Thursday, December 6, 2012

The practice of Slow Work

As things speed up more and more for most folk, I am discovering that my work is slowing down. In a good way. Here is an example.

 This is a house which was custom-made for a client earlier this fall. We had discussed several design elements that she wanted in her Faerie house. She wanted autumn colours. She loved Gothic and Tudor styles...and Rivendell as imagined in the movies. She has a passion for all things Celtic and wanted something in the house to reflect this. She liked stonework and drama.  She wanted a bold statement and she was very patient to wait for when the Faeries were ready to show me what to do.

 This house took more than a month to create. It is hard to believe, even for me(!) that all of this started with a pile of bark, some twigs, stones and passion to create.
Along the way more items are added for magical effects... transparent doors made from a photograph of a Dragonfly wing, glass baubles, lights, silk and wool and fabulous handmade Japanese paper....and lots and lots of time.

There are so many details in this house that it will take more than one post to share them with you...which I will over the next few days.

  I will have some "behind the curtains" look at how I make some of the details that are in this house... but for now, a few more peeks.

 As with all my houses where you can see a finished interior, the roof lifts off so we can have a better look inside, or to let more light in so we can look thru the front door and get a glimpse of the Japanese wallpaper and glittery decorations inside. We'll take a closer look later.

 Of course at night, everything is more dramatic. Here is nearly the same view only the roof is in place here.

 As with any tour, we start with the front door. The translucent panel is taken from a photograph of a dragonfly wing. It is created in such a way that it is both iridescent, translucent and glittery. Any Faerie knows how to do this but it took me a while to learn how to pull it off.  The finial is a Scrub oak acorn sent to me by my are the "lamps" to either side of the door. The design is light and breezy, a reminder of summer and sunsets on the water and dragonflies skimming the ponds and lakes in delicate dances of delight.

  The center pull of the door is a 7 spiral design which is crafted in gold-plated silver. The original design can be found on the great Alberlemno Pictish stone in Scotland. It is from the center boss of the cross. I was lucky enough to see the stone in person when I once visited Scotland. I felt it would hold great importance for the client and it seems it does. The pull is held away from the frame with an Amethyst bead.

   What may be hard to understand is that all the parts of this door were handmade and fitted together just for this project from materials that I collected out in the wilds. There is no pattern, save what the wing shape gives as inspiration. It takes time to find just the right twigs to fit in place....they cannot be bent, they have to be used as it. They have to be cut, carved, trimmed, sanded and fitted carefully together...slowly building the shape over many hours. All the gluing takes extra long because I use epoxy resins now since the hot glue does not last well enough in these finely detailed structural elements. And all of this is no more than about 6 inches high. Twigs break. Beads break and eyes cross with the effort to get it right. But I love doing this work! It fills me with such joy when it is finished and I can hold it in my hand...a little bit of magic.

    We'll take up the tour of the rest of the feature of the Dragonfly Faerie house shortly.  Meanwhile, sometime this week, I don't know when and I don't know who it will be, but someone will arrive here and be the 50,000th visitor to my blog! It is hard to imagine that many people have come to see my little corner of creativity and magic. Thank you everyone and when we cross that number we shall have to have some sort of celebration!

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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.