Suckers in the Sand

copper, glass, sand, blue zircon, garnet, amethyst, aquamarine, emerald, moonstone, ethiopian opal, imperial topaz 7.5 x 7.5 x 8 in 2018

This piece grew out of my want to create something celebrating my relationship with my partner. It started with a drawing of his octopus tattoo and slowly grew more abstract. Each tentacle has a stone set in the tip, and the stones correlate to different months in which important steps in our relationship happened. The tentacles can all be moved and rearranged. While doing this, the sand abraids the surface of the metal, similar to how time will change our memories.

The tentacles are spicula. They began as thin copper sheets and were formed with hammering. Once halfway formed, I textured each spiculum with stamping to create the suction cups. I would then hammer the spicula closed and solder them. I cleaned the tentacles with files, sandpaper, and steel wool. At this stage, I could now bend them and give the spicula more movement. Tubing was prepped for stone setting before being soldered into each tentacle. Each stone was carefully set into its spiculum. I further polished the metal with a brass brush to better bring out the texture.