Tag Archives: Sculptor

Bracing for the Maelstrom

June ended on a wonderful note when the Fountain Square Art Festival honored me with the first place award for “Best in 3D Mixed Media & Sculpture.” This was my first show in Chicago as a sculptor and it was great fun to spend some time in my favorite city again.

Since returning home, I have been hard at work preparing for my most ambitious month yet – four shows in four weeks. Apart from all the production, I will also be unveiling a new piece at one of the shows.

So, for those who would like to see my work in person, here’s where to find me over the next month…

Tomorrow I leave for the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, July 14-17. Sunshine magazine ranks this 4-day event the top juried art show in the USA and I am honored to be one of the showing artsts. You’ll find me in BOOTH B-39

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Two days after returning home, it’s off to the Ann Arbor Summer Arts Fair. This was one of the most enjoyable shows I did last year (not to mention the largest), and I highly recommend it to anyone in the A2 area July 21-24. You’ll find me in BOOTH 275 on Liberty and Main)

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Next stop will be the Huron Valley Arts Festival. This one-day event (July 30 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm) will pack a lot of art in just 7 hours. (You’ll find me in BOOTH 3)

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Finally, August 6 & 7 will find me at Fine Art at the Village. This two-day event is in Rochester Hills and, for those in the area who are not able to make the Art & Apples show in September, this is a great opportunity to see some art in the Rochester Hills area. The fair takes place amidst a high-end outdoor shopping mall (You’ll find me at the South end of the fair by the Whole Foods at BOOTH 6)

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I hope to see you at one of these shows.

~Aric Jorn

 

Free Trade from the North

With such a good start to my year, I want to thank all those who follow me and collect my work – both in the USA and around the world – with a rare promotion. For the entire month of June, all domestic orders (of $150 or more) will ship for free to anyone who follows my studio online. International clients will receive an instant $25 shipping reduction at checkout.

Regardless of how you choose to engage with my work – whether through my blog or on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or ETSY – your support and patronage is what allows me to continue sculpting and I sincerely appreciate your support.

To take advantage of this offer, simply follow one of my accounts (and if you’re reading this, you probably follow one already) and use the codes below at checkout on my ETSY store:

Domestic clients:  VikingShip2016
International clients:    VikingLongShip2016

Skål !!
~Aric Jorn

Indulging My Inner Geek

I hope you will forgive me for getting my geek on as I am about to do. Although I rarely discuss my early influences, I find on this particular occasion, an irresistible force compels me to do so.

In 1977, I saw Star Wars on the big screen and my eyes were immediately adjusted to what storytelling could be. I was eight years old and knew at that moment I would be an artist and a storyteller. Up to that point, my imaginary worlds were mainly inhabited by dinosaurs, army men and matchbox cars – fueled by reruns of Lost in Space, the original Star Trek and Godzilla movies on Saturday afternoons. While these certainly offered fuel enough for my overactive imagination to work with, Star Wars gave me blasters, light sabers, an evil empire with incredibly cool costumes, aliens, dogfighting starships hurdling through a galaxy far, far away and … the force. All these things were revealed through a story that seemed vast, deeply satisfying, strange and yet somehow familiar.

Darth Aric and Princess Cassie

I was obsessed with the universe that Lucas had created and wished I could live there in the way many people now wish to live on Pandora (the world of James Cameron’s Avatar). I collected the action figures and dressed up as Darth Vader for Halloween (that’s me, dueling with my friend, Cassie, who obligingly agreed to go as Princess Leia.) Being an industrial designer, my father made the costume with which I won a city wide contest, complete with prize money and a photo op with the mayor that ran in our local newspaper. The lights of the chest plate blinked, the dome of the helmet was sculpted from Bondo with about 20 coats of auto-grade glossy black paint … it was truly awesome.

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Like so many artists of my generation, I credit the experience of seeing Star Wars for the first time with jolting me awake, opening my imagination in the same way a stick of dynamite would open a pop can – mind blown. Since that day, the Star Wars universe has offered me a wellspring of inspiration – but it did more than that. Wishing to understand how Lucas came up with his world and the story that so engaged me, I began looking into the things that inspired him, hoping one day that this would lead me to create a world of my own. I learned that he was drawing on two of his personal interests – history (especially World War II) and the works of Joseph Campbell (professor and author of many books on the comparative study of world religions/mythology including Hero With A Thousand Faces and The Power of Myth). This got me interested in these areas and lead me ultimately to the historical, cultural and myth-based art I create today.

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The prequels came out when I was an adult and like most who grew up with the original trilogy, this return to Star Wars left me disappointed. I hated several of the characters (like Jar Jar), plot points (midi-chlorians) as well as the over-use (and in some cases oddly ineffectual use) of CGI. I also found the humor in these new scripts agonizing. Consequently, I wrote these new films off as “written for children” and wondered if my adult mind was simply immune to the magic of future Star Wars films. This never really rang true however and I hoped one day there might be something new worth celebrating in the Star Wars universe that could make me feel the same exhilaration I had felt as a child.

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So, when I heard that Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney, I had intensely mixed emotions. I felt betrayed by Lucas who started out as a rebel director fighting the evil empire that was the American film industry only to forge his own empire – now ultimately to sell that empire to an even larger one. Simply put, he had started out as Luke and was now Darth Vader. Facebook memes showing Leia Organa as “the next Disney princess” made my stomach turn. On the other hand, I felt cautiously optimistic that Disney would find a way back to the original Star Wars universe I loved.

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Successfully avoiding all spoilers (I only allowed myself to watch the official trailers), I walked into the IMax 3D theater with my wife and daughter a few days after Christmas without a clue what to expect.

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So, what is my reaction to seeing The Force Awakens? I want to call director, J.J. Abrams, and the producers at Disney/Lucasfilm and thank them for breathing new life into the muse I have drawn on for as long as I can remember. It is good to see Star Wars alive and well again after its long hibernation and I look forward to many more films exploring the far reaches of that galaxy far, far away.

-Aric Jorn

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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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

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.

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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

 

 

The Prow and The Press

With a new sculpture to announce and my second appearance on PBS’s Detroit Performs airing tonight at 7:30 p.m., my year is starting with a bang. This second interview focuses on my sculpting work and was taped last summer in my studio. In case you’re not in the Detroit PBS viewing area, you can watch the episode online at http://www.detroitperforms.org. For more about my experience with the wonderful people at PBS, check out my blog post, “Aric Has Been Shot.”

That brings me to the second announcement. I am pleased to share with you my latest piece, The Prow: Coiled Serpent.

Inspired by the Viking long ships, The Prow seeks to capture the grandeur, might and mystique of the Scandinavian sea kings who carved for themselves a permanent place in history and our collective imaginations as they raided the coasts of Europe and beyond from the 8th through the 11th centuries.

The Prow represents the next step in my journey as I continue the exploration of my Scandinavian heritage through art that began with my 2014 sculptures of Mjolnir (Thor’s hammer), Yggdrasil (the world tree) and Hugin & Munin (Odin’s ravens).

Standing at 16.5 inches tall and hand cast in the same durable resin I use for all my sculptures, The Prow: Coiled Serpent is the first in what will be a short series of variations. This piece (and each variation in the series) is limited to 95 signed and numbered pieces. Sculpted in the round with a nice weight and solid feel, it is designed to make a statement on table, desk or shelf.

Advanced orders will be accepted from followers of this blog starting February 1, and will be available to the general public in mid-February.

~Aric Jorn

p.s. As always, you can see other work that is currently available on my Etsy store.

Jivotica in Autumn

It is nearly impossible for me to believe that fall is officially upon us. Like most of the summer, August and September have been a whirlwind – art shows, filling online orders (I must confess the shear number of which took me by surprise), working at The Henry Ford and preparing to direct my fall theater programs dominated my time and obliged me to put several projects on hold. It was great fun but I am happy to return my focus to sculpting.

That said, there are a few dates that I would like to share with you all…

I have confirmed two more Sundays at the Ann Arbor Artisan Market – September  28 (11am – 7pm) and October 19 (11am – 4pm).

I’ve also been informed that the interview PBS conducted with me in July for Detroit Performs will be broken up into two episodes. I had pitched them on the idea of dedicating an entire 4-segment episode to the Liberty Crafts Works at The Henry Ford and they decided to do just that. So, the portion of my interview that took place at the pottery shop will now be included in the Liberty Crafts Work episode of Detroit Performs that is scheduled to air on October 14 at 7:30pm. The bulk of my interview (shot in my studio) will be a separate segment airing sometime in November.

Many announcements coming soon. Thank you as always for your interest in my work.
~Aric Jorn

Sculpting Myths: Mjölnir

Last year, I made the decision to walk away from several other ventures to concentrate on my sculpting and bring my vision for Jivotica to life.  That vision is to create art that celebrates the human spirit and imagination as it finds expression through culture, myth and story.

Perhaps it is my Scandinavian blood, fired up by Thursday night’s season premier of Vikings but I couldn’t be more excited to introduce the first piece in my new line of relief and free-standing sculptures – Mjölnir: the Hammer of Thor.

My inspiration for this piece is a well-documented artifact found in Skåne, Sweden that is held in the collections at the Historical Museum in Stockholm. Although I put my own spin on this raven-headed hammer, I also wanted to remain true to the original. There have been many attempts to capture Mjolnir as wearable art, but I wanted to create something larger that could be framed and hung on the wall – something that looked like an artifact from an archeological dig.

Initially offered in two finishes – stone and steel – they are produced in durable stone/metal-infused resin, accented with a lowlight painting technique to bring out every detail and sealed to ensure a long life. Each piece is then mounted and showcased in a high-quality shadow box.

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This piece is the first of many reliefs and sculptures in this line, a new addition to which will be unveiled at the end of every month along with information on any upcoming shows where you can see my work in person. Each piece will also be available at the Jivotica store on Etsy.

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I’d love to hear what you all think of this piece, and welcome comments below.

~Aric Jorn

The Fragmented Journey

This week’s post is for creatives who struggle with multiple muses…

I used to wish I had only one great passion in my life – a single driving ambition. I imagined the heights to which such a focused life would lead and a part of me has always envied those who have this kind of singular devotion and the success that often accompanies it.

Instead, I’ve spent my life juggling many interests. As a result, I’ve often felt over-stretched – that ache of knowing I will never realize my full potential in any one discipline because I allow myself to be pulled in so many directions.

Growing up, the idea of becoming an artistic “jack-of-all-trades” was a fate I viewed with distaste even as I resigned myself to it. Ironically, I landed my first job (Jr. Art Director/producer at J. Walter Thompson) specifically because I was a well-rounded creative with a background in art, music, writing and theater. Over the years I have come to appreciate the value of the fragmented journey. Replete with variety, it offers a wide range of experiences that would otherwise be lost in the periphery.

The hats I currently wear in my professional life include: a sculptor at Jivotica (3 days/week), a pottery artist and historical presenter at The Henry Ford (3 days/week), a theatrical director for two schools (2-3 days/week) and an author penning two original plays each year and working to complete my first novel (1-2 days/week)

Obviously these numbers don’t add up to the traditional 7-day week. Though I’d love to say I have come into possession of Hermione’s time turner, sadly, this is not the case. Some of the work is seasonal and some of it overlaps – forcing me for instance, to be a stage director and pottery artist on the same day fitting in some writing in the evening once my daughter is asleep. At other times, I am forced to sacrifice work on one project to meet the deadline of another and soon find myself scraping the edges of my day-planner for any unclaimed hours … or even minutes. There are times when I get so frustrated at having to leave things 90% complete, I just want to scream.

Don’t get me wrong – I love the excitement and variety of my life and often wonder whether I would get bored if I arose each morning to do the same work as the day before. At the same time, I find myself longing to take each project further than my schedule will allow. Over the last year or two, I’ve hit a point where the latter impulse is winning out and I am working towards simplifying my life so I can reach higher in the areas of greatest interest. Until then, I will continue to find joy in the winding, forking path and realize that I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to walk as an artist-explorer for a time.

So, to all you who are struggling as I have (and do) to make room for several interests rather than choosing between them – take heart. There may come a time when you make the decision to focus on the one or two things that most fulfill you but in the meantime, don’t overlook the excitement and satisfaction to be found in the fragmented journey.

~Aric Jorn

Contemplating the Muse (part 1)

A recent issue of NEA ARTS magazine really got me thinking about inspiration, that intangible, inexhaustible and often elusive wellspring that enables artists to express ideas in new ways to enlighten, delight or challenge their audience.

While every artist has their own ideas as to the source of inspiration and how best to tap into it, one concept seems ever present – inspiration is not something that simply happens to someone (or doesn’t) as a boon from some unseen benefactor whispering in their ear, rather it is the result of an artist’s dedication to their work and the open-minded awareness they maintain of the world around them.

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Consider the following quotations selected from the NEA ARTS issue on inspiration:

“[If inspiration is lightning], working on your craft is making yourself a lightning rod.”  ~Chris Thile, musician

“[The artist] realizes that the only way [inspiration] can happen is if you’re working and thinking, centered and always aware.”  ~Muriel Hasbun, photographer

“When something sparks a new idea about an unrelated topic, that’s inspiration. If you keep your eyes open wide enough, you can find inspiration in just about anything.”  ~Septime Webre, choreographer

So, before screaming at your muse for not showering you with ideas, ask yourself if you are working hard enough at your craft and open to seeing the inspiration all around you.

This issue sparked so many ideas that I’ll divide them up into several posts. Until then, I invite you to read it yourself (#4, 2013, “The Inspiration Quotient: A Different Kind of IQ”).

~Aric Jorn