise.

With the spring shows behind me, it’s time to announce my summer schedule. I invite you to visit me at any of the following events…

1j-A2-summer-art-fair

JULY 15-18
I kick off the summer season with a big one, the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair. With more than 500,000 people attending each year, this four-day show is by far the largest around and I am very excited to participate in this event as a member of The Guild of Artists and Artisans. I can be found on Liberty just East of Main in BOOTH #258.

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1j-ORCHARD-LAKE

JULY 25-26
Less than a week after striking my tent in A2, I’ll be setting up shop in the heart of West Bloomfield, MI, for the Orchard Lake Fine Art Show. This show has ranked in the top 100 shows in the nation for eight straight years with a strong emphasis on artistic quality and originality. I can be found on Daly road near the parking lot for Beaumont Medical Center in BOOTH #108. The fair itself can be found just West of Orchard Lake rd between 14 mile and Maple roads.

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1j-art-and-applesSEPTEMBER 11-13
Nestled in a beautiful 30-acre wooded park, the Art and Apples Festival is a joy to walk through, divided in two by a winding stream. Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, it consistently ranks among the top 30 fairs in the country with 290 artists engaging with 200,000 visitors. I’ve walked this fair as a visitor and am overjoyed to be participating this year as one of its artists. (You can find me in BOOTH #107.)

——

1j-common-ground-logo

SEPTEMBER 19-20
I’ll wrap up my summer show schedule with Common Ground’s Birmingham Street Art Fair. Celebrating it’s 41st anniversary, this show (along with the Ann Arbor Street Fair) is of special personal significance because it is one of the shows I grew up attending when my mother was active as a fiber artist. Now, as an adult and working artist in my own right, it is wonderful to find myself doing the very same shows I remember from my childhood. (You can find me in BOOTH #101.)

Thank you once again to everyone who stopped by my booth this spring – both for your interest and your support. This has been quite an adventure and I hope to see many of you again this summer.

~Aric Jorn

Jivotica goes a-viking: 2015 Spring Art Show Announcements

Many people don’t know that the word “viking” started out as a verb. Scandinavians looking to explore, trade, raid or otherwise seek their fortune abroad would “go a-viking.” While I have no intention of raiding anywhere, I am going a-viking in the trade sense. Perhaps I should explain…

Having returned from a short but necessary hiatus to build up inventory and develop several new sculptures, I have much news to share. I will spread that news out over the coming weeks and months but today, I am announcing my official Spring Art Show Schedule – all the places I will be setting up shop between now and the Summer Solstice. I am extremely excited to be participating in these shows and hope to see many of you there (logos are linked to the show sites for additional information.)

BAF logo only
MAY 9 & 10
My first show of the season will be the 34th Annual Art Birmingham. Originally known as the Birmingham Fine Art Festival, it takes place in the streets surrounding Shain Park, in downtown Birmingham, Michigan. This highly respected event will showcase 160 juried artists. You will find me in BOOTH #90.

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East Lansing Art Festival Logo
May 16 & 17
My second show is the East Lansing Art Festival, a two-day celebration of art and culture established in 1964. The juried festival is ranked 54th on Sunshine Artist Magazine’s Top 100 Best Fine Art and Design Shows in the country. The event includes live music and performances on two stages and attracts over 70,000 patrons. **You can find me at the North end of the festival in BOOTH #167 (near the art demos area)

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Art on the Grand Logo
June 6 & 7
My third show for Spring is Art on the Grand, a juried fine arts show located downtown in the charming, historic city of Farmington, MI. Now in its sixth year, Art on the Grand features 100 fine artists from around the country. **You can find me at the North end of the fair around Grand River and Warner street in BOOTH #60.

I’ll be participating in many other events throughout the year and I’ll post summer/fall shows as the various juries make their announcements. Until then, I hope you will catch up with me at one of these fine spring shows.

Yours in the Arts,
~Aric Jorn

Sculpting Myth: Hugin and Munin

The next piece in my “Sculpting Myth” series (available in my Jivotica gallery store and limited to 150 signed/numbered castings) explores another symbol from my Norse heritage, the pair of ravens who served none other than Odin, the All Father, himself. Their names are Hugin and Munin and they were sent out each day to fly around Midgard (Earth) and report back on the events of the world (it is in this way that Odin achieved something like Omniscience.) 

Hugin&Munin

The ravens are shown intertwined in knotwork to symbolize their interconnectedness – not only to each other, but also to Odin, the physical world and the knowledge they seek. They are perched on a rune stone upon which is carved a sampling of Futhark (the Norse alphabet) and a depiction of Odin astride his eight-legged horse, Sleipnir.

This piece is fashioned from four separate reliefs using cold-cast bronze, nickel silver and stone-infused resin. Next, patinas, inks and paints are applied and the pieces are buffed to bring out highlights. They are then assembled, covered with a clear coat and mounted in a beautiful black shadowbox frame.

Because they are closely associated with the seeking of knowledge and the king archetype, people often display images of Hugin and munin in their library, study, office or wherever they do their most profound thinking or make their biggest decisions.

Digging deeper into the story of Hugin and Munin…

The Eddic poem Grímnismál mentions Odin’s thoughts on Hugin and Munin:

Hugin and Munin
Fly every day
Over all the world;
I worry for Hugin
That he might not return,
But I worry for Munin more.

The names Hugin and Munin are commonly translated as “thought” and “memory” respectively. While it is widely accepted that the name Hugin does indeed mean “thought” (derived from the Old Norse “hugr”), given that the Old Norse word for memory is “minni,” it is more likely that Munin is derived from the Old Norse word “munr” meaning “desire.”

odin, hugin and munin

So, with this alternate translation in mind, Odin seems then to be saying that he is worried about losing his mental faculties (thought), but is more worried about losing his zest for life (desire). I think this expresses the importance placed on a raw passion for life that is fundamental to the Viking world view.

For additional information on Hugin and Munin (and other tales of Norse mythology), I strongly recommend the site Norse-Mythology.org

This piece has joined the others on my Etsy store and I will also have them available at the Ann Arbor Artisan Market. As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions.

~Aric Jorn

Sculpting Myths: Yggdrasil

As promised, today I am sharing the next piece in my SCULPTING MYTHS series, YGGDRASIL: the Tree of Life.

Whether we speak of the Bodhi tree under which the Buddha sat, the tree(s) of knowledge in the Garden of Eden, the tree of life so central to the Celtic tradition; or those found in the mythologies of ancient Egypt, China, India and countless others, trees have played a major role in stories that seek to explain the world and our place in it. In many of them, the tree represents the connection between mortal man, the heavens and the other realms and often it is seen as the very thing that holds them in place and binds each to the other.

To this day, trees continue to be a staple in storytelling, from J.R.R. Tolkein’s Trees of Valinor in Middle Earth to James Cameron’s Home Tree of Pandora in Avatar.

Yggdrasil-copperYggdrasil-bronze

I chose to name this particular design YGGDRASIL which is the Tree of Life in the Norse tradition. It is the tree that connects all 9 realms of the Norse mythology and it is upon this tree that Odin, the All-Father sacrificed himself (to himself) as a means of acquiring knowledge. But whatever name I give it, the design is intended to represent trees appearing in all our myths and traditions and I hope it will bring you a sense of connectedness to the natural world.

Yggdrasil-stoneYggdrasil-stone-framed

This sculptural relief is 10 inches in diameter. It can be hung as a plaque and is also available framed in a high-quality shadowbox. Offered initially in three finishes – cold cast bronze, copper and stone – it is hand weathered and sealed for a long life, stamped on the back and accompanied by a signed certificate.

Made in the USA from start to finish and offered to the world in humble gratitude.

~Aric Jorn