Deanna Pastel

The Missing Link

Medium/Materials:  Link: Champlevé enameled, etched, power-engraved, hand-sawed, soldered, fabricated, lapidary worked, riveted, tension set, bezel, and tube set. Sterling, brass, sapphire, fossilized ammonit. Stand: Fabricated, soldered, glued Silver, nickel, brass, wood, leather

Dimensions:  Link: 2.7  x 2.75 x .75 inches, Stand: 4 x 2.5 x 1.45 inches

Photographer: Deanna Pastel and Garrison Ebie

Artist Statement: 

This piece was designed by taking the title of “Linking Your Lineage” to a literal definition through aesthetic and conceptual form. The work was contrived by wanting to root back to our ancestors and the long line of evolution that came from sea, to ape and eventually, to man. The concept for this work started with the idea of cellular mitosis. The champlevé’ brass piece is my personal representation of this amazing and naturally occurring phenomenon that, with the help of chromosomes, are the building blocks for genetic reproduction and mutation within the animal world. 

There are iconic and recognizable forms to help guide the viewer into the concept behind this work - mainly the evolutionary circle of ape to man sawed on one side of the hollow form. Set to the interior is a fossilized ammonite, hand worked, that connects our bare bones to evolution. It is offset by one circle spiraling in one direction, and the fossil spinning in the other. I tied this idea to the feet “walking” around the exterior, showing the similarity of bone structure through different primate foot-prints, to those of mankind. 

I wanted this work to be playful and mechanically sound. While the viewer can be looking at several aesthetic and visually stimulating parts within the piece, the real intrigue behind the work is the ability to spin the two elements of it that move. The work then takes on a form that can not only be worn, but can be an object as well. There are striking similarities that I tried to convey between a compass or pocket watch, with the stand setting the work as if it were a globe- trying at every angle to relate each element of the work back to the concept as well as have no true definition of a front or back of the piece. 

Through scientific data and analysis we have found that the similarity of our genome sequence and genetic make-up is astoundingly similar to things that we have found in rock and sand, pre-dating our once pre-conceived notions of where and when we came from. The journey that we take in the discovery of our “missing link” is still a mystery with clues left still to be uncovered. I wanted this work to contrive a notion of thought within the viewer and allow us time to ponder our own existence, while still having something that is tangible and playful to hold within the hand. Our missing link may still be a mystery, but we get closer to the truths of it every day.