Thursday, March 20, 2008


A while ago we had an ice storm. The damage up in the mountains was quite severe and I hate to think of how many trees were badly broken or destroyed. It is a mess up there.

But down here in the valley, the balsam trees got stiff enough for me to attempt a design I had been dreaming about that was an arched canopy between two trees now heavy with ice from the storm. I worked all night on this. It was in an impossible to reach location...yet, somehow this sculpture just wanted to be made ! I stood on tiptoe, easing one icicle in at a time ... like a game of pick-up sticks in reverse. As each one balanced in place I could apply small amounts of water to get the ice to stick together. One icicle at a time it came slowly together in the dark.
Down on the river, the ice there cracked and boomed as it was breaking up. Between booms, the air was so quiet that I could hear the coyotes hunting and crunching on the snow, but I never saw them. Slowly the arched icicles began to reach closer to one another. I held my breath every time the wind came up...both trees moved and threatened to collapse the entire piece. However, once the arches were complete it gained a bit more strength.
I wanted to have the star appear as if it had been captured by the canopy or, was "resting" under the canopy....but in either case, the goal was to have the star appear to hover within the space. It was rather heavy and is only attached by two tips. VERY vulnerable , and for me, that is part of its charm and magic. As long as the wind did not blow it would be OK until the morning came and I could get the photos.
The night was very cold and it 'frosted' the formerly clear icicles. They don't look as sparkly as we are used to seeing ice be ... but they never warmed up enough during the day to become clear.

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Welcome to the enchanted world of Environmental art and Faerie Houses sculptures created by Sally J Smith. Here you will find photos of the artist's unique art-forms and hear some of the stories from behind the scenes as she shares with you her creative process.