The Maiden Bowl
The Maiden Bowl / The Maiden Collection / Colorado Yule Marble
16.75 x 12 x 8” / SN12020 / 13.2 lbs / Currently Unavailable for Purchase
May I introduce you to a very special bowl, and the one that lends its name to The Maiden Collection. By the time The Maiden Bowl came along I was on something of a carving roll, and seeking a challenge, hence the flowing hyperbolic curves on all four sides. As you may well imagine it’s challenging enough to carve the parabolic curves of a regular bowl, but when you throw in the added complexities of the curves-within-curves of Curvilinear Hand Carved Marble Bowl – with the two surfaces, inside and out, separated by mere fractions of an inch – well, let’s just say things can get a little interesting at times. Within The Maiden Collection there as a handful of key game changers – sculptures that for one reason or another opened the door to a whole new realm of possibility – and given the fact that this bowl lent her name to the entire collection she’s not only a member of this elite group but managed to ‘push the envelope’, and mailed it to a whole new level! The technique involved in carving marble so thinly that light permeates and illuminates is was one that I discovered and developed whilst in the process of creating The Maiden Collection. There may well be a bowl like this somewhere in the world but if there is I have yet to see or hear about it. The truth is The Maiden could not have been carved until very recently as the equipment necessary to cut marble this thinly simply wasn’t until very recently. When you consider that humans have been carving stone for thousands of years the vast majority of that time the array of tools available to successive generations of stone carvers was limited, to say the least. The kit of the average Renaissance stone carver for instance would have looked very familiar to the builders of the great cathedrals of the early middle ages, or even the builders of Rome or Athens for that matter. But with the arsenal of recently developed diamond blades, and even more so with the amazing flexibility of the brand new generation of silicon carbide abrasive discs, I was able to take marble to a place that I’m sure would have made Michelangelo’s head spin. Carving The Maiden Bowl proved to be the most complex task I had attempted to date. Even with the vast array of diamond blades, spinner pads and abrasives at my disposal in cutting the complex hyperbolic curves on both the inside and the outside took absolute nerves of steel. One mistake and the walls of the bowl would shatter and collapse. But if that wasn’t challenging enough… those grayish ‘intrusions’ are actually fragments of the magma that turned the original limestone into marble, and believe me they are as hard as nails, so cutting them alongside the softer white marble without destroying my equipment or exerting too much pressure and shattering the bowl was truly nerve-wracking. Still, as we stone carvers are prone to say: what doesn’t utterly shatter marble serves to make it all the more stunning. And stunning is surely the word when it comes to effect light plays upon The Maiden. With marble walls so thin and curvy, I am here to tell you that, be it candlelight, spotlight, or full sun, this Hand Carved Marble bowl throws a light display to a most stunning effect.
The Maiden Bowl
Colorado Yule Marble Sculpture by Martin Cooney
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