Thursday, August 11, 2011

Adelaide and the Fireflies

Adelaide in the firefly jar.
For months, a large mason jar sat collecting dust on my "ideas to bring to life" shelf at the mill. Yes. I do have a shelf with such a name. Anyone at the mill can tell you, it's full of a rather eclectic, albeit plain, collection of items. Most seem rather boring alone - like the jar - but put them with a faery and there's a story for each item.
Meet Adelaide. I've always loved that name and found out it's a name of a woman swinging high up the older branches of my family tree. I'd like to imagine that woman would love this faery (more likely: my ancestors gossip about me like those griping cartoon ancestors of Disney's Mulan).
Adelaide the faery is a little miffed, if you can't tell from her expression. Picture it - you're a faery (oh go on, imagine it... no one's watching... and honestly, everyone suspects you fantasize you're a faery now and then anyway so just roll with it). The cool night air mingles with the warmth of the remains of the first day of summer. Fireflies zip around you silently. You flash your wings, lure them in and SWOOSH! You caught a few! No.. wait... that was a loud swoosh. Faeries make tiny swoosh sound effects. You look around. You see fireflies... and glass. You've been caught by a firefly catching human!
Adelaide's Wings. ^_^ It's hard to tell but there are 4 of them. She had to have small dragonfly wings so that she would fit into the jar.

The green "fireflies" are actually LED lights. There's a battery pack on top of the lid so they'll never wear out. Adelaide herself is hand sculpted. You know me - I never use molds. Unlike my miniatures in bottles, Adelaide was sculpted outside the jar. I made an aluminum foil circle the size of the jar opening, and when I sculpted her, I did so on top of that circle so I knew she'd fit. She's mounted on a clay base that I covered with cloth, silk leaves and the occasional late spring silk flower.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Starfish Lullaby

For the first time, I've made a sculpture without an actual story in mind. I picked up this smooth granite stone off rocky Rye Beach in New Hampshire. I saw a starfish. I saw a mermaid. I brought the rock home to let the story create itself. Well! It worked somewhat; the sculpture came out easily enough from my imagination... but the story still remains at large.

This adorable mermaid is indeed tuckered out. She sleeps snugly under the cozy arm of a starfish. However, why is she doing this? Something tells me there's a friendship story in this little sculpture. Perhaps this is a good contest question.
I'm looking forward to another trip out to the rocky Atlantic coast so I can take pictures of the pair in their 'natural environment'. Nothing beats a natural setting. As I only completed this sculpture today, I had to make due with white paper and a light box.
Her glass bead belt and her sparkling tail are best viewed in person. You should all come to Wilton, NH to see her. :)
The starfish came first. I blended 3 colors and 2 brands of polymer clay to get the right color, shine and strength that I wanted. I used an eye dropper tip to impress all of those little bumps which are common on starfish of the NH coast.

The mermaid was just plain fun. Unlike the 'Captive Mermaid' and 'Shell Maiden' sculptures I created before her, she has wing like fins shooting from her back. Her copious blue hair shimmers with silver specks of light and it unfortunately hides her awesome shoulder fins. But, the beauty of art dolls is that you can move her hair and style her hair to reveal her lovely shoulders. :)
Is it just me or does the Captive Mermaid look... happier? o.O

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The scary doll and other tales.

The scary doll's wabbit.
I realized with horror that my last post was in May. MAY! Where'd June and July go?? Oh, well let me tell you a few things I've learned. One: you want to have a booth or table in a show? You better realize you do at least 6 months in advance or all the spots are taken. I've been really lucky and managed to find the applications to shows and festivals a week or two before they are due. Two: some people actually do take your business card AND contact you in a few days. I always thought that was just a line people say to be polite. Three: Heat waves and polymer clay are not good bedfellows. We had a week where the clay felt like melting chocolate. I couldn't sculpt with it and it kept me craving dark Lindt truffles.

Well insert montage music here and allow me to recap the highlights of the past 2 months. :D If you care to go beyond the pictoral feast, I've included captions! Yay!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JANNA! (she turned old on July 29th) Ok - about the doll. No. She's not a faery. No. I cannot pay for anyone's therapy bills for viewing her. But yes, Janna has these sort of tastes at times. Janna is my best friend and needed a doll to act out all her Tim Burton-esque fantasies with. The wabbit at the top of the screen is the polymer clay "rag" doll in this doll's arm. This doll was sculpted with a mix of polymer clays, air dry ceramic, paint, fabric, vintage lace, llama wool and the theme to Coraline as well as the Dresden Dolls stuck in my head. 
This gnome is my tiniest yet. Seriously. The bottle is only about an inch long inside. I've been having fun making very tiny miniature scenes. Gnomes are my favorite. This one comes complete with house and flopsy ferns. ^_^ Photograph courtesy of Andrea Pirkey.

This lovely vessel was handmade by Jason Powers of Powers Art Glass. With a tiny needle, I sculpted the grass, mushrooms and little faery to fit inside. We made a couple of these fantasy vessels; another contains a gnome! As far as I know, this little cutie is still for sale.
My newest faery baby. :) I can't believe I'm up to 23 of these little cuties! 

This fire phoenix was one of my favorites. I hand carved each feather and placed them individually. This was one of those instances where I found an item and instantly saw a sculpture in mind for it. This was a large, gorgeous daisy from a fabric store.
This baby sold a while ago - I just always loved this picture. ^_^
My "Naturally Shed Faery Wing Necklaces" have been fun to make this summer. They catch the sunlight so well and I was thrilled to actually see someone I don't know at the post office the other day wearing one! The metal is silver plate, but I also made some in sterling silver for a gallery in Chicago, IL. I'm thrilled to be there! :D