Blogs » Saul Bell Finalist Marianne Hunter- speaks about her piece

Saul Bell Finalist Marianne Hunter- speaks about her piece

  • Thanks for following up on this. 
    The piece in the finals is # 2552 “Kabuki Kachina dips her brush in Rainbows” .. I just found the complete description, so here it its!:
    Title: Kabuki Kachina dips her brush in Rainbows*
    Registration #2552
    Birds as subjects for this figurative piece were my immediate impression from the remarkable color intensity and feather-like patterns of the main opal.  These two birds were selected for color: the bee-eater has a remarkably wide range of brilliant color, matching the opal.  The Fairy wren was selected for its royal blue color, which is missing in the bee-eater but important in the opal.  It happens that all 3 (birds and stone) are Australian. 
    This piece is one of a series, each is completely unique.  In this piece, the figure’s kimono-influenced garment is layered to show a variety of colors and patterns to both intensify and unify with the opal.  The blue/orange layer is Aboriginal in inspiration as a nod to the originalculture of Australia. The green/yellow/gold copies the opal pattern, shimmer and color while referring to forms of leaves and feathers.  The gold branches extend from the enamel into the metal work sleeve. Her head, which is stone over a collage of collected feathers, matches the colors and I love the interplay of feathers, real and imagined. She is an embodiment of mother nature…one that celebrates the rich beauty, delicacy and strength of life on this planet.  
    Enamel is my first love.  I am self-taught so my techniques are unique to me. 
    are applied in very thin layers by dry sifting or placed (dry) with an exacto knife.  This enamel panel has at least 30 firings.  Beginning with opaque black and building up from that with opaque and transparent enamels with   pure gold and fine silver foils between layers.  
    Hand Cut Brazilian Aquamarine, 22kt • 24kt
    Australian Opal ap. 28 mm x 12 mm
    Brazilian Quartz cabochon ap. 14mm x 10.5 mm; placed carefully over a layered collage of feather pieces cut from various species (I can name them if you’d like)
    Metals:  GOLDS 24kt 28ga sheet, 14kt ½ rd wire 16ga.; silver 22ga sheet
    All metal work is hand fabricated.  24kt gold: bezels and decorative elements.  These are cut to shape and soldered to silver back plate.  24kt sheet is cut,  annealed and hand-shaped over drawing, checked against enamel for placement and soldered in sections.  When all soldering is done, silver is trimmed, piece has initial polishing. Then enamel and stones are set in place, repolished, hand engraving adds detail, depth, refraction and textures to all metal surfaces. 
    The back is then engraved with registration number, title-poem, signature, date and design embellishment.  Then, finish polish.  Beadwork is added and piece is finished. Can be worn as pendant or pin.  Total size: 3” x 1 ¾”x  3/16” 
    *full title-poem:
    Kabuki Kachina,
       in rainbows dips her brush,
    painting glorious beauty into the world, 
    and teaching it to fly.