Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cylinder Seals 1

Cylinder Seal, Shamash, Louvre

703 you are going to be designing and making your own Cylinder Seals. In class today we talked about Cuneiform script and how it was a writing system originally based on pictographs. Thomas showed us how the words fire and mountain are written in Cantonese and we guessed at how the word may have been derived from its early pictogram.

Your aim for this assignment is to create an original seal that depicts part of a myth, legend or fairytale. The challenge is to create a storyline that is able to both start and end within the same image once it is printed. We made the example of how we would depict the Minotaur's story - We know that the Minotaur lived within a maze and so we chose those two ideas, the half-god that the story is about and the place the story mostly takes place. A cylinder seal based on this story could show the Minotaur entering the maze as well as leaving it using only two clear pictogram. The entrance of the maze would have to be closest to the head of the Minotaur as he is facing it, looking as if he is about to enter and the exit would be placed closer to his heels. This way as the image is rolled out it would look like the one creature both entered and left the labyrinth.

Cylinder Seal by Ahmad Nadalian

Some of the Myths and Legends that we listed were: Gilgamesh, Beowulf, the Phoenix, St. George and the Dragon, Persephone, Orpheus, Icarus, Jonah and the Whale, Creation Stories, Constellations, Kraken, Pandora's Box and Werewolves just to name a few. You need to decided upon your story, research it and come ready to start figuring out how to draw it in simple imagery. Good Luck!