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Posts tagged ‘Handbuilding’

Creating a Faerie Garden (Part 2)

Inspiration from the Isle of Skye

In the previous post, I described the Faerie Glen and Faerie Bridge on the Island of Skye, Scotland, the inspiration for creating my own magical garden. In pottery courses at the Community Arts Center I learned some basic techniques in hand building, carving and throwing on the wheel. My instructor, Bob Deane, had a special interest in making houses, castles and dragons, and guided our classes in the various techniques in constructing these pieces.

Bob created a ceramic house for Tyler Arboretum tree house display.

Making little houses completes the first requirement for a faerie garden. I made the first group of houses using white clay processed through an extruder tube. This device quickly produces a perfect cylinder from a clump of clay. I then cut these tubes to various lengths. For some of the roofs I worked with a piece of the cylinder, cut it in half and turned it inside out for a sloping concave shape. I carved different exteriors, such as stone, stucco or wood into the clay using simple tools. Different glazes created the variations in textures and colors.

The extruder tool proved its usefulness again for crafting large cylinders to make a castle. I used carving tools to cut the details for the shingled roof and stone façade. I added a clear glaze on the roof and doors after painting them blue.

A combination of paint and glazes decorated the bridge. A troll, waits patiently next to the creek.

I used a low-fire clay that would take majolica, a glaze which is left to dry on the clay and then painted with special pigments in a water-color technique.

I arranged the houses in the garden with a meandering stone path connecting the pieces together and added a few accessories: wishing well, fountain, bench, just to name a few.

The mysterious and magical Isle of Skye casts a spell and guides the recreation of a whimsical and winsome garden on a distant shore.

The fairies are dancing — how nimbly they bound!
They flit o’er the grass tops, they touch not the ground;
Their kirtles of green are with diamonds bedight,
All glittering and sparkling beneath the moonlight

                                Carolina Eliza Scott ~ The Fairy Dance

Good luck with your gardens! Send me your link if you have created such a place.


Anne Valley, Walk through the Fairy Door

A Guide to Finding Fairies: 15 Magical Places in Ireland

Does Scotland Really have Fairies?

Scottish Highland Fairies

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