Saturday, March 20, 2010

And The Rest Of The Story...

I finally got around to editing the rest of the Zodiac crayon images.
Zodiac Dragon
This Dragon crayon was my first attempt.  Most of the other crayons took at least 2 or 3 trial runs before I was happy with the results.  The texture of the scales turned out very well.  I grew up around a lot of Dragon motifs.  It reminds me of Dragons swirling around a column or post or a Dragon and Phoenix wrapped around a pair of Chinese wedding candles.

Zodiac Dog
My solution to carving long snout dogs is to have them look down.  Composing within the dimensions of a crayon is challenging.  This fellow is very Kitsune-like.

Zodiac Ox
Ox (see Horse description)

Zodiac Horse
There's a Chinese saying that ties the horse and the ox together:
牛耕田 马吃谷:  The ox plows the field and the horse eats the grain (and the next line goes)... the father toils for the daughter's prosperity.  The meaning behind that saying is the ox/father works hard and toils away while the horse/daughter gets to enjoy the results of his hard work.

People used to repeat that saying to me all the time when I was little.  They would ask if I wanted to be the ox or the horse.  The underlying question was... do I want to toil and work hard all my life or sit back and enjoy what would be given to me.  I HATED it, even at 5 or 6 years old.  I didn't want to be an ox in the field, but I'd be damned if I sit back and let someone do my work for me.  I was going to be the ox that ate it's own oats or the horse that plowed its own field.  But after my father's death the truth behind this saying really resonated with me.  I worked hard for everything I have in life, but my father did in fact toiled for my sake.  The saying is true.

Big THANKS to Laura for the blogging about my Zodiac crayons and everyone at Boing Boing & Digg for picking it up.


Melody Fury // said...

Jaw drops. Gorgeous, simply.

karen said...

wow amazing work!

Diem Chau said...

Thanks Mel & Karan.

counsel said...

i was just sitting here looking and loving at these when my daughter ran in and says "hey, in the Chinese Zodiac I'm a horse, Dare's (little sister) is a dog and you're an Ox right?!" talk about timing . . . she loves the carvings too.

Diem Chau said...

Thanks for visiting the blog Counsel.

g1toons said...

these are amazing, how long does it actually take you on average to complete one of these?

Diem Chau said...

I depends on the complexity. Usually a few hours, but if it's a new design or I break the crayon during carving I have to start over again. You can't melt them together or fix it once it's broken.

lynda howells said...

oh my goodness, these are so gorgeou. I want onexxl have never seen anything like this before. I have just found your blog and have subscribed so l don't miss any of your work in the futurex waving to you from London in uk. I work as an Art therapist and am also an artist and photographerxxhappy easter from me!xlynda

rick fernandez said...

inspirational! :)
and we just got 4 boxes of crayons at toys r us for $1. my kids will NOT be happy. haha.