"Faeries of the Wood" is the third offering in my "Triptych Tiles" series wherein I attempt to capture a mythological story or concept within three, four-inch tiles.
This triptych concerns the faerie folk as described in cultures across Europe, the British Isles and Scandinavia. Though the names for these Faery folk vary somewhat from culture to culture, that which binds them outweighs that which separates them. They are spirits of nature. They are immortal beings - or so close to immortal as makes little difference within the scope of human experience. They are powerful, magical beings who often meddle in the lives of humans. Some are benevolent guides, others are horrific tricksters who delight in the power they can exercise over mortals. Above all, they are a mystery, the nature of which remains unfathomable to all but the wisest (and either luckiest or unluckiest depending on your perspective) humans.
Strictly limited to 75 signed & numbered castings, each triptych comes beautifully mounted and framed, accompanied by a signed "story card" that tells the tale upon which the art is based. They are produced one at a time using a cold-cast brass technique. They are then painted/stained by hand, sealed and mounted in a high-quality black beaded frame without glazing (glass). I find this brings out the true depth color and detail of the sculpt while eliminating the glare often associated with traditional framing.
I sculpt in various materials - chiefly in Casteline (a wax-clay) over a wood frame. I then mold the original and produce a limited number of castings using the cold-cast technique. That is to say, I take ground metal, stone, wood fiber or other materials and mix it with an art-grade resin to create light-weight sculptures that have all the beauty of natural materials.
Digging a little deeper into the story...
Faeries have been capturing modern imaginations for two centuries having gained a special prominence in our collective psyche during the Victorian Age. It was at this time that what we now think of as fairies (beautiful, minimally clad young girls with delicate wings) took hold. This image of the faery would continue to develop into Disney's Tinkerbell and related characters. To say that this is a far cry from the faeries found in works pre-dating the Victorian Age would be an understatement. While the faeries of old might occasionally help out a human, they were just as often malicious, horrific, and sadistic in their treatment of mortals.
Though the Norse likely had equivalent spirits - and they would likely be something that dwelled (or originated) in Alfheim (the root Alfar translates as "elves"), It is from the faery traditions of Ireland, England and France that I drew most heavily when envisioning my "Faeries of the Wood" triptych.
There are so many references detailing the history of faery folk that I won't attempt to make any specific recommendations here, though I do encourage you to explore this fascinating world if, like me, you find it of interest.
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Faeries of the Wood
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