Title: "Study for a Haiku" Medium: copper plate engraving Size: 15 1/2" x 17 1/2" Price: $300 ( unframed )
Notes: I had aquired this gourd from an outdoor display at a restaurant where I worked. It was wonderfully weathered and patinated. My intent had been to do a pastel drawing. I lived with it for awhile and during that time some other thoughts came into play.
In my studies of the history of the art and craft of engraving, I began to realize the degree to which engraving had been a medium of not only illustration but of embellishment. Specifically of the kinds of ornaments found in books. There are entire books of nothing but engraved publishers' ornaments for title pages, etc.
In my thoughts there was a collision between the the history of engraving as a decorative/illustrative medium and its more recently realized possibilities as a fine art medium in its own right.
For this piece the title came as an afterthought. I lived in Japan for a few years. While there I learned the language and have had the pleasure of reading haiku ( a form of poetry ) in the original. Haiku have a very short form for inferring a lot of meaning and content with the use of few words. I liked the idea that this gourd and its patterned, decorative surface could be the inspiration for a haiku possibly about the relationship of art and artifice.