Interesting name you've chosen, and thank you for this project!
On a comment I just wrote, a propos these Kinnaree, I've just referenced this off-cut view of yours, because it so clearly shows the bird-woman concept.
Among Thai statues I've seen on the Internet, this is the one I like the most, but, alas, her feet are cut off and the two humans in the picture are distracting. Do you happen to know of a better photograph of that same statue?
Thank you so much for your comment. I'm curious, though, that you should have chosen the off-cut instead of the pop-up itself [link] to reference (I assume you did read my descriptions ). There is yet another link in my notes on that pop-up piece to my drawing of the version of the kinnaree with human legs.
I must confess I rather balk too at the implication, through the harpy comparison, that the bird-legged version is not 'lovely and graceful', too. As you have seen, even the temple versions and traditional Thai paintings still show them as beautiful.
I'm afraid I do not know where else to find another picture of that same statue. But I shall keep a look-out, and let you know if I come across any. There is, however, another lovely statue of a kinnara (the male; 'kinnorn' as pronounced in Thai) and kinnaree family here on dA, though I suspect you may have seen it already: [link] .
Your off-cut is like a blueprint, very clear, and it has a clear reference to the finished product. Congratulations!
My allusion to harpies is a cultural contrast, and a statement that the concept of grace and loveliness transcends the details of external form. Orangutan countenance is a far cry from what most humans would consider maidenly loveliness, yet in their gentle demeanor one can find affinity with the kinnaree ideal.
What I'm trying to say is that
Even if the Himmapaan forest does not exist on this planet in a literal sense, there are elements of said forest that do exist (and, by implication, should be cherished and protected).
If we can show an example of smart and gentle jungle-dwellers here, then perhaps there are other examples, perhaps still closer to the Himmapaan ideal, elsewhere in our galaxy (far, but real).
Thank you for that link to the kinnara family: I had seen it on the Internet, then lost it; thank you!
Oh, I do agree with you wholeheartedly on that point from the first; I think that's a wonderful thought. It was simply the sentence 'you will find them a bit more reminiscent of the Greek “snatchers” (harpies), whereas the verbal tradition describes the Kinnaree as lovely, graceful and musically gifted...', especially the word 'whereas' that seemed to me to suggest that the traditional depictions were at odds with the folkloric descriptions of loveliness. But this is merely me as a lover of words stumbling on a particular nuance of a sentence (which may never have been intended at all to begin with); it happens all the time, I'm afraid. And I hope you understood that I was being tongue-in-cheek when I said I 'balked'. Hence the giggles. And to prove it, here's a hug to go with it.
...this is merely me as a lover of words stumbling on a particular nuance...
Well, if a lover of words stumbles, it indicates I was trying too hard to abridge!
I was pointing out the fact that ~gotgituey was representing his particular kinnaree with a higher ratio of human-to-bird than what you would normally see in Thai temples. The traditional ratio (and I give examples, including yours) is closer to that of Greek harpies. Granted that harpies and kinnaree have different anatomy, the big difference, I claim, lies in a misogynous description and dreadful expectation of harpies, but a harmonious and delightful expectation of kinnaree, and I attribute this difference more to cultural mindset than to artistic license of individual artists. The basic concept could in principle be present, on a different planet, regarding creatures that looked like slugs to us— or, closer to home, that looked like orangutans!
I'd go back and edit my lengthy comment, but DA's software won't let me!
Editing of comments has been suggested. They reject it as a matter of policy, not for any technical reason. Pssst. Critiques can be deleted and re-posted. Shhh...
What I'll do, a few days from now, is post an addendum to that long comment of mine, incorporating much of what you and I have been discussing here, so I thank you for your feedback, really! Incidentally, I must congratulate you on your recent honors ref. the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám!! [No idea what your allusion to mediocrity refers to.]
Ah, I've seen these guys referred to as garuda before but I guess I was misinformed! Maybe "angels' would be more appropriate?
I'm half Thai, so, yeah, Thai mythology ftw! I took me until just a few years ago to really come to appreciate it (not much exposure as a child ) but, man, traditional Thai art is so beautiful and the mythical creatures are so unique and auughgh I love it so! <3
Ah, if you mean the English term for the type of creatures, then they're simply fantastic beasts/mythical creatures, since they're neither angels nor deities. If you want to be more specific, then they're Himmapaan creatures, in reference to their habitation and in direct translation from the Thai. Their names, of course, remain just as they are.
The 'slicing' goes both way rounds, in fact, as I have to do both halves seperately.
Yes, the template is still very much in existence. I think I need to take a photocopy of it now though, if I want to use it again. I think the 'mould' has rather worn out now from the tracings (as it has to be flipped over for transfers, plus there are both halves to do...).
*Looks again.* Oh! I see. Sorry... I had the wrong process in mind, entirely.
Do photocopy it! Even were you never to use the mould again, some conditions might cause it to so deteriorate that its own weight could tear through the overdrawn points, and it would be a shame to lose the design.
The process I was thinking of is--... well, it seems I never learned the name of it. Sorry.
What it involves is temporarily tacking together the number of layers needed with the design drawing on top, and scoring the layers with a blade held perpendicular to the paper until it gets cut through. Then, leaving the layers tacked together (including the original drawing), the artist/executor/whomever repeats the process with the interior designs, but only cutting until the desired depth, and working against a backlight in the case that a design needs to be cut on the rear side but not all the way through. Once finished, the original design can be removed (and, thoroughly destroyed, it is often thrown away), and the dimensional layers can be teased away from the main body of the layers, and any extra pieces removed with scissors.
*Re-reads.* That's probably not very clear. Would you mind if I verbally "remade" your kinnaree? If so, skip this paragraph. Your kinnaree would probably be four layers under the design. The outline would slice through layers 1-4. The tail and arm interior designs would similarly slice through layers 1-4. The front leg would be in layers 1 and 2, and the back leg would be in layers 3 and 4. The wings would only etch through layers 1 and 4 (and would be teased away from the body, leaving layers 2 and 3 intact and shaped so that there is no space when viewed from the rear). The tail coverts would be etched through all layers, but the coverts would be removed from layers 1 and 4, and the coverts in layers 2 and 3 folded over as shown.
End of desecration of your kinnaree. Anyway, this method tends to produce a heavier piece (not as elegant as yours). It also generally dissuades the use of smaller cut-outs, because a blade not perfectly perpendicular creates a design suffering from all the problems of paperchain men and paper snowflakes. But if you do have a blade held perfectly perpendicular and sharpened keenly, this method allows for the creation of pieces that look particularly interesting backlit (they remind me of Wedgewood's candle domes and the old-fashioned etched eggs).
Speaking of paperchain men and paper snowflakes, ~LiZn and I were talking and wondered: given the complexity and precision of your papercut designs, what do you do when called upon to make a paper snowflake?
Ah, je comprends... That process might save a little time, but needs to be very carefully planned. Plus, as you say, that doesn't allow for so much detail, and I don't think I would be very happy with that.
If I'm asked to do a snowflake, I shall probably trace all the 'branches' identically, but I would still cut them individually for the very reason given above. I would be quite unhappy with cuts bristling with burs. I know I'm a glutton for punishment. In fact, I have a not dissimilar papercutting commission for a book jacket (for The Lace Reader), which requires a lace pattern as part of it. I'm thoroughly NOT looking forward to doing this however - not because of the lace, but the very tight brief composed of a rather strange design which I must follow, and from which I cannot deviate. It also involves the portrayal of a pair of faces - which must look 'contemporary'. I CAN'T DO CONTEMPORARY. The curious thing is, they want a 'classic' look, so they asked me, but they want the subject to look in part modern. Something I'm more than a little unstuck on...
*Feels guilty.* As a technical editor (though, not one who deals with the graphical end) and on behalf of editors everywhere, I apologize to you for that design brief. We're generally trained to be a bit more logical and precise than that.
When they say "contemporary," do they mean the Contemporary style (funny, I'd only ever heard of that applied to architecture), or do they just mean modern? Sometimes an oriental style can be adapted to look western-modern... Good luck with it, though. I'm certain you'll execute the task in such a way that your customer will be quite satisfied. When is The Lace Reader due for publication?
They simply want the faces of the girls to look modern - ie, living today, not period/historical (they obviously know what I usually do), presumably achieved with a non-historical hairstyle... Heaven knows how I'm supposed to do that convincingly. I mean, I can refrain from doing anything historical, but as to then getting it to look like a modern-day girl... Help.
The publication won't be for a while. It certainly won't if they're asking me to do the jacket.