Many years ago, when I was in grad school, studying costume design, I had a dream where I was in the middle of nowhere at a diner called Flora's Pond. There, a woman named Flora dished up primordial soup from a hole in the kitchen floor where the primordial soup of creation hadn't quite hardened. Flora was a middle-aged, soft-hearted, but practical waitress, the kind who called everyone, "Hon" and no one minded. People who were down on their luck or sick of heart would be refreshed and restored by having a steaming bowl of this soup from her hands.
This is a story that has stuck with me through the years. I use the image of the pond to refresh myself and I hope that my work can refresh and restore others in some small way. I feel as though everything I've ever created since then has crawled directly out of Flora's Pond and I've just assisted it. I started with Art Dolls, progressed to garden plaques and art cards and illustrations. I've done design work for ASL Pewter and many of my designs are still popular and still produced after almost 15 years! I've always dreamed of having a line of collectors' figurines, like Tom Clark or Wee Forest Folk, only with a faery touch. My work has always been influenced by magic, fantasy and fairy tales; whimsy and sensuality. I love the sculpture of Asia and the work I want to do reminds me of Japanese netsuke: small, magical little talismen.
I've spent time researching various casting processes. I feel I want to do the production myself, because the work has to have a human touch to truly come from Flora's Pond. I cannot cast plastic in my home and have no desire to expose myself to the chemicals involved. I've used plasters before and will be casting these in a durable gypsum product cast from silicone molds. The finish will be color washes and stains, like Japanese netsuke and Arthur Rackham watercolors from turn of the century fairy tale illustrations. I may change what I cast them in in time, but want to stick with what I know I can do with my own hands.This one will be molded by my friends at ASL Pewter. They will also teach me how to do the rest on my own. They are AWESOME!!!
I've made several attempts to market my work and have learned a lot from the process. One thing I've learned is I have to be myself; I can't make things that I think will sell, I have to make what appeals to me. I have no idea if anyone will buy these. I just know they won't go away. As many times as I've been disheartened and put everything away, vowing never to make art again, these little spirits keep tugging at me, sometimes painfully, requiring my attention. Your support for this project will tell me you want me to keep listening to them; keep diving deep into Flora's Pond and bringing up some steaming bowls of primordial soup to share with all of you. I'll keep you posted on my progress throughout during the molding, casting and painting. I'm hoping to have all of them shipped by the holidays, but if I get 500 orders, it may take me a bit longer! First ordered will be first shipped.
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