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The ARURA Collection

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Leuchtenburg castle at night

On a clear day in Jena, Germany, if you hike to the top of one of the limestone hills surrounding the city and look directly south, you will see a site familiar to all who live here, the Leuchtenburg Castle. Perched above the Saale valley, this medieval fortress can be seen for miles and is especially lovely at night when it earns its name, the “Castle of Lights.” Recently, the Leuchtenburg Castle underwent an extensive renovation, including an architecturally stunning modernization of the porcelain exhibit and the gift shop. As part of this renovation, the Leuchtenburg Foundation enlisted the talented artist Alim Pasht-Han to create what is now the tallest vase in the world, the ARURA. The ARURA was carefully assembled from 360 honeycomb-shaped porcelain tiles, all hand-painted by Pasht-Han. The unique shape of these tiles lends strength to the vase and allows it to rise to a height of eight meters.ARURA vase

One striking aspect of this vase for me is that many of the paintings on these tiles are clearly inspired by the art of Ernst Haeckel. After posting on my Instagram account about my joy at seeing this beautiful vase, I was contacted by the curator of the Leuchtenburg Museum to see if I would be interested in designing some jewelry pieces based on the ARURA. I happily accepted this challenge and created two pendants, a pair of earrings and a figurine based on four of the ARURA tiles.  I’m excited to announce that these pieces can be purchased at the museum shop at the Leuchtenburg, at my Shapeways shop and my Etsy shop.

Ontogenie ARURA collection

  • alan white
    Posted on October 22, 2016 at 11:55 am

    astonishingly beautiful work!
    Do you 3D scan the original large versions and then use the resulting sTL file to 3D print small versions in wax (for lost wax casting)? However you manage, they are truly wonderful. Congratulations!

    • Kimberly
      Posted on October 22, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      Thank you for your kind words! All of my pieces are sculpted ‘by hand’ in Blender. It’s possible to work from 3D-scans for the larger creatures, or even CT scans for the protists, but those methods usually generate a lot of extraneous data that’s hard to clean up. It’s much easier for me as an artist to start with something simple and make it more complex. This gives me more control over the final product, and allows me to interpret instead of just copy. I’m glad to hear you enjoy my work.


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