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THE PHOENIX - Egyptian

THE PHOENIX - Egyptian
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Framed Mosaic Intarsia
18" x 24"

In the beginning of all creation, the sun disc containing the eye of Ra-Aten, the Sun-God, rises above the sacred vessel of myrrh and casts its golden rays skyward in the form of the Benben obelisk. Below, the mounted back of Aten, the creator, rises above the dark primordial waters of Nun to become the hill of Heliopolis. Lotus blossoms open at dawn to allow Aten to release the sun and close at dusk to receive it. Surrounding the drama, the life sign of ankh alternates with the earthly symbol of Ra, the scarab beetle, to assure well-being; below the outstretched wings of the disc emblem of Horus of Behdet, another incarnation of Ra. The Pheonix, a great eagle-like bird with feathers of red and gold arrives from out of Arabia to land on the obelisk. A great flame bursts forth! Anointing itself in myrrh from the sacred vessel, the Phoenix plunges into the blazing nest to be consumed. As this happens, a young Phoenix arises to live for five hundred years before returning to repeat the fiery rite once again.
Ra-Aten: A composite deity formed from two completely different deities creating the Sun-God. Aten was the disk of the sun and originally an aspect of Ra.
Myrrh: A constituent of perfumes and incense highly prized in ancient times and often worth more than its weight in gold.
Benben: Referred to as "mound" and said to have turned into a small pyramid that Atum is said to dwell within.
Ankh: Known as the Egyptian cross and the key of life.
Artist Analysis: Primarily made of beads, Venetian, Japanese and Byzantine tile, crushed glass, melted marbles, costume jewelry, rock, shell and ceramics. Note that the scarab beetles and Aank signs which act as borders. These are made of porcelain and were created in the following manner: Large "master" tiles about 6" long were carved of each design, then fired achieving 15% shrinkage. These were then pressed into the next (negative) master and fired resulting in another 15% shrinkage. The negatives were a then pressed into new positives, dried and fired, again resulting in another 15% shrinkage. The process was repeated over and over until the desired size was achieved with its shrunken and refined detail. They were then mass produced, fired, painted and installed; a process which took about a month. The obelisk is bugle beads with gold leaf interiors. The beads from Israel used in the "eye" of Ra was a special purchase from a Hollywood costuming bead store. The disc of Ra at the top is of beads, costume jewelry and Christmas "glitter". it might be interesting to note that the globe containing the "eye" of Ra and its bowl-like container is made up of approximately 1500 separately placed pieces.

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