01 September 2011

New Work: “Stars Not Included”


My latest piece “Stars Not Included”, in case you are not familiar with sailing/navigational equipment, is based on a mariner’s sextant.  This tool has been around for centuries, helping sailors find their way across the oceans and back home again.

Although I haven’t sailed in years and even then we didn’t use a sextant, making this piece brought back memories of racing in Long Island Sound.  I can smell the sunscreen and salt water now!

Themel_starsnotincSMdetailThe basic principle of the sextant uses 2 fixed reference points to help the sailor figure out his/her location.  Typically the 2 fixed points are the horizon line (which I can easily find) and a known star or constellation (this is where I am completely useless.   Hence the title).

I love the beautifully complex shape and different metal finishes on this little technological marvel, especially the polished brass scope.  Maybe I like the scope because I actually know what that part does, unlike the rest of the dials, wires and mirrors.  Those are a complete mystery. 

To me, that “unknown” quality makes this object even more intriguing.  Or maybe I’m like a bird, simply mesmerized by anything shiny.


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