Tuesday, October 23, 2012

10 More days to go!

So True.
It's only 10 more days until The Silver Branch studio/shop grand opening! November 3rd and 4th at the Riverview Artist Mill, 29 Howard Street in scenic little Wilton NH. 9-5:30 on Saturday and 10-4 Sunday. What will one find there, you ask? Well, my helper elves and I with a tray of mini cupcakes and a never ending carafe of awesome tea at the very least. T.S.B's original Naturally Shed Faery Wing© Jewelry will be 15% off for the weekend, and all faeries, mermaids and larger sculptures (gnome chess sets, larger dragons, large mushrooms, etc) will be 20% off.

I need more room for new sculptures! You will also get a chance to clay around with a quick polymer clay project at the studio! The Fan Board Contest is already receiving submissions and there will be 3 hand sculpted prizes! (Winners are determined by an impartial jury on Sunday evening. Since I know most of my customers, I'm sadly not a judge. Winners will be contacted by telephone or email.)
"Golden Opportunity" To the gnomes, all is safe - the dragon is sleeping...

....or not.

New sculptures include the dragon scene you've been glancing over above. "Golden Opportunity" tells the story of two unsuspecting gnomes and one suspecting dragon coming out of her slumber. This sculpture was so fun to do. The only part not sculpted is the actual wooden treasure chest and a few glass jewels for effect. The gold inside, the loot bag, the dragon and The Silver Branch's signature gnomes are all hand sculpted and painted. Each scale on the dragon's back was sculpted into place by hand.
 You'll also meet Mabon, a faery who looks amazing on any shelf, but even more so on her lily-pad throne in a glass vase (not in picture, obviously).

And my new little shoulder gnomes... I should have a few more by then. I'm accepting their applications for positions on shoulders, hat brims and other perching places right now. (Note; Gnome in picture was reading to Janna - not visa verse. I like my employees to be well read.)

I will also have regular class schedules ready to go for the months of November and December! No more will you need to schedule (unless you want to). The first class is this delightfully non-edible mini orange cake pendant and earring set. Yum!

I have the sunniest studio in the mill! I have to in order to keep the flower faery babies warm in the peonies.

  So if you're in the area, do come. It's also "NH Open Doors" weekend and many other artists in the mills will be open to display and probably demonstrate their artistry. You will find silver and metal smithing, jewelry, pottery, miniatures, paintings, photography and more this weekend!

I'm often asked by customers about my birds. Some of my great inspiration comes from the various characters in my flock - a mix of rescued budgies, a couple of lovebirds and a heavily spoiled blue crowned conure. In the midst of all this shed faery wing harvesting, sculpting, gnome hiring, dragon taming and grand opening planning I couldn't help but remember it was exactly a week ago we lost a deeply beloved member of our family and wanted to remember him here as a bird who could not be more gnome-like in curiosity and habits than anyone I knew. Cosmo was a lovebird filled with immense character, sense of adventure and a brave spirit right up to the end of his time with us. We will always love you, Cozzie. <3

Monday, September 3, 2012

Grand Opening and Fan Board Art Contest!

"Meeka" - She sits only 3 inches tall.
I can't even believe it. I just ordered postcards - double sided, color, glossy, real deal that I can't do from my inkjet printer postcards - to announce the grand opening of my new studio and shop! YEEEEEAH! After sculpting, teaching, selling it, winging it and stumbling through learning bookkeeping, taxes and marketing for a whole year and a half, I never thought I'd be in this place so soon.
"Daphnella" - named after a seashell.

So, if you're in the area, you're invited! At the Riverview Artist Mill at 29 Howard Street on November 3rd and 4th (saturday 9-5, sunday 10-4) will be packed with faeries, gnomes, mermaids and more. I will have a table for visitors to try a quick polymer clay sculpting project for themselves, refreshments, a sale and an art contest for the fan board.

Not in the area but want to get in on the fun? The fan board contest/giveaway is for anyone! Read on if you're artsy and so inclined to participate.
Gremlin Pocket Watch - they tell horrible time!

What's the fan board? A cork board in the main hall of the building outside my shop and the bead shop and a few other artist's studios where all visitors and customers can see it - and it's already filling up with drawings from young and old alike all inspired by the fantasy creatures of The Silver Branch. Submit a drawing, painting, photograph, zentangle, poem, origami or anything else that can be tacked to a wall to enter. Everyone gets a little special something for submitting a piece of art to go on the board and a grand prize winner will get a special edition gnome sculpted in a style inspired by your artwork! How cool is that? It's full circle! :) If you're interested in submitting and can't attend in person, contact me for more details on how to submit an entry.

I loved making this mushroom
"Meeka" outside
Anyway! Back to work. :) I just finished "Meeka" (the only faery on the page) and I'm trying to make at least 3 more complex art dolls before the event. (Charly - if they made those little hair curler kits that you have in your arsenal in miniature, I'd totally attempt you next! lol)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Absinthe the Will-o-the-Wisp

After I sculpted Isabel (the masquerade ball fairy) I realized that I'm pulling away from what I wanted to do originally, and that is to make a more primal/tribal/natural depiction of faeries. Don't get me wrong, I love Isabel and she was loads of fun to puff up with finery and feathers, but she's really not how I see the Fae. So, in effort to escape the slippery slope to Disney's Tinkerbell style, I ran back to the deep forest as fast as my little legs would carry me.
I wish I knew how to take good night setting pictures. This blurry one is the best I could snap, but you get the idea of how she glows.
Meet Absinthe. She's my will-o-the-wisp fairy with a love of fireflies. No, I'm not a drinker, but I do love the color and the herb that absinthe is derived from - Artemisia (wormwood). I also wanted to create a sculpture in honor of my second favorite holiday - Midsummer. Midsummer night, my sisters, father and friends venture out at dusk to a trail that runs through a deep wood. It leads to a large field hemmed in by deep forests. As night looms on, fireflies start to come out in the thousands. Green, blue, red and white.... and I'm pretty sure we're not supposed to have any other that green and blue around these parts. Nor do I think they're supposed to glow larger than tennis balls, as we've seen on occasion out there. But that's another story....
Absinthe was sculpted while her armature (which I made with steel wire and metal foil) hung from a hook in my studio so she appears to be simply touching down to catch her firefly. Science explains will-o-the-wisps as nothing more than swamp gases rising in the night so I thought the antique, hand blown glass ball worked well to represent that. Her firefly, eyes, hair flower, arm and face tattoos and spots on her wings all flow a lovely green that resembles the exact colors of fireflies in NH.

She a little smaller than most of my faeries. She's about 4.5 inches long from head to her extended foot. Despite that, she took me 3 days to make. The clay was so soft that I had to cool her off in the freezer every ten minutes or so. In fact, her head rested in the freezer for a good half hour before I could even attach her neck. That was a macabre sight!

Her eyes only have pinpricks of black in them for pupils - otherwise they are luminescent green. There's something quiet and mysterious about her, something light with a touch of dark and it's a good step back towards how I wanted to depict my faeries. :)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Midsummer Dream Fair with J.L. Bryan

I'm so excited for my new bag labels! Design courtesy of DigitalDoodlebug on etsy.com!

I've been so busy with shows every single, smacking weekend that I've not been able to even get pictures of new creations to share! And I'm in the process of collecting furniture and planning for my new brick and mortar shop/studio! I'm so excited!

But I couldn't let the opportunity slip by to promote an almost month long event of which I have a day in the lime light. :)

This is a shout out to the online Midsummer Dream Fair, organized by author J.L. Bryan. It runs every day until June 24th and is filled with daily interviews with authors and other artists - like me! I'm featured on Tuesday, June 11th, so check it out and maybe you'll win something cool!

J.L. Bryan has written quite a few novels including a paranormal horror series, a magic series for younger readers. Check out his website here.

I'll update with new photos from my shows, new creations and whatnot soon!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

NH Renaissance Faire

The Silver Branch table at NH Ren Faire
This past weekend was The Silver Branch's debut at a Ren Faire! And aside a touch of heat exhaustion on Sunday, this little sculptor had a blast! The Faire is held in Kingston, NH and it's site can be found here; www.nhrenfaire.com . The faire is for charity, which is always wonderful. This year, they supported NH Food Bank and First Star Tonight, an organization for terminally ill children and their families in NH. The knights also collected for an animal shelter up in Maine that cares for big cats and much more.
My father and I
 I wanted to share with you some pictures from the faire! My favorite has to be my photogenic sister with the zombie pirates;
Kayla with her real biological parents?
The awesome artist behind all the cool leather masks at the faire. Check out Legendary Leathercrafts at www.legendaryleathercrafts.com (and she has an etsy shop!!). ... and my sister.

This faire patron is sporting one of my Dragon Key Guardians. Love his mail? It's super light because its made entirely of soda tabs!
Rufus the Beggar just before the gypsies steal his sticks and his money. He was hysterical... just don't let him pat your back.
The knights and a few men at arms. At the demonstrations, they really didn't hold back. It was informative and wince-inducing to watch them spar. They're not play actors.

I stopped to breath in the shade and found a harpist! All the musicians at the faire were amazing!
I just love the little girls dancing to all the musicians!

One of the gypsies balancing a scimitar while dancing
TSB's biggest fans drove out an hour to see us! :D HI ISABEL!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Masquerade Faery

Brand new as of 10 minutes ago! Meet my newest one of a kind creation. And like all my creations, the name usually doesn't happen for at least 24 to 48 hours after I'm done with the sculpture. Until that time, let's just call her the Masquerade Faery. She's all set for any goblin king hosted ball!

Like most of my faeries and mermaids, she was created around an idea from a found object. In this case, a clearance priced bunch of feathers from the craft store. I flipped them upside down and immediately thought up this dress! Despite the grand garb, I took special pains to sculpt her figure. I timed myself. With the distraction of occasional snacking, she took 9 and a half hours to sculpt. That was just her figure. It took me about 7 hours to get her costume, hair, coloring, mask and wings done today. That was record timing for me.

I'm hoping to figure out a way to put her up on etsy, but like all my faeries, I'm terrified of shipping her.She's pretty strong, but the thought of her tumbling about in a box across country or the ocean, no matter how tightly packed, scares the jitterbugs outta me! I wonder how other art doll creators do it....

Thursday, February 23, 2012

So busy I forgot to notice!

"Ilyana and the Enchanted Koi" - Hand sculpted without molds - January 2012
Things have been insane lately. I expected that after the holiday season, I'd have a dead spell and wonder what to do with myself. I certainly wasn't looking forward to it financially, but I almost think I wanted it just so I could catch up with everything I sold in the shows and festivals I attended last season. Not happening!
"Goblin Chess" - January 2012

He's cheating!
I've been really busy prowling about looking for leads for shows, festivals and shops which would like my creations. This is a hard process when you're relatively solitary like I am. Social networking is key in this game and has never been my forte. I find myself in a muddle trying to remember names and locations and dates and applications. And who do I talk to in order to find out who I talk to? I'm sure it'll come to me... what's her name again? What's my name?? Let's start over.

Faery Baby #30! She's at The Garden Party
January marked the second year The Silver Branch has been in business! This second year I'm still looking to do shows and festivals, but I'm also going to focus a lot in the spring and summer on getting my faery babies, Green Girl boxes and jewelry into shops and boutiques. Today, I started selling my faery babies at two shops that I wouldn't have thought to sell at. One is called The Garden Party. It's a floral boutique located on the oval of Milford, NH (263 Union Square). Look them up on facebook! Eileen keeps a lovely shop with lots of amazing flowers and local artisan gifts. The other shop is Here Today Emporium - an antique shop (primarily, she also sells greeting cards, bath and body stuff and .... my babies!) located on Main St in Wilton NH.

I'm also trying to expand - a hard thing to do with my tiny little working studio (I'm grateful for it, don't misunderstand that for a moment!). I've been throwing children's birthday party workshops and classes on everything from how to sculpt dragons to how to make polymer clay sushi.
Happy Birthday Madeleine! The whole party made awesome gnomes!
The Atkins Family in gnome form
My gnomes are really expanding in variety. I get so many custom orders for these cute little guys! My favorite order was to a family in Australia who wanted themselves depicted in tiny garden gnome fashion.

Other creations from the past 2 months include....

I hand blended 3 colors of viscose to make Ilyana's braided hair.
"The Faery Tree" complete with door in roots, glass leaves and good listening skills.
Sushi Ring! Leftover from teaching sushi caning.