Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wood Nymph

The buddha (previous post) didn't seem quite right in the shrine. Today I thought about a fairy, a pixie, or wood nymph. I sculpted this piece which is drying in the cabinet now. Her head is a somewhat large and a bit mature for the young adult body, but I'll make a few more. She might be better leaning towards the right instead of the left but I do like her floating in there and I like the oak leaf hands and feet. I'd like to refine her oak leaf headdress. Tomorrow I'll put some stains on her, still thinking about the colors. Maybe a deer or little toadstool in the left corner, maybe a wolf or bear.

I wonder what she can do with oak leaf hands? She can't grasp anything but small morsels gently. What about her oak leaf feet she can't walk evenly or run fast. She can only do with what she has within her surroundings. Maybe her large head is supposed to be, she can think, and yet perhaps she thinks too much about the happenings in the world around her. But she's able to fly or float above her surroundings and that may be her only grace, her only solace in the deep and swirling forest she finds herself in. After firing perhaps some wispy material veiling the interior, or flowing from her head adding to the mystery of her self in the space.

by Jo Shapcott

Indoors for this ash
is through the bark:
notice its colour – asphalt
or slate in the rain

then go inside, tasting
weather in the tree rings,
scoffing years of drought and storm,
moving as fast as a woodworm

who finds a kick of speed
for burrowing into the core,
for mouthing pith and sap,
until the o my god at the heart.

I can't tell you how cathartic this is, letting my imagination fly. It's a good exercise for opening up or channeling my creative spirit. Years ago I used to make miniature floral landscapes and miniature floral gardens and I've discovered a few treasures from those days. I'm looking those items over thinking of other shrines. But perhaps I don't need found treasures, only those I make from clay and other materials. The found treasures can stimulate my mind and then be let go to provide for more materials. This post is part of the Mud Colony weekly clay post about what I've been up to in the studio. Thanks for all your comments and suggestions; I really appreciate your input.


  1. Hello Linda:
    Poetry can so often be a stimulus for creative activity we find. Somehow, it is such an essence of ideas, thoughts and emotions that one can derive countless avenues of creativity from a single verse.

    Your wood nymph seems to be springing forth from the very woodland floor. We like the way that she is part woman part tree as if she is evolving from Nature itself.

  2. I think she's beautiful and wise beyond her years (hence the adult head on the child's body). I can see her twirling and dancing with the other autumn leaves. Sit quietly with her, she'll speak to you.

  3. Lovely poem, lovely wood nymph. I like her hands and feet...yes she can float and fly. I'd love to see you give her a little deer to share her thoughts with.

  4. I agree with Lori, that your nymph is beautiful and wise (hence the adult head on a child's body). Even more, there is a certain strength is the nymph that empowers.

  5. Hi Jane and Lance, thanks, I looked for a verse after I made the wood nymph and happened upon Jo Shapcott's and was also pleased to find her reading it as well, there is something about hearing the person read their own work that puts a fresh emphasis on the words.

    Hi Lori, thanks, she does have some power within herself, I must take the time to sit with her and see what she has to say.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, not sure I can sculpt a deer, but I can try, see how this is sending me on more travels in clay to stretch myself.

    Hi Kittie, thanks, so glad you can feel strength coming from the wood nymph, she is now clothed in a thin wash of slip colors of tan and greens and drying in the cabinet slowly.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment