Another image from this past autumn. One of my favourites. This big ball is hollow inside. A willow branch frame is covered with 2 layers of leaves sewn in place. It took about 8 hours to sew all the leaves in place, which I did over the course of 2 days. The reason there are two layers is because I did the first layer hoping to shoot the sculpture the next day.... but the weather did not bring the bright blue sky I needed for this shot. So I had to wait. The leaves, the yellow ones in particular, deteriorate quickly once sewn in place and loose their brilliant colour in about 24 hours. So.. I had to wait a few more days till I could be sure we would get the full blue sky. That meant that the four + hours of work I had previously done were basically useless.
Such is the nature of this work.
When the day did finally come, I knew where I wanted to hang this sphere... a lovely large boulder I had spotted upriver last year. The boulder was in the middle of a pool and reflected the surrounding trees beautifully. I arrived in later afternoon when the sun cast deep shadows. I set up the camera and figured out what angles to shoot and then tried to "hang" the leaf ball off the overhanging edge of the boulder. This boulder is huge... a glacial erratic. It is easily the size of a SUV only taller. I had the leaf ball on a spool of black thread and tried several different ways to anchor the thread so the ball would hang..no go. There was not a way to tie off or anchor the ball. The sun was going down and I was beginning to get a bit annoyed... I did not want to waste another 4 hours of sewing work ! I said a little prayer for some help with this situation and looked again for a possible anchor spot.
As I went around to the backside of the boulder, I removed some leaves that had collected in a little ravine. There, much to my amazement, was a perfectly shaped hole in the stone... it was exactly the right size and shape to receive the spool of thread... in fact, it sort of "snapped" into place as I pushed it gently into the hole. I went back around the boulder to see how the leaf ball was hanging, made a few more adjustments and then began shooting. The sun was no longer on the ball itself, but that actually made for a better shot. The sun lasted for only about 10 more minutes but it was enough to get the image I had imagined the year before when I had found this spot. Little did I know then how perfectly suited this particular boulder would be for this sculpture!
For me, it was a humbling reminder, of that old song... that we don't always get what we want, but if we try sometime, we just might find... we get what we need !