The concept for this sculpture (seen in the photo on the right) was inspired by the jade itself. Inclusions such as the white veins in the jade wings can enhance the already rich and lustrous stone. In this case, they actually were so striking and clearly outlined the shape of a butterfly, that I felt compelled to work with this theme. This idea of hanging the wings from a chrysalis came from visiting the nursery at "Buttterfly World" in Westbank, south of Kelowna, B.C. One is able to observe butterflies from all over the world hatching from their many varied chrysali. Their first task after "birth" is to unfurl their wings by hanging upside down from their now deserted home. Once in place, vital fluids flow to their wings tips. They respond by unfolding and hardening. With the transformation complete, this glorious creature pumps its wings for the first time, slowly, as if in a trance. Then it flutters away to begin a new phase in its life cycle.
The challenge technically and aesthetically was to incorporate the jade wings in a framework of some kind. Once those details were resolved, the bronze casting process was the next step. This was accomplished by working at the foundry at Capilano College in North Vancouver under the direction of George Rammell. After one full semester, the bronze chrysalis and wing caps were ready for patination. Pyramid Bronze in Kelowna assisted with technical matters as well as applying a wonderful patina to both the chrysalis and the vine. The fabrication of the steel vine was a joy. For me it was an intra to forging for the initial texturing. Later, it was forged to shape in separate sections first, then welded together by Doug Alcock, a metal sculptor in Vernon. Finally, with the top loop attached, it was ready to accept the bronze chrysalis and jade wings.
Working on this piece over a 10 month period (Dec. 1994 to Sept. 1995) meant learning from and communing with other creative people. I feel enriched by the experience and excited about future projects that involve collaboration. "Awakening" can be seen at the Marika Gallery in Banff, Alberta, Canada.