Sunday, January 27, 2013

Working with the Frost Faeries part 2

The patch of frost has undergone a transformation. The frost has lost its delicacy and has grown thicker. I experimented on another window and practiced what every North country child of a certain age knows how to do; make the frost melt in controlled patterns with the warmth of the this case, I used my fingers. I figured out the pattern and got to work. It was great fun and I needed to be very focused... I could make no mistakes as it was impossible to repair the frost once it had been melted or scratched.

  I share the results with you, as promised!

 The sky was not fully blue so I had to pick and choose the times to take the photos as the sun peeked out from behind the clouds, but I was captivated by how much the changing light affected the piece.

 It took about 2 hours to get this design carved out of the frost and my fingers got very cold in the process! I had a bowl of warm water nearby but I had to keep my fingers dry because any melted water seeped into the crystals and gave the frost undesirable additional texture that was very visible in the light. When I got it right, the frost melted just enough to start to turn to water, I'd quickly remove my finger and it would begin re-freezing immediately because the window was so cold. So it was a balancing act between "Hots and colds, hots and colds! " as my Scottish friend would say to melt the frost just enough to create the lines to form the pattern. Yes, it is a labyrinth...just start from either spiral and work your way into the heart of the piece.

 In taking the photos, I discovered that if I held the camera overhead and shot downwards, the golden brown color of the grass and snow outside gave the design a completely different look. I hoped the sun might hit the frost at just the right angle to produce the rainbow spectrum I had witnessed the day before, but the clouds got in the way when the angle was right. Still, I'm not disappointed with how this came out.

 As the sun began to set the sky took on some really lovely colors and they seemed amplified by the ice which formed the tracings from my finger art. The gold of the setting sun lit up the bottom of the design beautifully. The very thin layer of ice added all kinds of subtle texture and detail.

 Even after the sun was fully down, the delicate purples and dusky blues of twilight were enchanting.  I couldn't wait to see what the moon would do to the piece!

  It took a while, but eventually the moon was in the right position however like the sun was in the daytime it was dancing in and out of the fast-moving clouds so getting the shots were very challenging... but for a few moments, the piece was lit up like magic.

 Click on the images for larger views.



Valerianna said...

Awesome!!! And the design is great.... love the heart-labyrinth!!

Linda said...

Wow! So much patience. Beautiful.

Sally J Smith, Environmental Artist said...

Thank you Linda and Valerianna,

Yes, the design was a fun one to work out. I seem to be working with heart patterns a lot more this year.

Bright Blessings all around you

Carolyn said...

Wow! This and part 1 are amazing. Can't imagine how cold your finger must have gotten. I get capillary shut down in my index finger just by holding an icy drink inside in the winter time (and I live in the south). What artistry - and patience you show. The frost feathers and the rainbow glitter effects in part 1 are just beautiful.

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.