Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Making Money

World Currency for Riemer
I was recently commissioned to carve 10 crayons with 10 different world currency symbols on them. This was my first time working with text.  I was nervous about my lines and angles being off.  I mostly work with very organic shapes.

From left to right:
US Cent in Copper.  I chose this color for the ubiquitous penny.  The cent symbol sits atop a pillar of coins.
Mexican Peso in Scarlet.  Mexico's national colors are red, white and green.  The $Peso symbol also sits on one of The Pillars of Hercules.  It's theorized that the "$" came from the Spanish coat of arms where a ribbon wraps around the pillars.
Indian Rupee in Yellow-Orange.  This is the color of marigolds and saffron dyes.  Whenever I think of India I think of rich, vibrant colors.
Chinese Yuan in Dandelion.  Yellow was China's imperial color and is still associated with wealth and status today.  I used the Chinese word for Yuan instead of the Yuan symbol.  Since both Yen and Yuan uses the same symbol I wanted to differentiate them
Brazilian Real (Reais) in Green-Yellow.  Brazil's national colors are green and which symbolizes the country's lush forests and the country's wealth in gold.  This was the perfect combo of both colors!
US Dollar in Fern.  I chose this for the namesake of our beloved Greenback.
British Pound Sterling in Sky Blue.  Blue is one of 3 national colors in the UK.  I also think of the monarchy when I think of the UK.  Hence royals and blue bloods.  Royal Blue was too dark so I used Sky Blue.
The Euro in Orchid.  This was the hardest color to choose because the EU represents so many countries.  Tyrian purple was the color of wealth and royalty in early Western Civilization.  Modern day Europe comes from those ancient empires so I chose purple.
Japanese Yen in Carnation Pink.  Japan has many symbols, but perhaps one of the most popular one is the Sakura flower.  I chose pink to reflect the many hues of the cherry blossom.
Russian Ruble in White.  Russian Winters are well known around the world!  I think of the snow and blinding whiteouts.  Such harsh weather makes tough people.  The Russian Ruble doesn't have an official symbol yet, so I just used the most popular one.
Although I had a rainbow color scheme planned I also wanted each nation's (EU) color to reflect it's identity. 

A closer look at the Yuan vs. Yen

Peso Dollar Reais
Peso vs. Dollar
There's a bit of a controversy on who had the $ symbol first.   Here are some of the many theories.  I'm going with the Pillars of Hercules theory and that we adopted it afterward.

One last look :)
Thank you Davis and Louise!  I hope you enjoy the new addition to your collection.


Kathryn Cantrell said...

Gorgeous!! I love them!

Diem Chau said...

Thank you Kathryn :)

Jenny said...

Absolutely stunning. Your work always amazes me. Thanks for sharing!

Lauren said...

wow! these are awesome...great work!

silvia said...

these are fantastic! i love all fo the different pedestals you used. :)

FrenchyMcFrenchcake said...

WOW! Those are really beautiful! Good work, hope you are well!

Dr. Frank Davis said...

your work continues to delight me - thank you!!!

Jellybean said...

these are so amazing!! i love these.

Diem Chau said...

Thank you so much everyone! I really had fun with this project.
Pics are back up again... sorry about the glitch.

Erica Fustero said...

I love the connection between the symbols and the colors you chose :)

Did you enjoyed working with text?

Serge Lescouarnec said...

As I was writing a piece titled Chinese Zodiac as Sculpted Crayolas by Diem Chau on 'Serge the Concierge' I discovered your '10 currencies' whose image I took the liberty of adding to article.

Have a good day


Diem Chau said...

Thanks Erica :)

Thanks for the write up Serge!

Anonymous said...

This is great - I love the pillars below each sign.

clotilde boisrenard said...

i am sorry to say to you i am absolutely in love with your work.

Diem Chau said...

Thanks VonMuttern and Clotilde!

numbereightyfour said...

These are STUNNING - I am in awe!!!