|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: "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.