Monday, March 19, 2012

"The Greatest Generation" Bowie knife

Hellooo, sorry for not blogging more... I'm back and forth between two computers, with no photo/website software on one and tempermental old software on the other, so blogging is kind of a giant pain in the you know what right now. I need to get all transferred over so I can resume normality here on the internet.

But, nevertheless, I finished second part of the "The Greatest Generation" project, the Bowie knife, a few days ago. This is has been an incredible project, and I SO honored to have been a part of it. So here's a big huge heartfelt THANK YOU to Dennis and to Mike!!!

I think I talked about this earlier, but I'll talk about it again... the theme of this piece. Originally there were some ideas kicked around that just weren't feasible for various reasons, so I started on the grips for the 1911 first (with Patton and MacArthur) while we all thought more about what to do with the knife. And I was reading one of my art magazines one day and found an article about a photographer of horses, and what really stuck in my mind was the dramatic clouds in the photos. And that got me thinking about the knife, and the long horizontal space... and airplanes! Iconic WWII airplanes! That idea was well received, and we were off and running. My client selected the types of planes (a F4U Corsair to represent the Pacific Theater, and a P-38 Lightning and two B-17s to represent the European Theater), the types of ships shown on the Pacific side (Essex, Gridley, Baltimore), and the general theme of each side, and I designed the layout. But I kept thinking back to the horse photos and the clouds, and I knew I wanted the background and the scenery to be just as important as the planes.

I'm not sure exactly how to explain this, but I think my biggest challenge here was trying to give these inanimate objects a sense of life. It's not like depicting a person's face, or an animal. I feel that I accomplished that goal. :-)

I am thrilled, THRILLED, with how this all turned out, I wouldn't change a thing on any of it. I can't wait to see it all finished, all the parts together. I know that Mike is still working on engraving the pistol, but the whole set will be shown at the Colt Collectors Association show this fall, and at the Firearms Engravers Guild of America show next January.

Now, I gotta tell you I'm not set up AT ALL for photographing metal. I took about 987498745 pictures and they all sucked, so I got fed up and scanned the darn thing. Unfortunately this doesn't do justice to the beautiful blade or to the engraving, so I've put in some of the closeup shots as well. I'm sure this will be professionally photographed at some point when the whole project is completed.

Knife made by Larry Downing
Engraved by Michael Dubber
Scrimshaw by me, obviously ;-)
Total length of knife: 11 inches
Length of ivory handle: 3-5/8 inches (at the longest point)

If you click on the pics you can see them bigger!

This should give you a sense of size:


Bob Easton said...

Simply FABULOUS Katherine!!!

Once again, you've reached a level of design and detail that's hard to imagine with this medium.

Your client has to be very pleased, and I'll bet just as interested as the rest of us in seeing everything put together. Hope we see more pictures of the complete set.

Thanks for all the detailed pics so far.

Anonymous said...

oh man! Amazing!

qndrgnsdd said...

Great work Katherine! You and mike make a great team!

brokenfeather said...

Very, very well done!

Terry Walsh said...

Wonderful work, Katherine, loving your blog. Terry

Terry and Linda said...

I agree with Bob FABULOUS!!!! WOW! AMAZING!!!


'Runa's 'rents said...

I'm up late here in Austin, TX and happened upon your work and got knocked right the hell out. Amazing work. The scrimshaw art is like nothing I've seen. I remember trying my hand at it long ago in Jr. high and loving the lines you can get, but you have exceeded any imaginings I could muster. This piece with the patchwork landscape below the picture perfect plane is mind numbing. It's gorgeous. Then there's your birds, that you bath and wrap in towels and find the best irridescent they can offer. One random artists is moved. Thank you. here's what I do: cheers.

Katherine Plumer said...

Thank you so much everyone! And Runa's 'rents, sorry it took me so long to approve that message, I just changed my blog format and didn't realize I had messages waiting for approval... oops.

Katherine Plumer said...

Thank you so much everyone! And Runa's 'rents, sorry it took me so long to approve that message, I just changed my blog format and didn't realize I had messages waiting for approval... oops.