I am particularly pleased with the work on the hummingbird. The body sits above the background with very little sense of its being attached. The ending edges of the feathers overlaying the throat and tail fall just right. The flow of the wing feathers back into the wing’s leading edge is really good, with the juncture of feathers into the deepest part of the wing shadowing out well. The floral aspects are fine examples of common motifs in my work, but the finish on the flower petals is a new effect. The junction of the stem, leaves, petals, and bud just below the bird’s head is very good chasing. Over all the separation of foreground images from the underlying background contour is spot on.
The raised wavy line running around the circumference of the box is a new effect for me. I particularly like the way it sets up alternating planes. In this case, each plain contains a small rosette, but many different things could be depicted. Working on the rosettes required making a few new tools: when working that small, with such a distinct and deep separation between the object and the background, the edges of each leaf and petal become the dominant visual image. As each element, each petal, and each leaf have such small interior area, the details of finish are smaller than common visual notice will pick up; consequently, it is the edges that impress on the eye.
My intention on the bottom was to create a single large blossom. It is a simple design of concentric petals, with all but about 20% of the volume created by chasing down volume from the front rather than repousse on the back. A few of the petals end in very wispy tendrils, an effect I really like and will work on again. Separating the outer-edge petals from the background was tedious work, but it is done well. The addition of the little dimples in each outer petal tends to draw the eye’s interest away from the edges. The final reflective quality of each petal is another use of the same finish developed on the top’s flower petals. I think it works very well, going a long way toward diminishing any metallic reflection. Practice on it does indicate that a high degree of prior surface setup and contouring is needed before applying the final effect, so it is time consuming.
Overall, I am pleased. The oxidized finish has nice color. The overall confirmation of each element, the top side and bottom, is good, joining together well aesthetically. This is a small-diameter box, but the weight in hand is satisfying. This is the second box utilizing two tangs on the top. I do like the balancing effect they bring, and it carries the benefit of working better. Once again, I have used the lightest of single-point dot finish for the entire background. It is tedious to achieve, but it works better than anything else to set off details and creates luster rather then shine.