I’ve always loved Mermaids, and I’ve always kept an eye out for a great mermaid sculpture wherever I go. Particularly when I show up in places like San Francisco, Seal Beach, or the Outer Banks, where mermaids abound. I’ll always run across a couple in little shell shops or maritime bookstores. But I’ve never found the one I’m looking for – the right combination of fluid, cute, sexy, and hopefully with some sea friends nearby. But you know what? I’ve never found her. The ones I stumble across are always lacking something – they’re sorta stiff, or have rather dire faces. Sometimes they’re pretty good, but attached to a lamp or a wooden sign that has beachy witticisms like, “In dog beers, I’ve only had one.”
So I’ve never found my mermaid. Till now.
For all of you who may have had a similar experience, I proudly introduce Nimue, the mermaid sculpture I’ve been looking for.
Nimue (“Nim-way”) is the first collaboration between myself and Anders Ehrenborg (www.andersehrenborg.com), who sculpted her. Anders works in New Zealand, which means he’s beset by mossy trolls and tiny glowing sprites that play tricks on him, stealing his coffee mugs and enticing him with bewitched objects that if touched, will enslave him to the fairy kingdom for a thousand years. Imagine. Even with all that distraction and danger, Anders created this object of fluid beauty that, as far as I am concerned, finally got it right.
How many sailors would have given their last weevily biscuit to capture such a creature in their sea-chests? Anders based this sculpture on a mermaid drawing from “Sketchbook 3.” However, credit for this goes entirely to him; translating a sketch into a dimensional sculpture is the realm of genius and witchcraft, if you ask me.
Also, I owe the creation of this to Jessica Steele, who is also a creature of the deep. She spends most of her time with dolphins and sharks, and was sick and tired of my whining about the failings of seaside shell shop mermaids, and thus pushed me to find a way to produce one that will keep me quiet. Her notes and advice were invaluable as Nimue took shape. Jessica knows all things in the ocean, and kept me properly focused on fins and scales and hair that maintained fluidity.
Nimue is a limited-edition resin. She is 7.25 inches tall, and comes in four versions. Blonde hair with blue tail and blue shark, green hair with green tail and grey shark, and a topless variant of each, for those that like their mermaids without shells. The baby manta ray is a slightly darker blue on the green version. Jessica named the fat baby shark Clarence.
So that makes four versions to choose from. I’ll post the topless variants tomorrow. The ones pictured here are the prototypes, and they will be in San Diego if you happen to pass by our booth (which is #5534, just like last year). We will be taking pre-orders in our online store. Statues will ship starting January 2014.