Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Blackberry Pie for Hallowe'en? EHAG Emporium.


Jake loves blackberries, plain and simple. Close to his home is a large field of wild blackberries. Once they start to ripen in the hot lazy days in August he is out first thing in the morning picking blackberries. The blackberries are frozen whole for pies, turned into jam, as well as used in his very popular blackberry liqueur.

Every Hallowe'en Jake brings a blackberry pie to the party, it has a splash of his blackberry liqueur in the filling.

"Who says Hallowe'en is just for pumpkin pie!", laughs Jake, "Have a slice of my blackberry pie. It's really very excellent, if I may say so myself."

"I've eaten more than one slice of his blackberry pie and to quote Jake, "It really is very excellent."

Full length front view of the rattle
 Jake, along with Rolly his parade lantern, come bearing the annual "Hallowe'en Pie", blackberry of course.

Full length back view of the rattle
 The back of the rattle is covered in black felt to protect the rattle, as well as any surface that you lay it on.

Close-up view of  Jake, Rolly, and the pie.
 This close-up view shows the lovely blackberry pie. The pie is made of composition in a small antique tart shell mould.

Left side view of the rattle
The blackberries are "Made in Japan" berry pips painted to look like ripe blackberries.

This mixed media sculpture is not a toy, be gentle with it when you want to hear the jingle of the bells.

"Portrait Rattle - Blackberry Pie for Hallowe'en?", is 13" long from the handle tip to the top of the rattle, 7 1/2 " wide, 5" deep.

It is signed, dated with the title, on the back.

The sculpture is $195.00 not including shipping, let me know where you live so that I can calculate the shipping charges. It arrives duty free into the US.

I'll carefully pack it to ensure that it arrives safely to your home to become a treasured part of your collection.

Please contact me at lenbenny@shaw.ca to purchase this sculpture. I accept Paypal as well as credit cards through Paypal.

Thanks for looking, check out the other artist's work as well, go to the EHAG emporium with this link.

Monday, August 7, 2017

"Ready To Party"; the forgotten blog post.

The following blog post about the making of my sculpture, "Ready to Party", got lost in the shuffle! The introduction was all that I had written,

"I seem to be flip flopping between holidays, I am putting up Christmas decorations and writing about Hallowe'en."

I was obviously very busy and totally forgot about the blog post.

"Ready to Party" was posted last year in the September 2016 EHAG Emporium.
So, better late than never, on with the blog post!

Early in April 2016 I built the shadowbox for this vintage Italian metal frame.

I don't normally use plastic foliage but I liked these small maple leaves.

The leaves were spray painted, then cut apart into individual leaves, wire was cut for the limbs, and then I began to construct the maple tree.

I wanted to see how the tree would look with the sculpture and decided to photograph it.

I don't design my sculptures beforehand, most of the time I don't even do a drawing. I have a concept and then just run with it. Items that have been made specifically for the piece are sometimes never used. The basic idea most of the time is there but working this way is much more fluid and the end product is far superior than if I was to sit and design the item from beginning to end. 

All of this languished in the studio until September when I had time to finish the sculpture.

I love puzzles and this particular sculpture was a puzzle of grand proportions. The shadowbox has the corner of a room in it with a window to the outdoors. The wall angle had to give me enough room for the landscape outside the window as well as give me enough room inside for Sigmund, the table, the decorations, and still be able to see out to the landscape.

This thin plywood is the table that Sigmund rests his elbow on. The pattern was cut and recut several times to assure that it would fit flush to the wall and around the metal Italian frame.

The table top resting in place just to check proportions and table height.

The puzzle of grand proportions that I was referring to involved the plywood backing for the sculpture. Originally the back of the shadowbox was one piece of plywood that would be glued to the back of the box. The problem was that I had to have the backing permanently in place to build up composition for the landscape, paint the background, and then add small bits of foliage. Installing the piece of glass for the window was the issue. How on earth do I have the back in place but still have it open so that I can insert the windowpane? I had to leave the problem, work on other areas of the sculpture and let my brain sort things out.

The solution was simple, but it did take a while to realize, cut the backing from top to bottom at about the corner of the room. I was able to do the work on the landscape, install the glass, and then add the other section of backing plywood. I didn't take a picture of the back as I was working on it unfortunately, I hope my description of the process is clear.

Three very small paper lanterns, about 1 3/4" high, were made to hang on the maple tree in the outdoor scene surrounding the metal frame.

Vintage DMC perle cotton in three different colours of orange paired with black was used to make the cording. The cord, some fine green silk ribbon, and brown chenille yarn are used as garlands hanging from the ceiling.

Sigmund in his very unflattering beginnings.

The metal frame has been temporarily placed on the shadowbox to check that proportions and balance are working.

Composition has been applied liberally to the base of the outdoor scene. The rough vertical texture was created with a spatula knife. Once it was painted the grasses and other plant material would blend into the background. A smooth back surface would have been harder to disguise.

The base was attached to the underside of the shadowbox, the maple tree added, and the rest of the composition was applied.

A full front view shows the finished sculpture.

The lefthand side of the sculpture shows the interior of room and the view out the window. The grasses and other vegetation under the metal frame continues up the lefthand side giving a background to highlight the metal of the frame.

A view of the righthand side of the sculpture, the trunk of the maple tree and foliage can be clearly seen.

This sculpture is to be hung on the wall as the base is uneven. There is a self levelling picture hanger on the back for hanging.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The overall size of this mixed media sculpture is 13” high, 8 1/2” wide, and 4” deep.

$450.00 not including shipping, let me know where you live so that I can calculate shipping charges.

I'll carefully pack this sculpture to ensure that it arrives safely to your home to become a treasured part of your collection.

The sculpture arrives duty free into the U.S.

Please contact me at lenbenny@shaw.ca if you wish to purchase this sculpture. I accept Paypal as well as credit cards through Paypal.

Friday, June 9, 2017

The Bookworm and The Window Seat - part 2

Hello there. Thanks for coming back to read part 2 of "The Bookworm and The Window Seat".

This sculpture was originally about a daydreamer, book in hand, gazing out of the window. As I work, the character tells me who they are and how the sculpture is to look.

Sometimes the character or characters introduce themselves by name and start revealing who they are, what they like, as well as what they don't like, without any hesitation.

Other characters, like this one, tend to be more introverted, not shy or cautious, they just like being alone. 

I kept working on the sculpture and the character slowly came out of his shell.

The original textiles chosen for his clothing changed once or twice.

He made it very clear that he would never wear a green floral shirt and a burgundy velvet jacket.

Something didn't feel right about him, book in hand, gazing out of the window. I'd even considered having him lean in the window seat, a small pumpkin in his hand, rehearsing his lines for the community theatre, "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio..." 

I made three small books with pages, not solid prop books, so that I had a variety of ways of using them. The character on the window seat has put the book down, its pages open slightlyHe has his index finger between the pages of the book in his right hand. I like subtlety, it gives depth and realism to the overall sculpture.

I covered each book in a different hand marbled paper. The patterns and colours worked well together and with the sculpture. All three books were finally used. I realized that this sculpture, but more importantly the character, was all about books.

Once the sculpture was complete he revealed his name, Toby. He loves books, the printed word, pictures, research and reading, being lost in another world between the covers of a book.

I arrived at the cushion fabric after trying about 12 textiles. I wanted the cushion to be seen but not a focal point.

The last detail to be completed was bending and shaping each leaf and branch. I'm pleased with this sculpture and meeting Toby, the bookworm on the window seat.

Click this link to check out the EHAG Emporium, you'll be glad you did.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Bookworm and The Window Seat - part 1

I'm constantly collecting things and images. Most of the "things", I'll use in my sculptures, a few are for reference and the "images" are for inspiration. Both of the following illustrations are by Jessie Wilcox Smith, I love her work.

This image and...

this image stirred something inside of me and "The Daydreamer" started to take shape in my brain.

A couple of years ago I built a shadow box on the back of this antique pressed oak frame. The scrap wood armature had not been added to the frame at that time.

A year or so ago, I started building this tree with no particular sculpture in mind and I liked it with the oak frame.

When I added the scrap wood, I must say that I had some concern about the size and shape of the armature but decided if I didn't like the look, all I had to do was cut or break bits off until the basic design was balanced. Part of the base that is projecting forward, beside the pink Melmac bowl, had a piece of the wooden armature broken off with a pair of pliers, it looked wrong and was corrected. Composition was slathered onto the wooden armature and allowed to dry.

Extra branches were built and added to the tree to fill it out. The trunk was built up, heavy gauge wire was wrapped around the trunk and the roots. The wire was cut off leaving about 1 1/2"  that was used to feed through holes drilled in the base and then bent over attaching the tree securely in place.

The printed liner paper in these antique envelopes was used to paper the wall and ceiling of the window seat.

The colour scheme was starting to take shape.

These two baskets were chosen from my stash of tiny baskets. They were painted a rich dark brown and over painted with a grey paint that I rubbed into the basket as well as rubbing some of it off, instant aging. Corn silk was the glued inside the basket to simulate fine soft straw to cushion the just picked fruit.

The luscious red and green apples were vintage holly berries spray painted to look like ripe apples. Sitting there they don't look like much but once assembled they did the trick.

Smaller red holly berries and pearlized lavender and pink berries were spray painted to resemble ripe plums. I suppose I chose apples and plums because that's what's growing in the back yard.

The apple basket was screwed to the ground and then filled with the fruit. The basket for the plums couldn't be screwed to the base because it's on its side but is securely glued and will not budge. The plums were put in place and scattered on the ground as though the basket had just tipped over.

The base was painted beforehand, and was ready for the various pieces of foliage to be added. Finally a dusting of cut bits of fibres and such were heavily applied to a thick layer of glue, allowed to dry and then shaken off.

Quite a bit of time was taken to choose the correct fabrics for the interior of the shadow box.

Brown and green striped fabric was glued to the back panel of the shadow box to simulate the wallpaper on the wall of the room where the window seat is.

Hand dyed handkerchief weight silk was used for the curtains. Fine burgundy cord was glued to the edge of the curtain to add detail and visual interest.

The window seat cushion was made by glueing the fabric around a piece of softly padded card.

Everything is in place and ready for the as yet unnamed character that will be relaxing on the window seat.

Come back tomorrow for "The Bookworm and The Window Seat" - part 2.

If you haven't been to the EHAG Emporium yet this link will get you there in a flash!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

"The Bookworm and The Window Seat", EHAG Emporium

Toby loves books!

He loves the feel of the paper.

He loves the weight of the book in his hand.

He loves the smell of the ink and the paper.

He just quite simply loves books!

"The Bookworm and The Window Seat" has a self levelling hanger on the back for easy wall display. The title is on the back, it is signed and dated.

The sculpture is $350.00 not including shipping, let me know where you live so that I can calculate the shipping charges. It arrives duty free into the US.

I'll carefully pack it to ensure that it arrives safely to your home to become a treasured part of your collection.

Please contact me at lenbenny@shaw.ca to purchase this sculpture. I accept Paypal as well as credit cards through Paypal.

Thanks for looking, check out the other artist's work as well, go to the EHAG emporium with this link.
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