Fruits de Mer Series
Everyone enjoys a pun! I hope the opportunity to play with this shellfish theme can be justified by a little word play. These works were a new collection of pieces produced for another Loewe brief and subsequently developed into limited edition variations.
East coast Scallop, Suffolk oysters, West Coast Brown Crab and Cornish Lobster as 'fruits of the sea', shown above with lemons and olives - as found in depictions of seafood banquets of old. The choice of pieces here are drawn from 17th century Dutch Vanitas paintings, several of these acting as visual briefs. The 'momento mori' genre is something I associate with Pomarius works - an eternal cornucopia, 'deathless bronze', little fruits outlasting us all. It's a theme which becomes particularly strong when I fail to get something invested and put through the kiln. The studio has had its fair share of melting pumpkins and bletted figs.
The lobster and crab were produced using the traditional lost wax process. They were effectively disassembled in the flesh to be reassembled in wax by means of silicon moulds. For the lobster in particular, this involved the production of a key to help keep track of which tendril or leg went where. They were cast in one go, with a sprue system constructed to feed the whole crustacean and help support its wax limbs in position once reassembled.
The pieces for Loewe's Autumn and Winter collection also included the citrus fruits, one copied from a painting - the lemon with peel gradually unwinding.
Variations of some of these pieces appeared as the 'Fruit de Mer' series, available at Linley's.
I was particularly pleased with the way the crab shell worked in bronze. It's curious how some materials seems to translate into metal in a particularly pleasing way. For me, something about the texture of the shell really lends itself to the natural colouring of the bronze; pitted dark patterning against the highlighted high points and edges you can touch and rub back.
This series was a wonderful opportunity to work with the traditional process of lost wax as well as a chance to experiment as a caster. Following images of the original set of Fruits de Mer works, I had a commission come in for the casting of two oyster shells from someone's honeymoon. They marked the occasion and the location through the shells - a real shellfish banquet made bronze! And another lovely extension to this project.