17/11/2006

The Malleus Maleficarum...an objective review
























What is this occult objet d'art, Livres d'artiste, perhance a book review ? Which witch, which hammer, which witch hammer ? My ‘Malleus Maleficarum’ is a review of the 15th century classic, ‘The Malleus Maleficarum’ (the Witches' Hammer ). This book was written by Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger and published in 1484 by THE HOLY SEE. Written in response to a general clamor, to get all of the disruption of medieval witch burning under control, this work provided a perfectly horrible bureaucratic solution. By codifying an official doctrine, for dealing with those persons accused of witchcraft, the church inadvertently provided a systematic method for human extermination. With the blessings of the church, the inquisitors were absolved from personal culpability in the torture and killing of the accused, the atrocities committed against the accused were interpreted as acts of divine mercy. I believe that those accused of witchcraft might well have felt a little differently about the situation...and perhaps those ladies could have used a little something in their defense, a right proper witches' hammer...This image presents such a thing, a representation of the pagan god Pan, carved by my hand from a 12 oz ESTWING hammer, an 18 karat gold detail separates the unbreakable steel shaft from the leather handle. The end normally reserved for hitting nails is decorated by an 18 k gold bezel containing a fat round garnet. The stone would snap under about 20 lbs of pressure. However, the horned end could be used to some considerable effect, against an inquisitor, an objet d'art for the purpose of self defense.
* Read The Malleus Maleficarum of Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger
** Search ‘Acta Apostolicae Sedis’ , in the Vatican archives to review Church's formal apology.
***A little more reading on the topic of Witchcraft.****The gold details on this piece were completed in collaboration with the excellent goldsmith, my friend Karen Morrow.
-Copy Cats are Dirty Rats

3 comments:

Chris said...

I've always loved how this piece conscripts Pan into the service of "icon of industriousness"

Mark Atomos Pilon said...

Hey Rob, missed your open house... again. Nice hammer!

isabella mori said...

beautiful piece! is it for sale? probably not in my price range but one can always ask ... have you shown your work to danielle at sacred space, 27 east pender?

i'm really glad i ran into you. you do beautiful work.