Bill Dawson, metalsmith


Gather ’round, my creative friends! I’m working on photographing some pieces by renowned metalsmith, Bill Dawson. ( click here for his website … but don’t go there yet! I still need your attention over here.) What I’ve been given are six whorls made from silver, gold, copper, etc. Before I began this project, I didn’t know what a whorl is.

See this chick right here? She’s using a spinning whorl.

I was given six spinning whorls to photograph, the idea is to capture the detail in the top and bottom as well as the finish along the edges.

Bill showed me how these pieces are displayed at the gallery using a mirror. I tried it. This meant being aware not only of the lighting on the whorl but also on the mirror and what was reflected in the background via the mirror.

The mirror idea worked well in the gallery, but didn’t translate well as a photo.

I could simply photograph the top, bottom and side views and put them together as one photo collage in Photoshop (and I might still do that) but that’s what everyone else would do (and they’re probably right). I’m trying to come up with something that will really do each piece justice as they are absolutely stunning. Functional and stunning – two things I love.

I even went so far as to make a print of the bottom and use it as a backdrop:

It’s a bit much.

So, my creative friends, any suggestions? I looked at spinning whorl images all over the ‘net. I’ve kind of come to the conclusion that never before in history has a good photograph been taken of one.


4 Responses

  1. If anyone can come up with a great idea to photograph this it would be Marcy Merrill. You have often made images that few others could.

  2. Make a box of one way mirror glass . (Can glue together with silicone sealer). Take photo of whirl that is inside the box from the outside with many reflections in the photo.

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