albert einstein is to me one of the most creative scientists, who did his profound work in physics in a “playful” way , and as this resonates to me, i got the idea to carve a portrait of him. i was first thinking of doing a high relief carving, but then i got inspired by marks tryptich and his bishops crest to do the portrait as bas relief.
the wood is jelutong, rather hard compared with linden that i usually carve, but it carves nicely and holds detail very well. the big circle is 25cm=10” in diameter so the portrait will be about 3/4 lifesize,,, the wood being 18mm=3/4” thick, and i have set down the background to a maximal depth of 12mm=1/2”. that is lot of wood to play with, compared what mark did on his above mentioned reliefs.
i had the idea to incorporate on a very subtle way a hint to einsteins work. if you are familar with it, i am sure you noticed it already, i have cut the background not flat as it is usually done in bas reliefs, but curved : einstein found in his general relativity theory that space does not have a fixed geometry, but bends and curves under influence of mass moving through space. the larger the mass of the body the more space curves. if objects come close to these area where space curves, their way of travel is changed according to the curvature in space. this is so with light too….