Rulers of the Underworld

The Gem Sculpture is composed of
 a carved Sunstone as the double head
 of Pluto & Persephone.

Pluto, lord of the underworld
 with his wife Persephone
 receive the souls of the dead
 that have crossed over
 the subterranean River Styx,
 represented here with the free-form
 carved Gem Silica/Malachite.

The ?Faces? on the Sterling Silver base
 represent the Spirits of the Underworld.

The title of Pluto ("giver of wealth")
 was given to the Greek god Hades.
 Persephone, goddess of death,
 was the daughter of Zeus & Demeter,
 the earth goddess.

When Persephone was young,
 Zeus promised her to Hades
 without consulting her mother.
 Hades was impatient and rose
 from the underworld and abducted his bride
 as she plucked flowers in a field.
 The conflict between Hades & Demeter
 over Persephone's fate was decided by Zeus,
 who gave the husband and the mother
 equal shares of her time.
 As a dying-and-rising goddess,
 Persephone sank and rose annually
 from the underworld, in tune
 with the natural cycle of sowing and harvesting.
 She spent the winter in the underworld,
 rising each spring to live with her mother.
 She symbolizes the seed-corn that is buried,
 rises and falls again in a cycle of constant renewal.

 110mm H x 55mm W x 38mm (4.5" x 2" x 1.5")

*Sunstone Labradorite (OREGON Dust Devil Mining): 58.98 carats

Gem Silica/Malachite (Chrysocolla in Quartz w. Malachite): 280.0 carats

Sterling Silver: 115.10 grams

14K Rose Gold: 5.5 grams 




Photos by M. J. Colella 

The lost-wax silver and gold were cast at
 APM- Annapolis Precious Metals, in Annapolis, MD

Photos by M.J. Colella

*Sunstone Labradorite (hardness 6-6.5) 
 from the Dust Devil Mine,
 near Plush, in south-east Oregon. 

Sunstone, Oregon's Official State Gem, 
is mined in only two places about 100 miles apart.

Sunstone is from the Feldspar family,
 in the Oligoclase, Labradorite (or Aventurine Feldspar) variety.

The color in Oregon Sunstone is caused by "aventurescence,"
 a metallic glitter, which is due to varying amounts and patterns
 of copper inclusions. Feldspar crystals are fairly common 
in volcanic material, but are rarely large enough to cut for jewelry. 
Copper is very rarely found in volcanic material. 
Oregon is the only place in the world that both are found together.

Colors range from an almost clear/yellowish, 
pale yellow, pale yellowish-orange, peach, pink,
 intense peach, red-orange, red, pale green and
 bi-colored red and green. The deep red and the 
bi- and tri-colored material are the rarest. 
Material is typically graded by the 
strength and saturation of color and aventurescence.




What are these lines engraved in my sculptures?
'They are the construction lines, the base of the creation,
bounding the various focal points.
These lines are engraved pursuing a continuous movement
of shapes and contour,
creating light and shadow, and giving dimension to the sculpture.
Tracing their continuous movement gives the correct shape
and position of each form.
These same lines are the highlight of my most recent works."


"Serras-Herman is probably one of the most extensively trained artists
working in gem carving in North America-- and it shows in her work."
Coming to gem carving from the vantage point of large-scale sculpture,
Helen Serras-Herman creates miniature masterpieces
underscored by centuries of art history."

-- Cathleen McCarthy




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of the artist and author Helen Serras-Herman.
Page last updated 08/12/06.


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