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GIRVIN | Strategic Branding & Design | Seattle

GIRVIN | Strategic Branding & Design | New York

THE MIGRATION OF SIGILS, SIGNETS AND PATTERNS
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

Isn’t it so that there are devices, objects,
that repetitively reveal themselves—
during the course of your journey, your work?

These are marks that come back to you, your journeys down the lane of the way that you have made, your pathways—and there they are again: they show up.
Literally—they show. Up.
They present themselves—
and they’re there for you.
To see.

THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

Looking at the nature of the migration of symbology, symbolic patterning—I think about it as a poetic allegory: a garland of flowers—and they open up as you pass by them.
It’s up to you to see them.

You might not notice them in the beginning, but they come back and, hopefully, you’ll spend a moment to observe them. They’re telling you a story—there’s a teaching there. That patterning means some thing in the nature of one’s personal practice, how you come back to a visual and metaphorical rendering that teaches you something, and it repeats itself for further examination.

For me—a patterning:
that’s something to the reckoning of dragons, that, one, began decades ago in a giant piece of glass art that was a baked sheath of rubine silica that was intricately cut, engraved and marked, then sheathed in a matrix of adhesive frisket. This was a piece of 4’x 8’ sheet of red-skinned, cladded glass. so big that I never photographed it.

And it broke, since I etched and sand-blasted it so deeply, to cut through the baked glass red skin and the blasting cleaved through—weakening the structure of the glass overall. And it cracked—so I gave bits of it away, ornate little bits of colored red glass and and filigreed, frisket-cut white light tracery.

Now, these pieces, given as gifts, are broadly disseminated—who knows where they all are now?

That grand dragon—and the work that went into it—that became the first in a patterning. Then, later, another dragon appeared—decades later, but a ripple from the first—GuildWars.

THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

And that dragon,
there’s a story inside the story
told there, as well.

THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

I went on to other bits of dragon lore—
I worked on the Godzillas—
from copywriting, “size does matter,”
to identity studies for others.
Which, at the header of this blog,
is about a more condensed
typographical consciousness.

And it all comes back to the patterning, there is yet another entertainment deployment: Dragon Warrior,
during our Nintendo AOR years.

THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

And later, another brand storytelling, the motion picture identity development—this time, for Beowulf—yet another embedded rendering
around the bejeweled dragon, as below:
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

And recently, in the legacy of dragons—Raya, worked on that for Disney iteratively, during the evolutions of that project.
And yes, Raya, as the reader likely knows,
there’s another dragon.
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

But if you could go further into the heart of the dragon—which symbolizes the guardian, the gatekeeper and the lord of the chthonic, another dragon came into my life—
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON
then another—from a jaunt in Tibet.
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON
Then, finally, in another tier of dragonology, a brush drawing which becomes carved steel—a collaboration with a friend, Matt Adams—the Master of the works at RedSoul and—another collaboratrix—a long-running friend and client, now living in Birmingham, Michigan. This dragon shall be installed in her floor—and it’s waiting for its moment of safe, post construction installation.

That started with thinking, in a winding turn and movement through the space—roughly 8’ long and 4’ across—how could any string of metaphors and steel-installed
allegories find a place in this house?
What symbol could live there?

Emblematically “stand guard, symbolize or captivate visitors to the home?” We looked at different sketched symbols, allegories of her—dreams and placemaking.

Sketched ideas—drawn with brushes and felted tools.
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON
And settled on the five-taloned dragon.

I then brushed this
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON
on handmade washi, Japanese handmade paper, to precisely fit the space.

THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

First, a trial, arc-incised
in a smaller sheet of steel.
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

Then a full size rendering,
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

arc-cut from a full sheet of steel—4’ across x 8’ high.
ArcLight at RedSoul.
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

Dragon makes dragon, RedSoul.
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

Then pulling the plate for incision markings,
to explicate the character of the brush story.
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

The master dragon emplacement and the smaller-sized trial cuttings at RedSoul.
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

Matt worked out the sinews of incised grindings and polishing based on the movements of the drawing and brush renderings—we marked up the steel, and he ground-out the musculature and scale work—the sensate tactility of the dragon plate.

THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

The black markings below play to structure,
referenced for grinding details.
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

A flourish of colored reflections from the neon and other lighting sources in the industrial workshop.
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

The final dragon, which supporting attachment bolts, for shipment.
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

Boxed-up and hello, Birmingham, MI.
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE DRAGON

Tim Girvin | GIRVIN | Seattle
The symbolism of design
www.girvin.com | tim.girvin.com