George Washington's Choppers, 2012
photo-etching with watercolor
I've been working on a series of etchings based on abstracted teeth. This is the first finished one. The text on the left side reads:
Washington suffered from poor dental health in his younger years and lost his teeth at an early age. He had two sets of false teeth made by the most prominent American dentist of his day, Dr. John Greenwood. The dentures were created from hippopotamus ivory and gold. The upper and lower plates were joined by metal springs which pushed the plates against the upper and lower ridges of his mouth, holding them in place. Washington had to actively push his jaws together to chew. If he relaxed his mouth, it would pop open. Some historians wonder if this is why he looks stern in so many portraits.