Dante's Divine Comedy -- Climb to Utopia -- vessel & detail
Dante’s Divine Comedy — Climb to Utopia — vessel & detail
see description at end of page

I have made a wide range of objects from jewelry, vases, medallions, bowls, and cups to birdcages, bollards, gates and doors.  The objects that I make tell a story, relate a concept or record an observation.  The subjects that interest me seem to remain constant: nature, science theories and discoveries, the beauty of form, materials and detail.  The visual and physical elements in the immediate environment are starting points.  The process of making an object is pure pleasure.  I strive for excellent craftsmanship and the ability to distill a discovery of seeing or perceiving.

For the past several years I have enjoyed making presentation pieces for various organizations.  I am honored to have had the opportunity to make presentation pieces for “The Delta Prize for Global Understanding” award, sponsored by Delta Airlines and the University of Georgia, which is given annually to a person who promotes world peace and understanding.

Gary Noffke and I designed and made an edition of ten of these awards. As of 2004, recipients include: President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter and the Carter Center; President Mikhail Gorbachev; Ted Turner; Nelson Mandela; Vice-President of Egypt, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei; Mrs. Sadako Ogata; Nelson Mandela; Archbishop Desmond Tutu; President of Czechoslovakia Vaclav Havel; first president of the Pan-African Parliament Gertrude Mongella; Roméo Dallaire; and President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari.

I have also made several presentation pieces for the Terry College of Business at The University of Georgia.  These “Pinnacle Awards” are given to outstanding alumni and donors of the College.  The “Manufacturer of the Year” award is presented to three outstanding manufacturing businesses in the State of Georgia each year.  I designed and have made these awards for several years.  I have also designed and made the John D. Kehoe Scholarship medallion which is given each year to a student studying in Italy with The University of Georgia.

Currently, I am working on a body of work examining the issues involved with disease, illness and the roles of science, religion, hope and chance in the search for cures.


Description  of  Dante’s Divine Comedy; Climb to UtopiaThis vessel was inspired by the14th-century allegorical poem, by Dante Alighieri, about sin and redemption.  In the poem, Dante visits Hell, Purgatory and Heaven.  At the base of the vessel, I have represented his time in purgatory by three of the terraces of the seven-story mountain that he climbs as he ascends toward purification.  I chose three terraces because 3 is a highly symbolic and recurring number in the entire poem.  The red coral represents the process of purification, and the brass spiral signifies the rapid ascent into the divine cosmos of Heaven.  Heaven is represented in the cup of the vessel by the plants and flowers of the Garden of Eden, with the sun and stars suggested by the diamonds and yellow sapphires set into the silver.  The image of Dante, as it appears on the Italian Euro, is embedded into the organic texture of the surface of the cup.         sterling silver, 18k gold, brass, coral, diamonds, sapphires;   6.25” x 2.5” x 1.75”

email:  bimann2@hotmail.com