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Project Information

The idea and design came from a Charles Allen Gillbert painting from 1892. The "Vanity" is considered by many to be one of the finest optical illusions ever conceived. The painting is an ambiguous illusion with an allegorical theme.

The two aspects become clear as you study the figure. It can be seen as either, a beautiful girl gazing at her reflection in a large mirror; or the scene can be realized as a grinning human skull. The girl's two heads make up the eye sockets of the skull, her vanity items, and an embroidered table cloth form the teeth and jaws.

The total size with including frame is 17" x 13". Cut out (scroll saw) from 1/4 Birch. A little Danish Oil rubbed in for the finish. I wish now that I had cut this out of something with a little more grain.

Comments

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18,890 Posts
good thing I read the description - I would have missed out on the girl. Very cool.
 

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16,431 Posts
That's downright amazing. It makes me want to examine it up close to make myself believe it is actually scroll sawed. It looks like a pen and ink drawing.
 

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1,449 Posts
Wow! Scroll saw? I read the description and still thought it was burned (in which case it would still be "Wow")! Charlie's comment made me go back and look again. You can see the depth in the lower two photos. That's amazing! My scroll saw work looks about like my jigsaw work!
 

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I thought it was a skull from the smaller picture. I'm glad I clicked to see the larger one. Pretty amazing!
 

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Thanks everyone. For people to think it is drawn, lasered or burned is best compliment I can get for my scroll work.

Charlie, I'd love for you to see it but it sold. I'm thinking of doing another one, but if you don't get the eyes and face of the girl just right, I'll waste a lot of time in do overs… trust me I know.
 

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1,819 Posts
Wow. That is some seriously detailed work. Nice!
 

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1,851 Posts
I love illusions in wood and this is one of the best I have seen.
 
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