Ashurga (
Ashurga by Heather Miller

Title: Ashurga
Year: 2008
Size:  18″ x ~24″ x ~1″

Ashurga was created using brass candle rims, brass rings, wire, beads, glass, epoxy and spray paint.

The Story:

I’m writing this story in 2016, the piece was created in 2013 so I’ll do my best to remember.

Ashurga was born out of a happy accident (or two).  The black rings are actually brass candle rings.  I spray painted them black but the first ring bubbled a bit.  The first one was an accident, the rest were on purpose.  I had come across the candle rings in the clearance section of a craft store.  I bought everything they had (in 2016, I still have a bunch left).  After deciding to spray paint them black, I really didn’t know what to do with them.  I spread a bunch out on my table & just played with different arrangements.

Once I decided on a vaguely figural form, I realized they needed something else.  But what?  I measured the rings and realized each was 6″ in diameter.  When I was in my late teens /early 20s I learned to make dream catchers.  I used a variety of brass rings for them so I knew they made them in a 6″ diameter.  While I was at the store buying those, I saw the silver pendants that you see in the center of each ring.  That gave me the idea for what I was going to do with the brass rings I was buying.

After the wire was wrapped around the pendant & brass ring, I inserted the piece into the candle ring.  It  still seemed to be missing something.  I happened to have small round glass pieces (the kind you put in vases) in my growing stash of random objects.  They fit the space perfectly.

Getting those rings to attach to one another turned out to be the biggest headache.  You can’t solder brass, as I discovered the hard way.  I ended up using a 2-part epoxy resin clay adhesive.  I also used binder clips.  Originally the binder clips were used to apply pressure while the epoxy set but the first one got stuck.  I pried the silver parts off and left it there.  If I remember correctly, I ended up using epoxy on all the binder clips in place hoping they would add a bit of extra support.
“Nocturne” show at Del Ray Artisans Gallery

Ashurga was shown twice.  It sold at its second outing, Artomatic 2009.  I still worry / wonder if it held together.  It’s a terrible thing to admit but it’s true.  I’ve never done another piece like because I don’t have welding equipment, or any knowledge of welding.  Over the years, I have developed an excessively healthy mistrust of adhesives.  A 2-part epoxy should hold it just fine, but one never knows.  It hung just fine on my wall but that’s hardly indicative of an adhesive’s strength (a lesson learned the hard way).

The name Ashurga comes from the spreadsheet of names I invented for a video game I thought about making once.  I realized I’m terrible at inventing stories, but good at inventing names.  Ashurga wasn’t the name of a place or character though, it was the name of a species of animal.  Why I chose that name for this piece, I can’t really say.  It just seemed to fit.

** For the last several years, I had the wrong picture of Ashurga posted.  The one you see here is now correct, the old one was a work-in-progress shot.  The current picture looks odd because it was taken in 2008 when all I had was a relatively cheap point-and-shoot camera and no lighting setup.  I decided it would be an insane amount of effort to cut the wall out of the inside of the pieces so I left it in, even if it looks a bit weird.