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The Lorette "Vessel of Mysteries" Orrery Tellerium
During the 82nd annual League of NH Craftsmen Fair, this was awarded the 2015 Best in Mixed Media sponsored by Mike & Wende Lonergan in the Living With Craft exhibit.

The Lorette Vessel of Mysteries Orrery is part of a collection of decorative art objects that tell a story. There are twenty three objects in all and each one is like a chapter in a book of mysteries. These pieces require a combination of visual and interactive skills and knowledge to "read the chapter. Each one is a lesson or story unto itself but each one collectively leads you to a larger mystery as you progress along. The order of completion or exploration of the objects is not as critical as understanding each piece.  The objects are visual interpretations of ancient mysteries that both interweave and conclude in presenting a greater illumination at the end. The skills required to progress through these objects are a good knowledge of architecture, music, physics, math, art, literature, science, geometry, cartography, and mythology. Seeing and interpreting the allegorical meaning of carvings and the mathematical formulas expressed through art, minerals or music are examples of the ciphers one will encounter. The story itself is like a musical scale of progression which can be illustrated in math, geometry or other art forms. The riddle of the sphinx, the orbits of Mercury and Venus all express clues to a grand order out of chaos which Kepler, Newton, Einstein, Milton, and Blake all gave a hint to. I am a practiced student of ancient Dionysian architecture and these pieces are the result of the applied system. The ancient Dionysians understood there was a synthesis between the real and the spiritual. These objects reflect this way of thinking.  

The Lorette Orrery named The Vessel of Mysteries was designed and built by Jim and Andrea Lorette. A short description and history of the inspiration and material construction follows.

The inspiration for the piece comes from ancient objects called "the emerald tablets". These tablets numbering twelve were supposedly hidden in the dessert near what is called Giza Egypt today. The translation from "the emerald tablet" from Isaac Newton’s notes on alchemy kept at King College library Cambridge University in England translates the Smaragdine Tablet . . .  "as above so below, as within so without". This ancient text reveals the secret of the ages that gives power to anyone who can comprehend it.  So the outer is a reflection of the inner, and the below is a reflection of the above, this is the synthesis between the real and the spiritual.

At the top of the Lorette Vessel of Mysteries is a sphere made from an ancient material called Thuja burl from Algeria. This sphere is hollowed out and contains an Orrery, a mechanical model of our planetary solar system and the sun. In the ceiling of the sphere is an ebony backdrop with the stars of an ancient zodiac created in diamonds. The planets are composed of gem stones and pearls. Atop the sphere sits one of nine sphinx like creatures that are "the guardians of the secrets of the ages". They are carved from Cuban mahogany and triple gilt with 24 karat gold. The sphere sits on a small pedestal of Circassian walnut from the Caucasus Mts. in Russia. The guardians also sit on plinths of Cicassian walnut. The Thuja burls wood grain resembles the chaos of the heavens yet inside the sphere is an orderly solar system. "Ordo Ab Chao". . . out of chaos comes order.  These all sit on a platform held up by "the four columns of the universe" made from Thuja burl.

 "The study of truth requires the study of causes. The causes through which everything comes to pass are four in number . . ." Aristotle 

These four columns securely anchor the heavens above a four sided Gold pyramid with its capstone of natural crystal appophyllite. The sacred geometry of the structure is derived from the natural crystalline formation. These are the natural harmonics of the mineral world influenced by the "music of the spheres" of the heavens above.

These harmonies cause effects like the temple of Gnosis, with its foundation in the four pillars: Philosophy, Science, Mysticism, and Art that support the harmonious development of humanity so that each person may reach his or her greatest potential, or the "four pillars of destiny" that connect the elements of time and materials to influence human destiny.

The pyramid is made of Nu Gold clad in 24karat gold. Below the pyramid is a secret underworld labyrinth accessed using hidden keys and activation systems giving access to more clues. Each outer side of the lower chambers holds semi gemstone panels in blues and greens. A total of twelve panels compose the foundation sides. There are four mystical portals represented by leopard skin jasper cabochon stones accented with gold garland adorning each side of the lower base with four gold clad guardians upholding the whole of creation.

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