Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Surprise! I am back!

Most of you are completely unawares to the fact that I have been away on vacation these past few days!  We don't advertise an empty house over the internet until we are back home and safely occupying it.  Anyhow, we went away, spread our family magic in the Adirondack Mountains, and literally walked back into our palace (whoops, did I say palace?  I meant place.  tee hee) just a little bit ago.

Vacation for me is likely much different than it would be for someone holding a non-portable job.  I LOOOOVE long road trips, not only for getting to sing off key with my family most of the way, but because I am confined in one place and I get a TON of sculpting done.  We are talking a total of 12 hours drive time. !  I bring a conventional oven with me as well as all my brushes, powders, and wings, and each night I finish off the drive's pieces and then bake them in our hotel room.  Laptop gets a lot of action at night too as well as in the morning before we leave for the day's activities.  During those time frames I catch up on communication and play with you guys a little on my fan page.
Here is a shot of all the pieces that are pending shipment (in various stages of creation, some awaiting powdering and some awaiting glaze still).  If you have an order pending, you just might see it in here!

I know you folks are shaking your heads at me for working consistently throughout vacation.  I just can see you all doing it in my mind's eye!  But the nice thing about my job as a professional sculpture artist is that this is my heart's work.  I am passionate about sculpting and could not imagine going a day without doing it.  My 3 year old twirls her hair for comfort.  I play with clay.  It soothes my mind and my art soul!

Worky stuff aside, we had so much fun lost in the greenery of the Adirondacks.  For those who've never been there, I hope one day you get this true pleasure.  I have some highlights to share with you and then I need to get started on Wee Creature Week which is upon us.

This photo is from our prior trip to Lake George.  I have to mention this quickly because I can't not be immature about this so let me just have at it and then move along.  We could not go to beach along any part of the lake because of the current... Invasive Asian Clam Elimination Project.  (insert maniacal giggle at the phrase Invasive Asian Clam.  Those who have heard my laugh know just what this specific giggle sounds like, and I reserve it for just such an occasion!).  I did do my homework on this once I leveled my immaturity, and learned that despite being nominally funny, this is serious stuff.  These are very tiny clams that can each reproduce up to 70,000 offspring per year.  They literally pave the lake bed and the native species can't compete with them because of their staggering population.  It's crazytown.  I wish the project much success and that they can bring balance back to the many area lakes, canals, streams, and rivers that are affected by this.  Eradicate the Invasive Asian Clam once and for all!

And now, for the grand finale, the highlight of our trip every year is the visit to The Magic Forest.  I cannot accurately describe this amusement park that is self proclaimed as being a place for young children and families.  Sneak peeeeek...  Click on any of these images to enlarge them.

This theme park is set wholly within a forest and dates back 47 years, although some of the rides and attractions date back almost a century.  It is literally like stepping back in time and is genuinely and wonderfully creepy.  The rides are rickety as well as the marvelous elders who conduct them.  Acorn shells crack under your feet as you walk the pathways and inchworms hang suspended invisibly in little glowing patches of sunlight.  The statues bewilder at their own decay and chipmunks linger unstartled by them.

I cannot accurately describe this place except to say I do believe there is a magic in it which lights in the heart as you walk through it.  For me, as a sculptor, I am absolutely mesmerized by the artistry that abounds in this place, albeit overwhelming and perhaps terrifying when the sun begins to set.  The statues have plaster pulling away from the armatures and many are covered in dust and cobwebs.  I love that they do not try to defy time.  Here are some more photos to help you understand what I cannot do justice with words.

To begin, the ferris wheel is actually in the trees.

My little Natasha seemed to want to like this pup but couldn't decide whether to trust her better judgment.  This was as close as she would go for the picture.  <3

A small army of fairies flocking the roof top of one of the novelty shacks.  

Inchworms hung unevenly in every area imaginable, like green and glowing forest ornaments.  My daughters could not commit to whether they appreciated this.  Still a worm after all, and they didn't like the sneak approach.

This just looks like a big old Uh Oh to me....

Throughout the forest there are these giant cages which I am pretty sure were for large birds of prey at one point.  I have seen these cages at zoos, but here they only house set ups that I believe are supposed to be charming but could likely make a jumpy child cry.

Watching my children wandering down this path had a very Hansel and Gretel feel to it.  I like this photo because it shows the sheer size of some of these statues.  Some are well over a hundred feet tall.  

A row of sentinels that had a Robyn Hood feel to them.  Each looked suspicious yet unsinister.  You cannot tell from this photo because we were passing on a train track, but these are very, very tall.  

When you pass these giant hens, a very old audio track blares through equally old sound equipment.  The chickens sound as haunting as they look and I whispered to my husband that it sounded like a slaughterhouse.  I am sure this was not the case except my mind runs away on me when we visit this attraction each year. 

I cannot help but see these sculptures and wonder their purpose.  What inspiration led the artist to create the piece and is there a story behind it?  This may very well be an accompaniment to a children's story that I don't recognize because I was distracted by the peeling eyelids and the thought of whether, even when newly created, this was meant to be inviting or intimidating.  

I find it all alluring because it is slightly intimidating, although I know many of you will think this forest holds the stuff nightmares are made of.  

Okay, so wolves aren't your nightmare.  How about giant clowns?  For size perspective, take a look at his shin and you will see my 5 year old standing down by the boot.  M-A-S-S-I-V-E!!

I cannot wait to go back again next year and I fear my children turning the age where they ask instead to go to Six Flags which is just up the road.  I hope their childhood imaginations become as timeless as this magnificent forest.  


Holly said...

What an odd place! I am surprised a place like that still exists but am glad it does!

Jessica said...

Wow! What a very cool place! Glad to hear you had a restful week.

Kath said...

That was so cool! Look at who designed those figures back than, it was a task for them, but you can see their imagination was wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

Bethany said...

Wow! And you are right... that GIANT clown will totally haunt me in my dreams. What a wonderful place to visit:)

Sue said...

look at you, sneaky girl! no one would have known you were away by the way you kept up with everything online! I love that your art is portable and you can sculpt wherever you are.Even more so, it's awesome that your sculpture is your passion and that you do it also for enjoyment and fulfillment. very admirable!

Sherry Elaine said...

I need to go there! It totally reminds me of the place where the bluebird of happiness is made. It's called Terra Studios, and it's in the hills of Arkansas. Thanks for sharing the pictures. (The clown does terrify me, though.)

Jeanne said...

I've heard of the magical forest and I'd love to go someday. Seems so..... magical. :)

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