The Little (Dead) Mermaid

“So I shall die,” said the little mermaid, “and as the foam of the sea I shall be driven about never again to hear the music of the waves, or to see the pretty flowers nor the red sun. 

- Hans Christian Andersen The Little Mermaid -

 

Not the red-headed Disney princess we all know and love, these pieces follow the darker notes of the original fairytale by Hans Cristian Andersen. When a mermaid dies she becomes sea foam, forever to float on the surface of the water. I read this tale as a child, and every time I see sea foam my first thought is always ‘dead mermaid’. The bubble forms you see floating before you in the preserved sections of the ocean are inspired by the shapes of sea foam as it ripples and cascades through the waves and over the tides. The metal is 3-D printed steel, which I have hand-etched with gruesome sea-creaturesque imagery and added dimensions to with limbs and parts of protruding dead sea monsters, sat amongst the gems of the depths. Mermaids do not just dissolve wistfully away into bubbles, they melt and shrink and fall apart at the seams. These floating creations are merely scooped up dead mermaids solidified around your fingers, necks and ears.

Faery Wings

Faery Wings

The Little (Dead) Mermaid was a part of my Degree Show collection in my final year at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design. This collection was titled: Lexicon Creatures, and it featured five of my favourite narratives that I transformed into three-dimensional , wearable creations. Details from each tale were picked out and dissected into parts that I found beautiful, fascinating or questioning, and I constructed my interpretations into the final creatures using a variety of techniques that I had learned during my education, including: nitric acid etching, 3D printing, electroforming, and a unique beading style that I developed.

Faery Wings

Faery Wings

This work is available for commission. Please email me at info@chloehenderson.co.uk for more details.

While developing my degree show collection at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design I discovered that my niche skill within the world of jewellery-making is etching, especially hand-drawn nitric acid etches. Through this method of scraping away

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lines of black etching fluid I fell in love with pattern drawing and this love has become my ink and paper illustrations. My portfolio of illustration is inspired by my penchant for the fantastical, and I often feature strange creatures within my highly patterned portraiture. The crisp black and white lines have become my signature style.