Written by Travis Wilson
MY VISION for Ox Head Minis is for more than simply a miniatures company – it’s a way to connect people with ancient cultures and immerse them in a world that is human, yet foreign – all infused with art and story.
Ever since I had first learned about the Asiatic foreigners and saw them portrayed on the walls of the Egyptian tomb from Beni Hassan, these people have stuck with me. They practically burst off the wall with their intricate colors, juxtaposing themselves with the white linen of the Egyptians. These kinds of cross-cultural connections are the very thing I hope to showcase with Ox Head Minis.
APPROACHING ANCIENT CULTURES is certainly a fun challenge, since there’s never enough information and finds to satisfy one’s assurance. I see it as an important way to begin the conversation and bridge the gap between everyday people and the academic community. The hope will be that new sculptures can be generated as new information comes to light to keep the Ox Head Minis offerings as up to date as possible.
WRAPPING INSTEAD OF PATTERNING, or weaving to shape instead of tayloring, is much more common in the ancient world. I find that it’s very hard for modern people to begin to shift their minds away from clothing production in this way. When an ancient person needs to make something, they are usually finding creative ways to weave to shape and wrap the garment on their body.
CONTEXT IS KING when looking at ancient garments and material goods. I try to look at what comes after, what comes before, as well as bigger cultures around that might influence with styles and ideas. In the context of the Aamu, some portrayals seem more connected to the Egyptians, while others seem connected to the Mesopotamian kingdoms. Looking at the range in crucial in a reconstruction.
MODERN CULTURES are only referenced if I need to get a sense of texture, color, or the impression of something. I may study Ethiopian garments, not because they’re accurate to Old Kingdom Egyptian garments, but because they may help in understanding drape, how the wearer holds themselves in the garment, or even how they break in over time. I will not simply copy something from a modern reference and paste it into an ancient reconstruction.
LEARNING THE VISUAL LANGUAGE is necessary when dealing with ancient paintings or sculpture work because the garments shown can be so stylized and idealized or even just simplified. Finding a “baseline” is really helpful, where a stylized portrayal can be compared to an actual garment or object so you can get a sense of how the ancient artist is interpreting the piece.
Be sure to check out some of the offereings such as miniatures or prints!