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Three Hares

Three Hares
Three Hares

Three Hares, six-inch, $75
Cook Inlet glacial clay art tile with collagraph printed hares in x-ray style of coastal Inuqiaq. Three hares, three ears, yet each hare has two ears! A while back I made a large woodcut (about 3-1/2′ x 5′ – playing card aspect) using a sheet of plywood that required a steamroller to print an image of three hares similar to this tile, and titled the Three of Hares. It was the third steamroller print event put on in Anchorage. The idea for the three hares came about as a piece in a local group show with a theme about St. Francis and a hare that leads other animals to their respective heavens (put together by James Riordan, an assistant professor at the University of Alaska, Anchorage). The image of three hares was in some medieval monastaries and represented the trinity, but of course, the original design is much older, Etruscan, and historians don’t know what significance it had. Someone referred to the tile as the three rabbi’s.

4 thoughts on “Three Hares

  1. I love this concept of connecting the three hares through their ears. In the process of printing a collograph into clay do you just make relief cuts into a board and press it into the surface? When I was dabbling in collograph, the only materials I used were cardboard plates, layers of glue and material fibers. My good friend was using woodcut reliefs and pressing them into abstract tea cups last year in a very similar style to this. I’d be interested in attending one of these steamroller printing events as I’ve always been more fascinated by large scale printing. Something about being so invested in one project usually makes the reward of a finished print that much greater.

    1. Hello, the collagraph plate is a matte board base under a cut out design of 140 lb. etching paper. All the pieces get a coat of gesso and glued together also with gesso, and a couple of final coats of acrylic medium seal the plate. The acrylic medium helps the plate peel off the clay and makes the plates easier to clean. The steamroller events are usually three or so years apart and organized by the University Printmaking department. If I remember, I’ll drop an email for the next one. Maybe you can mention it to your university and they can host one.

  2. That’s a beautiful design, and those are wonderful colors. Love it!

  3. Hi Ed. We just purchased a “Three Hares” tile from you in Doylestown, PA. We love the design, so I did some research on its origins. It seems like the earliest occurrences are on walls of cave temples during the Sui Dynasty (6th to 7th centuries). It spread from there through the Mideast and eventually Europe. It has had many meanings, always [positive, including the Christian Trinity. It is also revered as a visual puzzle – this is from a 1576 Dutch engraving:

    The secret is not great when one knows it.
    But it is something to one who does it.
    Turn and turn again and we will also turn,
    So that we give pleasure to each of you.
    And when we have turned, count our ears,
    It is there, without any disguise, you will find a marvel.

    Thanks for adopting the motif and adding

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