This is my most recent creation in my Metalsmithing and Jewelry class.
Materials: Copper, brass, wood, unfired clay, found objects.
Time: About 3 weeks to 1 month.
Size: Approx. 6.5 inches tall, 4 inches wide at widest point. The glass bottles are 1.5 inches tall.
Technique: Raising, etching, riveting, hand-carved wood, and all the usual other stuff.
We were supposed to create an object that commemorates something. I chose the gift of fire, as according to Greek mythology. The story of Prometheus is etched around the outside of the large box that forms the base of the piece. In three scenes, it shows the creation of man, Prometheus's theft of fire, and his punishment afterwards. The cup at the top of the piece is used to hold fire. When first presented, I put denatured alcohol in the cup and lit it, allowing it to burn out on its own. The little glass bottles (there are 10 total) each contain an object or substance used in the creation of fire, such as matches, steel, flint, tinder, or sulphur. These little bottles all go inside the base of the piece, in the etched box. It is somewhat of both a commemoration and a tribute to Prometheus as well as his gifts.
A brief rundown for those who are unaware:
Prometheus and brother Epimetheus were instructed by Cronos to create animals to live on Earth and give them gifts. Epimetheus created many animals, and gave them all the gifts, such as wings to the birds and fangs to the wolves, while Prometheus took his time and carefully created Man, in the image of the gods. By the time Man was finished being created, Epimetheus had used up all of the gifts and man was left with nothing, cold and hungry. Prometheus did not like to see his creation suffer, so he stole fire from the chariot of the sun and hid it in a stalk of fennel. He then gave the fire to Man, provoking Zeus's rage. Zeus punished Prometheus by ordering him chained to a rock on the top of mount Caucasus, where a vulture (or eagle) would come eat out his liver from his living body. Prometheus was doomed to live this torture every day, because each night his liver would grow back, and the next day the vulture would return to eat it once more.
This is by no means a perfect telling of the tale, but it contains all the necessary information needed to understand the motivations behind my piece.
Photography by Otto: [link]
This has been submitted to the Mythology contest on