Monday, August 31, 2015

The August EHAG Emporium is open!


I am so glad that you have stopped by to have a look at my offering for this months Emporium.

“Landscape rattle - By the Light of the Silvery Moon” - $350.00.

Who doesn't love a party! The Man-in-the-Moon has stopped by to join his friends for an evening of fun, food, and fireworks.

The barrel rattle that the landscape rests on is 5 3/4" wide and the ground that was built up with composition is roughly 3" wide. The cardboard cylinder was covered in a paper of my own design before adding the composition ground.

Inside the cylinder is a ½” wide x 2 1/2” high x 5 1/4” long piece of wood filling the centre of the interior, it has been glued in place.

Holes were drilled through the cardboard cylinder into the wood to hold the two 11 ¼ “ tall trees, the Jack-o-Lantern, his name is Merton not Jack as you would suppose, and the vintage turned wooden handle securely place. The handle is 5 1/2” long. Cardboard, painted black, covers each end of the rattle. Screw eyes were inserted in the centre of each end to hold the silver bells. It was then covered with a double layer of black glass glitter. Glue was painted over the glitter to hold it in place when the bells move across the surface.

The two tall trees were hand built from vintage florist pips, tissue paper, wire, and painted with acrylic paint. Check out this blog post to see the process of creating the trees.

The Man-in-the-Moon is made of composition and papier-mâché over wire. His colouring is built up with ten layers colours patted on by hand to achieve his mottled skin tone. In his right hand he is holding Arnold, a carrot lantern. Jane, a turnip lantern, is in his left hand.

At the base of the tree on the left side is Merton, a pumpkin lantern; he is surrounded by miniature handmade fireworks.

Sections of reindeer moss, corn silk, tiny twigs, and vintage yellow and purple florist stamens were glued around the base of the two tall trees at the back and in the front.

The composition ground has been painted with acrylic paint. Once dry, glue was liberally applied to the ground and a mixture of roasted sterilized soil, finely cut hand dyed green, brown, and natural sisal twine was dusted onto the glue.

This view shows a bit of my hand so that you can get an idea of the scale of the sculpture.

The overall size of the sculpture is 20” high, 8 1/2” wide from bell to bell, and approximately 3” deep.

This is a sculpture not a children's toy.

I will carefully pack this sculpture to ensure that it arrives safely to your home and will be a treasured part of your collection.

This sculpture arrives duty free into the US.

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

Head over to "The EHAG Emporium" and have a look at what others in the group have available for sale.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Behind the scenes, how I build trees and shrubs.

Well, that title makes me sound like a master tree builder, creating these things for years on end, or is that in my mind alone!

The truth is that my wife and I love going for walks in the forest, the rural countryside, and by the ocean; we are so fortunate on the southern end of Vancouver Island that all of these areas are 5 to 20 minutes away from our home. I love looking at the plants and trees observing how the leaves and branches form as they grow as well as the landscape that they are growing in, so it is only natural that they pop up in the sculptures that I create.

The picture above is a bundle of vintage Made in Japan flower stamens that have been wrapped in tissue. Thirty-five years ago I bought the entire lot of stamens from a craft shop that was going out of business, at 75 cents a bundle that was a deal.

The batch of tissue wrapped stamens are then painted with a base coat of brown acrylic paint.

I sort the stamens into piles of one, two, and three stamens. The piles of two and three stamens are then wrapped in tissue paper and left to dry.

When they are dry they are then painted and left to dry. There is a lot of "Hurry up... and wait" during the creative process.

Wire is then cut into six to eight inch lengths. Each small branch is made up of a group of one, two, and three stamens.

The stems are painted, you can see at the bottom of the picture that I vary the placement of the one, two, or three stamen bundles.

Five stems are then wrapped together to create a larger limb. Several limbs create a tree. I use the branches and limbs to create trees or shrubs of different sizes.

Here are a few of the sculptures that have handmade branches and trees in them.

This decoration "Black Cat Came as a Bush" uses a crown made of leaves to create Black Cat's costume, a small bush with a pumpkin in a nest that is resting on his head.

I have created branch staffs for "ilexander", a holly berry candy container...

and this "Giant Portrait Rattle - Jack Came Dressed as an Autumn Jester".

This was the first tree that I created for one of my sculptures, a candy container and table centrepiece, "Patty, Wayne, and the Party Tree". The 24" tree is meant to be decorated with your personal ornaments.

This "Landscape Rattle - Ambrose and Monty His Parade Lantern" has my first very small tree, it stands 10 3/4" high, as part of the landscape.

I have used three small trees as part of the undergrowth for this sculpture, “Landscape Rattle - William and Timothy and the Toffee Apple”.

Bye for now, I must get into the studio and work.