“The First Day of Clown School”

Roland Brady


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Roland Brady is one-of-a-kind: poet, philosopher, artist, writer, film production worker and actor, and exceptional jeweler.

Undoubtedly the most unique, creative, meticulous and unusual artist we know!

This is his latest “film-strip” pendant, the series probably inspired by his involvement with film crews in Monument Valley, where he lives and helps his mother with her sheep.

There is no need to wonder what it is all about; Roland provides an explanatory and descriptive booklet, which goes with the pendant.

Slightly curled, the silver rectangle is punctured with rectangular holes on either side, also like a real strip of film. Top and bottom are cut on a slight diagonal, again like a filmstrip.

There are five separate “frames”, each one different, each one an amazing composition of complex, applied and overlaid elements.

Here is an abridged explanation,  in the artist’s own words, from top to bottom:

Act 1: Cow, Windmill, Birds, etc. Prologue “This is an open call for rodeo clowns…. (Bovines mooing alongside creaking windmill. Groans, Grumblin’, Tinkling Bells….”

Act II, Top Hat Dancer, etc. “Never has the crew here at Wesert Wose Wanch {sic }come across…our next character… Tearin’ up the East Coast Cotillions & ballrooms, with eyes on Vegas, our dandy  here fancies hisself a bona fide  bullfighter in the old world tradition…..”

Act III:  Charging Bull. “Please join us in welcoming to the stage for the First Time in these parts….(mega-stadium frenzy applause). This feller here busted our ol’ scale out back so we’re guessin’ under a ton; from..the southwestern Bad-Lands And judgin’ by the lack of Brands, An Outlaw!”

Act IV: Upturned Figure, Top Hat, Boot, etc. ” ‘Gooooal!!’ So sorry, wrong sport. Tha rookie chalks up his first grand slam inta the Grandstands!”…This is going inta the record books Country-wide!’ ….”

Act V: Champagne Bottle, Clown, rooster. (Coda) …”We have another local kid testin’ out his chops for the first timey too!…. Soon as we untangle a small technical problem backstage, let me answer a question given earlier in trainin’. Accordin’ to NASA, thrust is simply: F=q x Ve+(Pe-Pa) x Ae.”

Helpful? Very whimsical, but the “Acts” are each seriously complex, with meticulously three-dimensional elements that are sometimes, even applied over the applied motifs.

In each Act, tiny, polished silver elements are on a matte blackened background, with gold and copper accents.

For instance, in the first Act, the windmill’s wooden structure is raised over the windmill’s wings; a copper bird flies off in the upper corner, with a gold sun (?) at the bottom left.

Act 2 has the dancing figure on top of the background elements, with a copper butterfly raised over that.

The bull, in Act 3 is charging straight at us, and his head is superimposed on his body. A gold number 5 indicates the bull’s number in the rodeo.

Act 4 shows the unlucky clown head over heels, flying through the air, with his boot flying off to the right. His top hat is not only applied over the background, to the right but also darkened, for realism, with a polished silver brim standing out even more. A gold umbrella drifts down, at the very bottom.

Finally, Act V is introduced with the word “TRYOUTS” at the top, each letter individually defined. Below,  to the right of the gold wine bottle, the clown has a wig, bulbous nose, and body of copper, with a silver bowtie, face, and button.

A crowing rooster (bird?) is silver, with a copper wattle and feathers, in his crest. His eye and beak are three-dimensional silver.

Every minuscule feature is incredibly precise and exact; there is delirious movement, but controlled by alternating calmer designs and more intricate ones.

And, don’t go away – there is a whole different design on the back!

At the top, copper and silver letters announce “Blue Bird Films” with a silver bunny at the bottom right and a couple of teeny birds at the very top.

A mask of tragedy and an arrowhead are applied over the punched dots that spell “Studio Only”, with the mask of comedy, below.

At the very bottom, a circular vignette/logo shows a silver bird, with copper breast, and a double-reel movie camera (we think), against a blackened background.

You can wear this extraordinary pendant on either side, making it really two remarkable pendants in one.

The bail is wide enough (5/8″ diameter) to use it with silver beads, or any other necklace you prefer.

Scrupulous workmanship matches the artist’s imagination in this pendant of unprecedented originality.

The artist has included his handwritten, six-page brochure including haiku poems, drawings, and other writings, as well as detailed explanations of each “Act”.

This makes the piece even more special, and collectible.

Superlative clarity in the workmanship is joined to surpassing imagination, wit, and a remarkable vision, making this a museum-worthy piece that you can proudly wear.

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