This piece was a significant “breakthrough” experience for me. I had just begun experimenting with pewter and was able to incorporate it with previous explorations in laser-etched Thurmanite, cast resin, and microhardware.  There are different pewter components that are lathe spun, cast, hammered, welded, and soldered.  This was also the first time that I began painting parts of my metalwork.  It was also an early piece in my Aquatic-themed series.

My inspiration for the piece was imagining what a whale might see in its travels through the world’s oceans.  I used a cast gem for its eye to give a sense of preciousness to the whale’s perspective.  Within the “eye”, there is a Thurmanite disk of maps (signifying its travels) etched with an image from a medieval map of the oceans, giving a feeling of history and age.  The cast painted pewter components are all from molds of actual sea life.  One of my goals to my Aquatic Series is to call attention to the importance of Earth’s oceans as an essential part of sustaining our world’s interconnected ecosystem.

© James Thurman

Contact: james.thurman@unt.edu

Graphics by Triple Threat Press