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Icarus (Calaveras)

His father was good at what he did...building things.  Not good at keeping secrets though...he had told Ariadne about the labyrinth.   And this was why they were trapped down here in the first place...looking for the next opportunity to get out.


His father worked on the wings in secret.  Four fastidious constructions of wood, wax and feathers...laid out in the cool shadows of the dark studio like fallen angels. Always telling Icarus they would fly out together.   All Icarus could think of was escaping the  island before it was too late.  He was eighteen.  Freedom filled the boy’s heart, along with unformed thoughts of a large world, great creation and applauding ambition.  He carried the insignificance of safety with him...later his father recalled the signs.  Apart from the minotaur there had been no experience of mortality.   Just the two of them trapped in the labyrinth forever.


The day of the test it all happened very quickly.  The sun was already too hot.  Icarus dragged the wings out early, pulling them on roughly without listening to his father.  Jumping up into the wind,  already dazed by the light.  Moving too fast.  All warnings died quickly.  Father followed boy...watching the boy's lurching journey silhouetted on blue.  Sensing his freedom, calling to him.  But even now he could smell the hot wax and burning feathers. And then...the silent fall.

Now he is in the stars.


 A 'rosary' style chain constructed from brass,vintage, black plastic beads and steel chain.  The central pendant is a black plastic skull (Calaveras) found on the roadside...pitted and worn...restored by me. The back bowl of the calaveras skull is a silver-plated spoon, soldered in place. Hanging below Calaveras is a trio of Victorian black-glass florets & beads...the type used during mourning.  These exquisite beads were found in a demolished house.   The stand-in for Icarus is a tiny vintage cracker-jack angel, attached to a long chain.  He has been in my collection for a long time - British?  He dangles from the earth in mid-flight...not yet fallen.  I have hand-engraved the  vintage, mirrored bead  with a map of the ancient Greek world...his world.   Down the back of the neck hangs a short chain holding an old silver fish diving into watery droplets....signifying the Icarian sea into which the boy fell.  Flesh-coloured vintage plastic flowers (c.1940's?) cascade here and there signifying renewed life and growth....after the fall.  These beads also restored by me.  


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