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Granny Loses Her Wheels

October 12, 2016


About a year ago Cheryl ordered a wheel.  She just loves the orcas of Puget Sound and one in particular became her favorite.  Granny is over a hundred years old and is still chasing salmon out there.  So a wheel with her as the main star was in the plans.  When the time came to start building, Cheryl told me that she has enough other fiber interests and really wouldn’t need a wheel after all.  But, a sculpture of Granny became the new plan. Strange for me to build a pure sculpture for the first time in decades.  No moving parts, no squeaks, no bobbins, no place to put your feet!  Another huge shift occurred as I actually started to build.  Instead of heavy paper templates and precise dimensions, I started out with a collection of sticks.  After they were epoxied into a pile, I had to figure out how to make sense of such a thing .I’m still figuring but progress has been made.

The concept is three fold. First of all is the realistically crafted model of Granny herself.  Cheryl wanted the idea of Northwest coast art involved too so I have hinted at two well known legends.  In one it is told how the killer whales as well as other marine mammals, had a village at the bottom of the sea and when they came home they removed their killer whale skins and appeared much like humans, though probably a bit bigger.  The small painting on the base below Granny shows an old woman’s face flanked by two hands.  She is within the design of her whale skin. The third concept is based on the origin of the first killer whale.  In this story a man carves a whale out of a yellow cedar log and it springs to life.  The large dorsal fin emerging from the pile of twisted wood represents this transformation.


Here is another view featuring the big fin.  In much coastal art the killer whale is depicted with a hole in the dorsal fin.  So I have used this motif as well.  I may darken the color some into a deeper mysterious blue.  I will be thinking about this….


This view  shows how the shape of the base follows the long shape of the whale while trying to negotiate around that infernal pile of sticks.  Not easily seen in these photos is how the pile of wood morfs into wave/water shapes that support Granny as she breaches above the confines of the base , no doubt also  very happy she is not trapped into going round and round while someone makes yarn on her back!



From → Gary's Thoughts

  1. Melanie Zwack permalink

    Absolutely Stellar!!

  2. Laurie Farthing permalink

    I love it! At first I assumed you were building a wheel, so I thought it was very clever to use a whales tail as the treadle! Lol!

  3. Helen permalink

    Wow, just wow!

  4. peacecat9 permalink

    Your talent never ceases to amaze. This is absolutely stunning, and I look forward to seeing the wheel take shape. Wow!

  5. Amanda permalink

    Another beautiful work of art! Your talent is so amazing.

  6. Pamela Perkins permalink

    Such amazing works of art….

  7. rabbitsheepllama permalink

    Oh my are you trying to top my wheel? HaHa this is beautiful I want it!!!!

  8. rabbitsheepllama permalink

    Please post this finished Please!!!

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