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Day 3 - Into the forge

After slowing getting past my jet lag, and waking up to snow on the roofs of Pliezhausen, I managed to make it into the forge this morning. I started planning out a small maquette of the sculpture I will be forging at Tobiashammer next week. The forging symposium at Tobiashammer is centered around creating sculptures which commemorate the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his Ninety-Five Theses to the church door (spoiler alert: he never actually nailed them to the door, just mailed them off to the bishop). There are big events planned all over Germany next year for the anniversary, and as part of the festivities the six sculptures will be placed along a path that Luther traveled.

Maquette for Duality sculpture, © Mark Gilsdorf 2016

My sculpture, titled Duality, is based on the quote from Martin Luther below: Man is composed of a two-fold nature, a spiritual and a bodily. As regards the spiritual nature, which they name the soul, he is called the spiritual, inward, new man; as regards the bodily nature, which they name the flesh, he is called the fleshly, outward, old man. . . . . in the Scriptures opposing statements are made concerning the same man; the fact being that in the same man these two men are opposed to one another; the flesh lusting against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh.”

Martin Luther (Gal. v. 17), J. Leslie Dunstan, Protestantism (New York, George Braziller, Inc., 1961), p. 41

My design seeks to express this dual nature of human existence. While Luther saw it exclusively from the religious perspective, which is one way of looking at it, I believe that this duality can also be seen as the struggle present in all humans beings between our dark and light sides, good intentions and bad, our better angels and demons. The sculpture can also be seen to represent the contradictory nature of Martin Luther himself, who like the rest of us was flawed.

The model above is about ten inches tall and the final sculpture will be approximately 5 to 6 feet tall. The maquette is mainly a way for me to begin thinking through the design in three dimensions and is more of a roadmap for where I want to go with it than a final snapshot of how the piece will look.

Looking forward to the challenge of next week at Ohrdruf.

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