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Jessica

Photos by BOB EAST III

Torso: Vitreous tile, porcelain, stained glass - regular
and iridescent, mirror, black Swarovski crystal beads,
glass jewels, iridescent and black glass beads.

Base: Carved wood stand, vitreous tile, stained glass - regular
and iridescent, glass jewels, millefiori and black glass beads.

Dimensions on stand:
Height: 38 inches | Width/Depth: 12 inches

Admittedly, Jessica is a project that went out of control.

Originally... it was just going to be a head
study - but then the idea evolved into a bust.

Here's Jessica's inspirational background:

Neil Gaiman wrote a collection called 'The Sandman' - now termed
"graphic novels"... released initially as comic books in the early 90s that
were later put together as a collection of books.

Jessica's inspiration is one of seven brothers and sisters that have
been since the beginning of time, the Endless.

To quote Neil Gaiman:

"They are called Destiny, Death, Dream, Desire, Despair, Delirium who was once Delight, and Destruction, the one who left the group and in so doing turned his back on his duties. Their names describe their function and the realms that they are in charge of."

Jessica's character is Death. Now, what is attractive about this character
is that she appears to people she meets [to include those who she comes to call
to her realm] as a happy, friendly, perky, helpful, sympathetic, comforting personality who wears black - jeans, tank tops and the occasional top hat. This is not the image you have [but ,perhaps would like to have] of death which seems to be more often than not portrayed as a 'Grim Reaper,' type of entity. When she was in the world of the living - she had normal coloring, but out of the world she skin was the colour of porcelain. Thus, here, she is tiled in white.

The links below may give you a basic idea of what I went from. I had one
of the novels here, "Death: The high cost of living" (1993) to get a good idea of
what I wanted her to look like. I like one artist better than the others:

Graphic 1 ||| Graphic 2 ||| Graphic 3

Jessica's eye makeup is mostly what would be termed
Egyptian in nature and it looks to be a modified Eye of Horus.
[Jessica's eye is a variation... not shown in the links above.]

So... from head to bust, Jessica as a project morphed due to a high
level of imagination and a demand for anatomical accuracy
from that point - what you see, is what I got.

The name Jessica is a nod to the fact that the character Death is actually more than
what is traditional, and is in honour of Jessica Rabbit, of "Who framed Roger Rabbit" fame, who said 'I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way...' How very like Death...



Everything, other than the Styrofoam head, was hand-built

The technique for her hair is my own.

Society of American Mosaic Artists member



Copyright © 1996-2005 ~ Paula Nelson - ALL rights reserved