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. :)