Colum Cille and the Heron

Mokume and married metal bowl

11.5 inches diameter. Silver, nickel-silver, brass, bronze, copper, 
14K  palladium white gold and 18K yellow gold
Click on any image below for a larger picture.

The feet of the bowl are patterned after an Alexander Ritchie fish design. The mokume and married metals parts of the bowl go all the way through and are visible from both front and back.

The wide boarder is bronze, showing the backs of the rivets that attach the pieces on the front

The sea is done in nickel-silver with the land made of mokume-gane consisting of brass, copper, nickel-silver and bronze. The broad red areas are copper. The heron is cut out of silver and palladium white gold.

The interlaced patterns on the rim are chased silver and copper attached with rivets of silver, copper and gold.

The landscape images are based on several sources. The island is taken from a map drawn by Alexander Ritchie. The skyline is taken from a number of photos and drawings that include sketches from the Duke of Argyll's book on Iona printed in 1876 to more recent published photos and some of my own snapshots. Thanks to my apprentice, Danielle Massara, for most of the work on the surrounding landscape.

The story of Saint Columba or Colum Cille and the Heron tells how the Saint foresaw the visit of a tired and injured "visitor" from Ireland. He sent one of his monks to the western beach to wait for it and an exhausted heron arrived. The monks fed and cared for the bird until it could travel again. Colum Cille himself was an exile from Ireland, so the lonely visitor from his beloved home was of symbolic significance. When I began this project I looked to an Audubon book for an image of a heron. After making some drawings and getting the main design worked out on a Thursday, on Friday morning, before I started cutting out the metal, I saw a great blue heron fly over our village in the same profile as I had drawn it the day before. This piece was begun on February 19, 2004 and finished six weeks later on April 3, 2004.

Metalwork, images and web page (c) Copyright Stephen Walker, 2004.

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