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Gwybod. Things are getting exciting.

Updated: Jan 6, 2021

Gwybod (goo-bod) means 'to know'. I like the word very much indeed, it feels nice to say. Having said that, it gives me a kind of creepy feeling. Maybe it's the drawn out 'oooo', but it's a Halloweeny kind of word to me. Happy/scary/heavy word! It instantly made me think of a pouch, or a pursed mouth. A puckered, drawn ring with a bag behind it. Initially, to try and get ideas of shape out there, I made a wire mock up around a ring, seeing what it did when twisted and pouched out. It gave me the 'gwy' without the 'bod'!

A test piece in wire for 'gwybod' - a wire spiral around a central circle
Testing for 'Gwybod'

Test piece, getting the feel for 'gwybod'. It was no good, I wanted a hollow form. I kept seeing what I can only describe as an egg shape with a mouth. I also wanted to give it a creepy character. Hmmm.

I considered casting as an option, but wasn't sure how to physically make the object. After consulting with the ever-patient and fabulous Black Arts Lost Wax Casting I discovered that, in theory a hollow piece could be cast if it's thickness was sufficient and there were openings. I knew I wanted 4 openings (more on those in another post). I got a quail's egg (I already, somewhat inexplicably, had quail eggs I had blown clean), and destroying only one pyrex bowl and the patience of my husband, began coating it in molten casting wax. In the end, I had something that looked fit for a sci-fi film that weighed roughly 8 metric tonnes. I may be exaggerating, but only very slightly. I carved away excess wax, boring holes where I needed them, and making a rough 'lip' around the 'gwybod' hole. I wanted the finished piece to be heavy, so didn't take it down too much.

Quail egg surrounded by red wax, one large 'mouth' opening, 3 smaller holes in the base.
Wax in progress

Eggleton egg. Pre-finishing for the caster.

Quail egg surrounded by red wax, one large 'mouth' opening, 3 smaller holes in the base.
Wax in progress

I wanted a kind of 'spun' finish to it, so I could play with patinas when finished. Now you can fast forward all the nail-biting and see what came back from the casters today! They will need finishing, and patination. I got one silver which weighs in at a stupendous 100g, and a few brass to allow me to experiment. What you don't know is there will be an excellent 'surprise' in the final piece. Actually a couple. At the start of this project, I wanted one of the pieces to have more than one word associated with it, so I could change the look, and the literal translation of the piece. This is the one. The finished piece will have two removeable pieces, which can be added or removed. Each piece representing a different word. More on that as they materialise! Here are the brass and silver casts, pre-finishing. That's next week's job!

Silver gwybod pendant that has bright green glow in the dark inside
Gwybod pendant - Glow in the dark innards

I love them! I can't wait to get finished and experiment with patinas. If the plan succeeds, I'm hoping the finished piece will be able to be worn as Gwybod (know), Gwybod Popeth (know everything) and Gwybod Dim (know nothing). I hope I've got the Welsh right, my Welsh learning has slowed done to amost nothing at the moment and dwi'n araf iawn at the best of times.

Until next time! Lydia

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