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Wheel From the Sea

April 12, 2017

selkie wheel1

Sheilagh wants a wheel that captures some of the mystery of the northern seas.  Having looked at many of my wheels posted on this blog, she was able to tell me what appealed to her about certain ones.  I have used pieces of  a special  stained glass panel on several wheels because it so beautifully echoes the look of rippling water.  I had just enough to add it to this wheel in both the lower frame and in the upper assembly.  One of the creatures Sheilagh requested was a selkie.  (My spell check likes to change this to “selfie” but I am wise to it by now!) This creature lived life as a seal when in the water but when it emerged onto dry land, could remove the seal skin and expose the lovely young woman within.  Somehow I don’t really know if this is possible.  I have had difficulties in the past getting out of mummy style sleeping bags.  But then again….  Sheilagh wanted the selkie emerging from beneath the wheel rather than placed on the upper assembly as I usually do.  This required a bit of engineering, but at this point I am happy with the placement.  Blue is a favorite color of hers, so I am painting abstract wave forms in blue on the big wheels.  I’m using iridescent powders as well which shift color with the changing light.  These are preliminary paintings and of course she may request changes.  The footman rods will be carved sea creatures and the treadles will be walnut with some form of art as well.  You can’t see them in this photo but spaced along the rim of each big wheel are many little abalone pieces inlaid into the wood.  They carry the watery colors  to this area and catch the light nicely as well.  Sheilagh noticed this on another wheel I made a year or more ago. Good call! Most of the wood for this wheel will be cherry and walnut but the shell shape epoxied to both sides of the front leg is figured maple.  I thought this light wood might be a nice contrast to the other two.  The selkie has a woman’s face emerging from its chest.  I carved this out of tagua nut, which is a wonderful substitute for ivory.  I used to carve custom studio buttons for collectors and it is fun to re-visit this special material again. As usual, this wheel has quite a ways to go and what you see here will likely change.  But it’s been a while since I posted an entry and felt it was time to share.  Thanks for looking!






From → Gary's Thoughts

  1. Lovely well thought out wheel.

  2. Ellen Bader permalink

    Magical, a beautiful work of art. You have once again put your heart and soul into another incredible wheel.

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