Birth of a Guin, Home Page

Birth of a Guin

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Birth of a Guin / 1314 Winter Collection / Colorado Yule Marble

9 x 22 x 25” / SN 14 03 01 / 61 lbs /  $5,000

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'Birth of a Guin', 1314 Winter Collection, Colorado Yule Marble Sculture by MARTIN COONEY

Finger Bowl, rough block, Birdhaven Studio Workshop, Woody Creek, Colorado‘Birth of a Guin’ was carved from the 2nd half of an L-shaped quoin that I split into two almost identical pieces. Previously I had carved ‘Fingerbowl’ from the first of the pieces, and now, having gained vital knowledge and information regarding the nature and consistency of the stone, I decided to ‘push the envelope’.   As the two pieces were part and parcel of the same block of stone that had produced the long abandoned quoin I felt reasonably sure that the marble was strong enough to support such a weighty ‘head’ and therefore set about carving the long tapered neck as thinly as possible… all the time making sure that two internal columns incorporated in the structure were of sufficient mass to support such bulk.     'Finger Bowl' by MARTIN COONEY, Colorado Yule Marble Sculpture, 1314 Winter CollectionSo…. Just what is a Guin? A ‘Guin’ is a creature I invented in order to represent all living animals. The eyes, ears, facial features are all there, but rather than include them in the stone I have left them for your mind’s eye to fill in the details, for it is the body language and its myriad interpretations that speak volumes to me.   People often ask me about my source of inspiration and what inspires me to create my sculpture, and often I resort to the instant, but admittedly glib, answer: “Life”.   But more specifically, and certainly more accurately, I would have to say that it is ‘nature’ that really captivates me… all of it – the mountains, the sky, the seas, the land… and all the millions of fascinating creatures with which we share our gorgeous planet.    And so ‘Birth of a Guin’ celebrates the never-ending miracle of birth, life and regeneration.    The species are to my mind immaterial – hence the ‘Guin’.    Every mother (at least on land and in the air) seems to inherit a blinding love for her offspring; tending to it, preening it, and feeding it… often from her own body. And even if the sad moment of separation is just around the corner the bond between a mother and her young seems as strong in the animal kingdom as it is in our own world.   It may make things more convenient for us to think of animals as simple creatures, and therefore unable of such complex and seemingly human emotions, but in my opinion this way of thinking only serves to deceive ourselves.


Whilst not the simplest of my hand carved marble bowls to move around, with a little forethought and preparation, as with all my bowls, she is none-the-less ‘light, portable, and carved for full immersion in the real world’.

Birth of a Guin

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Curvilinear Marble Sculpture by Martin Cooney


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