Art Inspiration: The Greek Gods Distraction on Olympus: Hephaestus


“Distraction on Olympus” is a project I worked on with my students at the school I work in.  It was a final project in a drawing club the children where in when I taught them how to draw in the style of comic and cartoon characters, they were most familiar with.  The class had decided to go with the theme of the Greek gods and I would help them draw a scene around that idea.

In the process of creating the scene, the children asked to be represented as the gods in the project.  They choose their own character of who they wanted to be.  No one choose Hephaestus but I modeled him after a child in the class.  He wanted to be Zeus or Poseidon, but we weren’t using them or Hades in this project.  I wanted the children to learn about different Greek gods and not just the six original Olympians.

The child did not know much about Hephaestus but I told him that he was the god of the forge and creator of arms of the gods.  After I told him a bit more about Hephaestus he was all right with the choice and felt a bit pleased with it.  You see the child was a good artist and great with his hands.  You give him a project to do and he will create wonderful things out of anything. Once I told him that Hephaestus created beautiful pieces of art out of almost anything, he was hooked.

I did not tell him the whole history about Hephaestus.  Hephaestus had a rough ride from the beginning.

Poor Hephaestus was a lame god and the son of Hera and Zeus, or sometimes the son of Hera alone.  His mother, ashamed by his disfigurement, cast him out of Olympus.  On another occasion Zeus hurled him down from Olympus because he interfered in a fight between Zeus and Hera.

He was married to the gorgeous Aphrodite, but she would always go to Ares and had “encounters” with him.  This enraged Hephaestus and he built ways of capturing the two in the act.  On one occasion he created unbreakable chains that was as fine as spider silk. He caught the two and displayed them for his amusement.

Hephaestus was reinstated to Olympus and became the great artisan and blacksmith of the gods.  He had the 3 Cyclopes help him in his workshop and he created wonderful masterpieces including the following.

–       The Shield of Achilles

–       The silver Bow and Arrows of Artemis and Apollo

–       A chain net of unbreakable chains as fine a spider silk.

–       The Spear of Athena

–       The Breastplate of Hercules

–       The Specter of Zeus

–       The battle armor of the gods

–       Jewelry

–       The first robots that helped him get around.

I drew Hephaestus working on a sword and with a forge that looked like the top of a volcano.  In many stories he uses volcanoes as his forges.  If you think about it, Hephaestus is the only Greek god that is in manual labour.  Poor Hephaestus is just a working Joe like many of out there.  However, he works hard for his craft and makes the most amazing creations.  A true artisan to be revered for his talents.

The Artisan and Smith to the gods.


2 Responses to Art Inspiration: The Greek Gods Distraction on Olympus: Hephaestus

  1. Pingback: Art Inspiration: The Greek Gods Distraction on Olympus: Dionysus | Paul Gauchi

  2. Pingback: Art Inspiration: The Greek Gods Distraction on Olympus: Aphrodite | Paul Gauchi

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