Thursday, January 9, 2014

VINTAGE 1979: From The Tomb of King Tutankhamun

In 1979, as part of his King Tutankhamun collection for the Art Gallery of Ontario, Ivaan made a beautiful sterling silver sommelier spoon.  I'm not sure if King Tut was into wine tasting, but Ivaan's spoon was a beauty. Ivaan had made a rubber mould of the spoon, simply as a record of it, but I found it monstrously difficult to make a perfect wax from the rubber mould. Eventually I made one in blue wax that was actually quite good, so I simply put the wax version of the sommelier spoon in the showcase.  Here are both sides of the wax:

King Tutankhamun Sommelier Spoon
(c) 1979 Atelier Ivaan
King Tutankhamun Sommelier Spoon (reverse)
(c) 1979 Atelier Ivaan
Recently, I had an urge to challenge myself, and see if I could make the spoon in sterling silver.  It's such a lovely piece, I thought that perhaps I could wear it as a pendant.  Suffice it to say, it was more work than I ever dreamed possible.  As with all of Ivaan's pieces, the reverse side is just as beautiful as the front.  You can see he has embellished it with little bunches of grapes and the tendrils of grapevines, and on the handle are the characteristic striations that I now recognize as bullrushes (thanks to an Egyptologist who once dropped by the store and explained it to me.)

In sterling, the sommelier spoon turned out to be quite a heavy piece - not surprising, as it's about the size of my fist.  I've been working on it intermittently, and finally last night I realized that it's close to completion. The shiny surface makes it difficult to see all the fine detail, but I'm sure a few mouthfuls of wine will work wonders.

When Ivaan first made the sommelier spoon, he had been working in metal for exactly ten years.  If I had a hundred years to spare, I could never have created anything so beautiful. When I look at the progression of his work over those ten years, his work is all the more astounding.  In a future post, I'll feature some photos of Ivaan's belt buckles from the early days.  They are spectacular.

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