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In late 2005, representatives from the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra asked me to be one of 16 artists creating hand-painted or mixed media cymbals to promote the 2005-2006 season and educational programs. The challenge was immediate: although I use interplay between what is and what only appears to be three-dimensional in my landscapes, even creating some in actual three dimension; (See: Scape Constructions) all involved working from an initial flat surface.

Not only is a cymbal three dimensional but also comprised of curves: concave and convex sides; not immediately conducive to my linear and cubistic methods. However, the circular circumference of the cymbal was perfect for an image from my Enso Series.

I worked from a 'ghost image' of one of the Enso monotypes. A ghost impression is created by laying printing paper on top of an already printed plate without the plate being re-inked; then passing them through a printing press to capture on paper the residual ink from the printing plate. The result is a pale, less defined image, hence the name 'ghost image' or 'ghost impression.' Upon this 'ghost' impression on Arches heavy stock, white paper, I hand tooled embossments, hand cut aspects from the image, then partially 'pizza cut' it to shape and collage the paper into a shallow cone, which matched the concave side of the cymbal. I also folded and allowed some sections of the paper to 'pop upward' along design lines or cubistic shapes.

 

 
   
 

I strengthened the image itself with color pencil, chalk pastels and oil sticks. The cymbal was prepared to receive the paper by application of acrylic gesso after blocking out areas I wanted the exposed metal to remain; while the back side conical image on paper was sealed with an acrylic polymer. By creating these two acrylic surfaces, the strength of adherence of the image on paper to that of the metal cymbal would be enhanced. Once merged together and having added the title and my signature to the work, several coats of spray acrylic protectant were added.

The title of this work "Looking Up, Looking In. Cymbalic Landscape" references both the spiritual metaphor of my Enso Series and the nature in which the cymbal and its image must be viewed. Not only is there a "looking up" into the landscape but simultaneously 'looking in" into the cymbal. Viewed from the cymbal's edge, the image is not visible. Viewed frontally or on a tilt, some aspects of the landscape appear flattened as others are 'popped' up three dimensionally even while the overall image is curved recessively into the cymbal. Thus there is a pleasant and intriguing interplay of elements of curvature, flatness, flow and depth folded into the concave side of this cymbal which visually represent parallel elements in music for which the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra is so well noted.

The Classical Cymbals toured throughout the Spring of 2006. An online auction occured between March 15 and May 13, 2006 followed with live auction on Saturday, May 20, 2006.

 

Jordan David Dauby

Artist / Printmaker

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