Art: Making Fairy Houses

25 04 2010

It’s beautiful weather here, so for art we wanted to do a project that could be done outside. We settled on making fairy houses — mini terrariums of the kind fairies might live in. We began by assembling our materials (we didn’t buy any of these materials — these were from materials on hand, which is where I encourage you to start, too):

Materials, left to right: scissors, skewers, chopsticks, swizzle sticks, ice cream spoons, forks, and other poking/manipulating materials. (Also, off to the left, but you can’t see it are romex wire, wire strippers, wire benders, and wire cutters, for making and manipulating recycled copper wire), water, charcoal (Activated charcoal might be better, but we went with plain charcoal from the fire box. It was on fire right before this picture was taken, matter of fact. Hence the strainer.), acorns, a couple of attractive glass bottles with tops, pebbles, a spade for digging up fairy carpet — moss and wild strawberries and small purple wildflowers, beads and buttons, and hammers for smushing up the charcoal.

Once the materials were gathered — a project in and of itself — we assembled the bottles. First the pebbles, then a layer of smushed-up charcoal, then the live materials. To get the plants into the narrow neck requires some maneuvering and creativity. For my very narrow-necked bottle I used scissors to cut off thin slices of moss or strawberry plants or flower plants with their soil and used chopsticks to maneuver them into place. Floppy’s wider-necked bottle would admit bigger chunks. Then we watered them a little, as it’s been pretty dry here. Once we had a nice layer of soil and plants completely covering the pebbles and charcoal, it looked like this:

Then it was time to decorate. We tried lots of things — twisting copper wire into trellises and tables with acorn-cap tops and shepherd’s hooks — but sometimes it either didn’t work (we are not engineers) or it worked but wouldn’t fit or couldn’t be maneuvered once made to fit (my trellis became Floppy’s). Then we added in accouterments and belongings to entice fairies. I must have wanted fairy pirates for my bottle, because along with an acorn, a sun/moon charm dangling from the bottle cap on fishing line, a malachite stone, a gold coin, and a shepherd’s crook, I gifted my fairy with a wooden skull. Floppy decorated his with a copper rose trellis, a green crystal heart, a blue crystal bead, a vintage “diamond-encrusted” button, and an onyx tulip. They turned out really adorable looking, I thought:




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