Tuesday, February 10, 2009

... "You get what you need..."

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 !

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love your art and look almost daily to see if there are new things added. Just know that there are others who are enjoying and appreciating your work.

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.