Tree of life

February 13, 2009

dsc_9477This great old oak tree I have known for as long as I can remember. it has graced this meadow, reaching out, spreading wide, holding its arms open to the skies for a century or more, longer, than I have been around. Through ice storms and high winds, it stands, bending and bowing in the elements. It has been hit by lightning; and like all of us,  its days are numbered. Yet it holds its arms open to the sky.

I am guessing that from ground to top, it is at least sixty feet. It never had to compete with other trees for light, so it spread wide to catch the light rather than reach for the sun. It has the whole sky to itself. I look at the massive branches, some eighty feet long from trunk to tip, and wonder, ‘how, how, how can you hold your arms out for so long, and never touch the ground?’


December 15, 2008

From the a mudbank deep within a Greenland fjord hails this pin, a remembrance of early world travelers, a friend lost, a Viking outpost slowly dying out…..

dsc_8873This pin is made of bronze for the hull, and sterling for sail. The hull is shaped and carved of thick bronze, filed thinner at the keel and stems. One end is sculpted into the feared dragon’s head, and the stern is carved into the tail.

At one point the Vikings traded and warred all over Europe, deep into the Mediterranean, and all the way into North America, via Ireland, Iceland and Greenland.

This is a one of a kind pin, 1 5/8″ long, signed and dated. Made by Tom Curran, 12/15/2008

A griffin pin

October 31, 2008

This pin is based on a carving found on an original 18th Century Pennsylvania longrifle, by Christian Oerter. Known as the ‘Griffin gun’ for its spectacular carving, this is a true piece of American folk art. I have made a faithful rendering in sterling of this fabulous carving. This unique piece is engraved, sawn, polished and assembeld entirely by hand.

Portuguese Merchant Ship

The inspiration for this pin came from 15th Century Spanish bowl depicting a Portuguese merchantman. I like how the details of the rigging and sails are correct, but the proportions of the hull are not. This is cut from sheet, engraved by hand, and a handmade pin and catch are soldered on the back. A one of a kind object.

Grotesque pin

October 31, 2008

A face from the dark past.

This pin is cut from sterling silver sheet, then engraved and polished. The grotesque is often to be found in Renaissance and Baroque architecture and engravings, picture frames, furniture, etc. Entirely handmade, even to the pin and catch on the back.