Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New leather dragon "Snarval"

As promised...here are some photos of Snarval completed.
First Snarval's head:

Thanks to facebook friends who let me know the "wood" is
Cholla cactus...from Arizona not North Dakota!..and yes,
there is a glass eye in there! Spokes are wet-formed rawhide
as as with my previous 10 foot dragon.

A peak at his back foot with appropriately festive beaded
leg band.

Crawling up our staircase..on the outside.

And finally a couple of Snarval's entire self
from front and back!

The lighting in our front hall is not very good, so Snarval
requested a trip outside to check things out and show
off his splendor. (I'm not really sure about whether Snarval
is a he or she yet..still listening.)

Snarval's belly textiles show off much better in good light:

Then on to checking out our tomatoes.(we've given
up on the orderly front garden thing, and settled
for vegetables instead.)

Snarval thought they needed water and weeding!
(We took care of both before I set off for Ann Arbor.)
Finally,reluctantly Snarval climbed back into the house
to be packed up to take the ride to Ann Arbor.

I will encourage folks at the Art Fair to help
me figure out Snarval's story ...I'm not sure
whether the dragon is a cloud or water dragon
or some other species. It's fun to engage folks in
developing a legend at a show, especially children.

I'll be sure to take photos of Snarval in Ann Arbor
and share what stories emerge. And , of course,
I'll share news of some of my favorite artists there.

Please, if any of you live near Ann Arbor - come on over
to see Snarval in person. My booth is no. A306 - in the
"Original" Art Fair. Show is Wed. - Sat. July 21-24.
Info at: www.artfair.org Four fantastic days with four
fairs running simultaneously with extraordinary artists!
Just one request: Any of you who have it in with the rain
and wind gods...please tell them to be gentle this week!

Journey on! Wendy

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Stairs and Dragons

In February, when I created the 10 foot dragon for my customers'
metal spiral staircase, a friend asked what I might create for a
regular staircase. Good question, I thought, then set the query
aside. Until recently.
As I was trying to think up a special new piece for the Ann Arbor
Art Fair July 22-24, I took a look at the staircase in our house:

What might go here? Another dragon perhaps?
After all there is a Thai dragon at the base.

and so I started to play. I wasn't sure how big
it should be, but 5-6 feet seemed about right:

Next, up to the studio to see what materials I had for the
head. As those of you who know me are fully aware, my
studio is filled with all sorts of collected, gifted items, and
some which just seem to appear. I found a piece of strange
wood perhaps from the farm in North Dakota where my
hubby's dad was raised. We think it was among the
things brought back from Oregon when my mum-in-law died.
Definitely dragon head material!

If anyone knows what type of wood this is, please
let me know!

Next to the wood were these deer antler tips gifted me
by a friend who shows up at shows with all sorts of strange
and wonderful goodies for me!

Dragon horn material? Why not!
I had been wanting to use some of the old hand stitched
textiles made into a purse by artisans in Afghanistan which
I purchased at a fair last July in NYC when our granddaughter
was born. So I grabbed those as well.

I covered the basic wire armature with polyester, then muslin
as before and finally black leather. Then we headed off
to play with grandkids in Virginia and NYC for a week.
They are used to me showing up with strange items in the
van. I told them they could help name the new creature.
They came up with the name Snarval. I said it was probably
a water dragon, so my granddaughters immediately decided
the dragon's claws sculpted the sea creatures and underwater

I did some stitching in Virginia, but most work was postponed
until I was back home.

It will be completed to display in Ann Arbor (my booth
number is A306) so be sure to check back in for my blog
next Tuesday to see the completed dragon. I'll put up a
post just before the show opens and then report back after
the show.

Now back to beading, stitching and claws!

Journey on! Wendy