It seems that every lull in the action from the actual construction of buildings becomes an opportunity to add artwork to the buildings and property. Some of the work is subtle and only we see or appreciate it. But others are major works and very obvious to all who visit. Some items we consider art and others consider to be just interesting things. But no matter the class of work the whole effort is in many ways a gigantic work of art made up of many individual pieces or works. The Summerhouse has become a gallery of sorts and houses most of the works.
Almost every building has carvings of some type included in the interior, and a few have signs on the exterior. We carve these as we go and occasionally backtrack to a building to supplement some earlier work. Faces and heads are carved with chisels while the worded signs are carved using a single knife in the chipcarving tradition. Most are made from basswood, but there are a few exceptions that would include butternut or poplar.
The carvings are often done in classes or with other friends who carve. The process is a welcomed break from the hectic activity that normally comes with one of our projects, and it gives us a chance to slow down a bit and consider the direction of our interior decorations.
Art involving beaded animal heads is new for us and often results in unusual and attractive pieces that draw real appreciation. We are not quite sure how all of this started but it has become a labor of love, emphasis on the labor aspect of the phrase. Many of these take as long as three months to complete.
One of our largest art projects has been the addition of a very large (six foot by twelve foot) Folk Art American Flag between the Summerhouse and The Pavilion. Added in 2017 this has proven to be a popular attraction and cannot be missed as you go toward the back of the property.
The flag is so large that we had to build a special structure to brace it against the wind. So far it is holding up and is certainly one of our favorite projects.
We really enjoy using and making folk art furniture and it show up just about everywhere. In a project like this things should be informal and fun and our furniture mirrors that sentiment.
The pieces can now be found in the Summerhouse, Coffeehouse, Glade Chapel, and Hawke's Nest. As our construction on buildings slows in coming years building furniture and other fun items will probably fill that void.
Peace poles are one of those things that make no real sense other than a decoration for some lonely corner of the gardens that just needs something. And for some reason we seem to run hot and cold on making them. The weather has to be right, our attitude needs to be right, and we have to have a break in other projects to even consider them.
We may not have many more of these in us for practical reasons. It seems that usually they fill some garden void with color, only to be covered by growth in future years. So all the effort is lost back in the vegetation in time and moving them is quite difficult.
Before there was a Summerhouse or The Pavilion there was a Steampunk Sculpture under construction on the back of the property. It is just one of those things that you work on in your spare time and it seems to grow organically as items become available.
Part of the fun with it is there is no rhyme or reason to the items on the poles, just interesting stuff. However, in a nod to our OCD tendencies items are added in groups of four, and on the overhead horizontal pieces things are added symmetrically.
Who know why, they just are?
And then there are just a lot of other artsy things around that are too numerous to count, but here are a few.
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