Children of Lir
12 inch diameter bowl crafted in sterling silver, brass, bronze, copper and nickel-silver by Stephen Walker. The images are from the Irish legend of the four children of King Lir that were enchanted into the form of swans.
The techniques employed to create this piece are marriage of metals and mokume-gane. Each color is a separate metal that has been joined together by forge welding to create woodgrain effects (mokume) or by cutting and silver soldering closely fit shapes (marriage of metal). The dark reds and oranges are caused by heating the finished piece until the individual metals oxidize into a rich heat patina.
This bowl took approximately two months of full time work and was finished 3 April 1998. Until July it was featured in an exhibit at the National Ornamental Metals Museum in Memphis Tennessee.
Thanks to my assistants John Bastian and Linda Stark for help cutting and fitting the triquetras. Thanks also to various members of the Dalriada Cultural Heritage Trust for suggestions for the symbols of the provinces of Ireland that are embossed on the boarder and to my muse and wife Susan who insisted that I make this piece.
The best ever book on Mokume Gane by Steve Midgett featuring work by Stephen Walker as well as many other masters of this difficult craft.