For my latest design inspiration, I am going to research gold artefacts from Pre-Columbian Civilisations 7th BC to 15th AD. Have a look at the many images of gold objects from this period on the web. I find them so inspirational because they are made out of a beautiful yellow gold, they have survived for all this time, the goldsmith craft that has made them is wonderful and their designs are very ornate and sophisticated.
This cheeky little chap shown here, is a wonderful example of the naive quality of the work. This naivety belies the clever design, see what a lovely touch the earring aspects of the piece is. Apparently, this civilisation did have great humour in their designs. They also used anthropomorphic, zoomorphic imagery in their art and jewellery. Zoomorphism is the shaping of something in animal form or terms. Anthropomorphic, means giving an inanimate object human characteristics.
Avian Human Morph Figurine
These pre-columbian earrings are another example of naïve style design. I loved the 3D eagle head and beak protruding from the earring centre.
I therefore decided to draw a quick design based on these earrings but using my lion motif and also the “curly tail” motif in the design. I have replaced the bird’s head, with a 3D lion’s head which has a ring in his mouth. This ring also serves the purpose as a method to hang the earring drop, which, in this design, is a “curly tail”. This is the first step, as I have said before, in the drawing process. I will have to redraw this initial design until I am 100% happy with what I have produced.
“Naught is possessed, neither gold, nor land nor love, nor life, nor peace, nor even sorrow nor death, nor yet salvation. Say of nothing: It is mine. Say only: It is with me.”
D.H. Lawrence quotes (British Poet, Novelist and Essayist, 1885-1930)
This is a very appropriate quote when undergoing research in Pre-Columbian gold artefacts. When the craftsmen made these exquisite objects, all those years ago, they could have only imagined that there would only, ever be, one owner. They could not have imagined all these years later, someone would be on a computer, looking at photographs of their finished object, which now belongs to a museum. So I think that D H Lawrence was right – what we, as craftspeople create, do not belong to us, we just have these creations with us when we are alive on this earth.