The Hare in Art

fused-glass-tabletop-curve-hare-in-meadow“Hare in Fanciful Meadow”  by Linda Oeffling

I have been creating fused glass tabletop pieces that are made up of long, thin pieces of glass, cut from glass sheets.  It has been a long process with many mistakes and a learning curve. Cutting the 3-4″ long, thin blades of grass is not easy, and getting the fuse just right took many experimentations. Many of my first attempts broke apart. I want to achieve the balance between fragility and an art piece that can be moved around without fear of breakage. I am finally getting most of the details right, and now having fun with this form.

See more of my tabletop “Meadow” pieces here.

Delving into folklore, I found the image of the running hare.  This relative to the rabbit hops up (sorry!) in imagery from around the world.

Hares are tricksters, and often symbols of new life, rebirth & fertility. They are often associated with the moon, and pagans believed moon-gazing hares would bring growth and abundance. In East Asian culture, the Moon Rabbit lives on the moon.  Although, the hare must not be confused with the rabbit, as they are entirely different species.

The hare’s elusive nature, and the fact that it is nocturnal, may form the basis for its reputation as a magical creature, with mystical links to the moon.

The mysterious Three Hares symbol appears throughout the world, and can be found in many religions & cultures.  The earliest record of this symbol is in Chinese cave temples dating back to the 6th & 7th centuries. Researchers continue to delve into the meaning of the Three Hares. 

The symbol shows each animal with one ear, but sharing an ear with the next, so that all appear to have two ears.

 

 

Dusk - Amanda Clark

“Dusk”, by UK artist Amanda Clark

In China, it is believed that the three hares represent peace and tranquility. In medieval Europe, it was seen as a warning of temptation, the symbol interpreted by some as a visual message urging churchgoers to confess their sins. In ancient times it was believed that hares were hermaphrodites and could reproduce without loss of virginity, which ties into Christian beliefs associated with the Virgin Mary. Jewish, Persian, Korean and Japanese cultures associated the hare with goddesses of immortality.  Theories abound, and there are no definitive answers, just a complex web of myth and magic that surrounds this creature.

Hares are interesting animals. They have extra long ears and extra long legs, giving them a wonderfully delicate sense of hearing and the power to run from predators. Baby hares can live on their own about an hour after birth, and they prefer to live alone in simple nests above the ground. They are much larger than rabbits. Hares are nocturnal, except during the breeding season. During this time, they might be seen dashing around the fields like “mad March hares”, boxing with each other. Males box to fight for social dominance, while females box to fend off overly aggressive mating males.  

The running hare weaves its way through spiraling stems and fantastical flowers, between blades of reflective grass that catch the light in iridized flashes of color. The Hare brings thoughts of mystery and magic into your space.

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Calm and Confident Pantone Blue

waterlily with blue overlay by linda oeffling“Peace, Clarity” photo by Linda Oeffling

Did the people at Pantone have a premonition of what we would need in this crazy year of 2020?  Well, they are the trendsetters, choosing a color to inspire the world’s branding, marking and creative societies. As they reviewed the world back in December of 2019, The Pantone Color Institute did say it “recognized similar feelings of instability gripping the world today” (-from CNN.com) They chose a calming color, one that represents dependability and stability. Classic Blue, Pantone 19-4052.

submerge by artechouse.com interactive toolcreated with interactive tool Experiment & Create: Exploration of Blue, Artechouse.com

Artechouse is a new age art destination, permanently located in Washington D.C.  They featured an installation in February 2020 in reference to Pantone’s color of the year, called Submerge. Their website has an amazing interactive tool, Exploration of Blue, an audiovisual experience created by Eduardo Montero.  It is designed to work with a desktop computer, and you can create an amazing image of your own.

jonas-goldmann-dynamic-spiral, paint pouring technique Jonas Goldmann, “Dynamic Spiral”, from The Blue Art Project

The Blue Art Project, #BlueMakesADifference is an interesting combination of art and science, by Fresenius Medical Care, the world’s leading provider of products & services for people with chronic kidney failure. Goldmann’s image is about the distribution of blood in the dialyzer.

“Dialyzers are life-saving pieces of medical and technological art. The advanced design of the FX Dialyzers adds a dimension that reflects the thought, care and quality that went into its construction. As the most prominent visible characteristic, the color blue of the FX Dialyzer caps became the inspiration point for our unique blue art project.” -Fresenius Medical Care website

Kojiro-Yoshiaki kiln formed foaming glassKojiro Yoshiaki,  Structural Blue (15.6), kiln-cast & slumped foaming glass

Kojiro Yoshiaki uses glass powder in conjunction with foaming agents. When it is fired, the mold fills with foamed glass.  This artist lives and works in Japan and exhibits in permanent public collections all over the world.

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Into the Wind

Leaning Into the Wind is a film about Andy Goldsworthy. I have long been a fan of this amazing artist. I find his sculptures made from natural materials to be contemplative and mesmerizing. He is an ephemeral artist, creating works outdoors made from natural materials that eventually succumb to the elements. His work is not preserved on-site, but held in the moment through the his own photographic images.

Andy Goldsworthy: Leaning into the Wind
Andy Goldsworthy in Leaning Into the Wind: Andy Goldsworthy (2017)
from imdb.com

In an interview by Patrick Markham, Goldsworthy states:

“The ideas I’m having now are far better than anything I’ve thought of before. Most of them I couldn’t have even conceived of 10 years ago, works that take me way out of my comfort zone. The biggest failure is to make a work that is safe, that doesn’t take a risk. I’m taking big risks with no safety net.”

andy goldsworthy: leaning into the wind
Image from MV times, Article by Brooks Robards

He has always worked with nature, using materials found around him, yet he does not describe himself as a pastoralist, or even an environmentalist. Although I personally find his work environmental and zen, he views his surroundings not as a place of therapy and peace, but as a place that is challenging — a place to challenge his intellect and engage his body in physical work.

andy goldsworthy: leaning into the wind
Goldsworthy’s rain ‘shadow’ in Edinburgh. From The Guardian, article by Patrick Barkham.
Photograph: Jane Barlow

At one point in the film, Goldsworthy struggles with explaining his thoughts about nature and its integration with his work. He tells us, “it isn’t so clear anymore”.  Rather than boxing “nature” into a compartment that includes branches and rocks, rivers and meadows, he seems to see it as an all-encompassing everything. He works with whatever is around him, wherever he is, whether it be country or city, fields or cement sidewalks. By physically connecting with elements around him, involving his own physicality, he is exploring the world in a very personal way, trying to make sense of the world around him.

 

 

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Hello. Welcome to the Blog.

linda oeffling I'm Linda Oeffling. I've been working in glass for over 30 years, finding time to keep up the habit in between having children and starting a business in graphic design.

I have a home studio in the basement, and a bunch of steadfast friends who also love glass. We meet almost every week to work together. I won't say the wine & snacks afterward is the best part, but it's a nice way to wrap things up!

I have a great husband who supports everything that I do, three children, and five grandchildren. My family members are the greatest loves of my life, but coming in right behind them are my computer, kayak, camera, and travel plans...

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