|églomisé mural (~5 feet high) by Lynne Rutter. photo by David Papas|
Allow me to introduce you to Nolan.
Commissioned for a home in Hawaii, Nolan is a very large octopus, gilt, etched, and painted on the reverse of a 5 foot high slab of glass using a set of techniques known as verre églomisé.
The body of the octopus is gilt with aluminum leaf arranged in a random broken pattern to create the texture of the cephalopod's skin. The thickness of this metal allowed me to etch the details through it using a cross-hatching pattern very much like etching a printing plate. The suckers of the tentacles are gilt with 22 karat gold.
|work in progress, Nolan slinking over a cart in the studio|
During the process I asked our client if she'd like to give this noble creature a name, and she immediately wrote back that his name is Nolan: "Nolan came blazing through the ether like a shot…I was completely powerless to do anything else. I believe he's just been waiting for his opportunity to let us know who he is…what else could I do?"
|detail showing the etching and paua shell eye|
The surface of the octopus reflects the color of whatever is near it, much like the way the octopus camouflages itself in the water. A final touch, the eye is a piece of abalone shell from New Zealand.
Nolan was packed into a very large crate last week and is now en route to a beautiful house on Oahu. We dearly miss him in the studio and wish him well in his new home.