Anatomy of a Commission (II)

“1957 Fire Rooster 2017” (2017)
by Daniel Macchiarini (1954-)
3.5 x 3.5 in. base with a 4.5 in. rooster,
in bronze with ebony and ivory inlays and copper highlights
Coppola Collection

Anatomy of a Commission (II)

In the Chinese tradition, your 60th birthday is a huge deal because it represents the restarting of the life cycle dictated by the combination of the 12 zodiac signs and the 5 elements coming back around. The year 1957 ushered in the fire rooster, and 2017 marks its return.

I decided to commission a couple of special name stamps with my adopted Chinese name (高伯乐), the one I use for the name of the art gallery at this site. My artist of choice was by buddy, Danny Macchiarini, some of whose works I have featured here.

The Chinese imperials had two kinds of personal stamps. The first kind was a large and ostentatious block, so I wanted a good-sized chunk of bronze, on the order of a 3.5-4 inch cube, with a carved stamp in the bottom and topped with a rooster. Danny could have three of the four sides to make his modernist designs, and the name would appear right-side on one face to match the mirrored carving on the bottom surface.

Danny designed an excellent rooster, filled with attitude, who was cast separately from the base. Here are a few steps in the process of the lost wax method.

The wax sculpture

The wax carving of the bottom face, with the stamp

The casting of the rooster

The casting of the bottom face

The casting of the rest of the cube, assembled and polished

Next up, a small and diamond-crusted name stamp, with a rooster, done in gold. Did I mention that 60 was a big deal?



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