Harlan W. Butt, Metalsmith
Extinction Vessel #6: Veneer
2020
copper, enamel, silver
12 x 4.5 x 4.5
This is Extinction Vessel #6: Veneer. The format is modeled after late 19th century and early 20th century Japanese cloisonné vases, like those of Namikawa Yasuyuki. The cloisonné imagery on my vessel is of the honeybee on a clover blossom and a Monarch butterfly on a milkweed plant. Although neither of these creatures is presently extinct, their long-term survival is in question. The surface of this piece is interrupted in three places, as if the enameled skin is peeling off and, in these areas, there are images of deforestation, air pollution and a flotsam of plastic on a coastal sea. The materials are copper, enamel and silver and the vessel is 12 inches tall by 4.5 inches wide. The haiku etched on the rim is as follows:

Oh, to reconcile
Our love of Nature's beauty
With our boundless greed.
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