"Ratatosk" is the second piece in my new "Triptych Tiles" series wherein I attempt to capture a mythological story or concept within three, four-inch tiles.
This triptych concerns three characters closely associated with Yggdrasil (the World Tree) - namely, the Eagle, Nidhoggr and Ratatoskr.
The story in brief...
High in the canopy is Eagle (interestingly, the only important character in Norse mythology never to be identified with a proper name). Eagle represents the positive aspects of creation (the ordered cosmos). Beneath the tree is Nidhoggr (who's name means "He who strikes with Malice"). He is a dragon who despises creation and is attempting to bring about its destruction by gnawing at the roots of Yggdrasil and drawing the cosmos back into chaos. Between them is Ratatosk the trickster - a squirrel who delights in running up and down the truck of Yggdrasil, spreading gossip and insults between the Eagle above the the dragon below, ensuring that they will forever be at odds.
Strictly limited to 50 signed & numbered castings in each of three finishes (copper, brass and stone), each triptych comes beautifully mounted and framed, accompanied my a signed "story card" that tells the tale upon which the art is based. This listing is for the COPPER finish. Other finishes are available as separate listings.
I use a high-quality black, beaded frame without glazing (glass). I find this brings out the true depth of the sculpt and eliminates the glare often associated with traditional framing. Depending on where it is displayed, the piece may require dusting from time to time. Although dry-dusting is always preferred, the backing I use as a special coating that will allow it to be dusted with a damp cloth if needed.
50 signed and numbered piece (per finish)
I sculpt in various materials - chiefly in Casteline (a wax-clay) over a wood frame. I then mold the original and produce a limited number of castings using the cold-cast technique. That is to say, I take ground metal, stone, wood fiber or other materials and mix it with an art-grade resin to create light-weight sculptures that have all the beauty of natural materials.
Digging a little deeper into the story of Ratatosk...
There is not a great deal written about the trickster squirrel. There are other mentions of Nidhoggr (for instance, his involvement at Ragnarok, the end times) along with tales of a host of other characters, animals and beasts that live on Yggdrasil - everything from stags to the Norns (three women who weave the tapestry of life, determining each man's fate) and the stories are all quite fascinating. For those interested, I would highly recommend this site: www.norse-mythology.org
Sculpture by Aric Jorn
Photography by Donna Kert
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