A Genuine Whale Boat
I've had the idea for months now to make a "Whale Boat," a creation that looks much like a boat, including the "wooden" side planking but also is shaped like and looks like a sentient whale. This is my first attemp. I love it so much! I'm learning alot, trial and error and such... I'm hoping to have enough time to finish it in the next wek or two. At this point I am ~45 hours in. If I can crack the code on this, I see MANY fish/mammal/bird leather boats in my future.
Since this is my first attempt, I didn't have the tools I needed. But of course I didn't realize that until I needed them! To attach the decking and not have the thing fall over as the glue dried, I used spice containers to support it. They were the only things around that seemed the right height!
Noticing the beauty of my life on the Coast!
Alice in Wonderland Ballet
After Covid, the Alice in Wonderland ballet I was working on 3 years ago has finally set a date to perform! I was thrilled and honored to be asked to make a few bird masks and even some of the props. So excited to be involved in this production.
Leaf Masks, big curly horns and the latest Tankards
I made a few maple-leaf masks, some big curly horns and my beeswax coated tankards. I love making these unique creations. I love adding to them and changing them for the better as trial and error teaches me. Upward ever, backward NEVER!
They finally made it here!!
Last year the scallopers weren't allowed to fish in the water right outside of my house. This year they've been scalloping since December, but just the other day, they finally made it here! I can't even begin to explain, or even UDERSTAND the thrill I get from watching these GORGEOUS fishermen working these waters! There were so many of them right in my backyard!
THIS ONE really surprised me! There was a diver who jumbed off the back of this boat practically in my yard! That's my cliff in the foreground! Was it our own Diver Ed? I have no idea! Whether it was on not, the idea of a guy diving RIGHT HERE getting SCALLOPS, my favorite food in the world btw, is mind-blowing to me! Welcome back my LOVES!!
AND a good day was had by all!
Addendum: The mermaid never felt right to me. So I dismantled her! I've added the leaves to inventory. I'll likely use them for some type of fish. But who knows?
Mass production for King Richard's Fair
I will likely, for the rest of my life be mass producing for Mass! King Richard's Faire! This makes me exceedingly happy! Here are some bats! I'll attach alligator clips to them so you can put them wherever you like. The fan is because the first couple of weekends can be HOT. So this will be a fun and USEFUL souvenir. I've decided against the key handle in favor or a fancy popsickle stick. I'll likely add ribbons or strings too.
Getting my products in my store!
I'm working on getting my products in the Online Store on this site. It's a long process but exciting. It should be active now, so if you want to purchase something from me, you should be able to do that right now! PLEASE DON'T JUDGE! I've only just begun!
Addendum. I'm scrapping the mermaid idea. I nearly finished her but was like, meh. I don't like her. So I took all of her fall colored (dyed) leaves off, and now have these gorgeous leaves to maybe, IDK make a fish out of!
I grew up in a house that had several maple trees in the yard. I spent countless hours in and around those trees. I think the maple leaf is one of the MOST beautiful things I could ever imagine. When I lived in suburbia in Indiana, on my nightly walk I came across a large maple leaf on the concrete sidewalk. I picked it up and have been using it as a template for my leaves.
There are SO MANY things I can do with these leaves! I used them for scales for my goofy fish. I use them to make crowns and masks. Who knows where they will ask me to use them next?
Sheep-Skin Flask Wraps
I'm THRILLED with how well the sheep-skin took the image plates that I had made for my hydrolic press! Also it really took the dye well. I had to use the side of a ruler to remove the excess so that the pattern would show up. They came out sooo good!
Super soft sheep-skin is ALOT more expensive than the cow leather I usually use. I'm gonna try the same process with some thin cow leather and see if I can get a similar affect. Either way, I'll be offering these as well as the eyed flasks. :-)
The whale is well because, you know. It's a WHALE! The map is a treasure/pirate map and it's actually rendered from a chart I was given by Eastport Windjammers of Moose and surrounding Islands. The Kraken was inspired from a custom order for Don Dunbar, who has a gallery of his spectacular local photos. This spring he will also be featuring Winged Motivation in his shop! I'm so thrilled to be a part of his glorious shop next to his gorgeous work!
I finished my Ghost Ship and I absolutely LOVE it!! It makes me exceedingly happy!
A couple of weeks ago, the rain in Cape Cod was...well torrential is the correct word. I couldn't stop myself from belly-laughing a significant portion of my drive down, picturing us all sitting in our booths shivering. The image was just comical! OF COURSE when i got there, I discovered they had made the right decision to close the fair! I found myself near Cape Cod with a whole day free, with the sheets of rain that simply were not letting up!
So...after going to Edward Gorey's home/museum I went to the Whaling Museum in New Bedford! Neither of these places disappointed! I was actually thrilled to have a day to explore INDOORS in the Boston area.
I saw a model ship at the whaling museum, so now I'm motivated to make ANOTHER boat, or two or three with more and varied sails!
I LOVE MY LIFE SO MUCH!!
One of the coolest things about my sculptures is they don't have to be functional at all. So this boat has a waist, like a woman's. I love finding out if the weird ideas in my mind can actually be brought to life with the leather. The "shaped like a woman's body" idea was a great success!
Man in the Moon
These are fun to make. I gave them to my friends who I have coffee with at Dastardly Dicks, where I also have my little shop. I hope to make more cuz, you know, they're cool and I think people would like to have them!
I love making these balloons alot. The chain was a challenge on this one, as it always is to me. I liked using the string as rope and took some liberties, as I always do!
I have one more colorful one in the works. After I finish that one, I'll probably take a break from them, instead working on another Zepplin.
Leather Hot Air Balloon
These are a couple of orders for Bryan who has been such an encouragment from the beginning and a valuable supporter of me and Winged Motivation!
I made a few tweeks on the Ghost Ship and now I love it even more! I changed the size of some of the sails, added a couple of sails on the front and redid the crochet rigging. I'm so in love with making these boats/ships. I intend to make a whole fleet of leather boats! Which reminds me of my favorite song from one of my favorite musicals, Carousel...which truly could have taken place in Eastport, where I live now.
Ghost Ship! Finished!!
Seeing and walking on this ship really gave me a thrill! I have this thing about knots. Seriously. I really want someone to show me (teach me) the ropes!! It fills me with joy!
The sails are made of cheesecloth! I crocheted the rigging. Why not?
Some pictures from The Whaling Museum
People who know me well, know that I throw things out constantly. I tell epic stories to regale you of things chucked that I wish I had kept.
I have been carrying THIS WHALE POSTER with me on my journey since 1976! Nineteen Seventy-Six! And Oh! What a time it WAS for whaling! The poster was included in the December 1976 issue of National Geographic. I devoured that issue! I can't remember when or how I fell in love with Whales, but I know it was before I was 12. Recently a friend suggested that I could likely get the whole magazine, which of course, I DID! I reread every whale article and found it just as fascinating as it was to me when I was a child. So, the poster hangs on my wall in my shop, near the harbor, in this seaside town where you can sit at a cafe, or on your own deck and MAYBE see a whale swim by.
Experts are saying that at any time there could be 50 - 100 sharks in the Passamaquoddy Bay including 30 - 50 great whites. Now of course I loved the movie, "Jaws." I was already addicted to Whales and other Marine Mammals, but when Jaws came out, I began 'researching' sharks, as well as a 12 year old can. I think I saw one very close to my house a few weeks ago. So now I'm working on designs. I've made this little guy and am working on a larger, steampunky version.
I'm thinking about teeth but haven't completely puzzled it out yet. The picture on the left shows the beginning of the teeth I'm working on. I may just leave teeth out for now. When a shark is swimming with its mouth closed, it's hard to see the teeth...
I used my little glass bead with black leather on the back for the eyes. I used an exacto knife to cut the gill-slits.
I'm super excited to have my art in the back room of Dastardly Dick's Coffee right here on Water Street in Eastport. I will be soley responsible, make my own hours, decorate the entire space. I'll be here at least a year, set a theme etc! My theme will be Whaling and Sirens and Pirates, a personal mix of historic and fanciful elements, RIGHT up my alley. I may even sneak in some Alice in Wonderland.
Unique leafy mermaid
Dastardly dick's Coffee
Back room retail and studio space
Drinking Vessels for Pesants, Pirates and Sailors
I am really getting a kick out of making leather drinking tankards! I think these will be a hit! The process includes soaking the leather pieces in hot beeswax which absorbs into the leather making it waterproof! I love working with beeswax and obviously I love working with leather.
The tankards, being made for ships are larger on the bottom to minimize tipping.
I'm experimenting with embossing plates and couldn't be more excited about it. I have one already with a Thor's Hammer image, and have just finished designing one with a breaching humpback whale that I hope to sell in Eastport and other seaside towns in New England.
This first Mermaid will have leaves for scales. I have some cool ideas for the arms and face and hair too. :-)
Flying Steampunk Whale!
So far, well for right NOW, this is my favorite thing I've made! I just love humpback whales. Seeing them is the #1 reason I moved to Maine. I love steampunk too. I just think it's groovy! So to put the two together was and is a thrill for me! This guy has a blowhole that I've put a teeny-tiny little vial in so you can add flowers or anything that will fit. You can add some water and use fresh flowers or herbs, whatever you can think of...incense, matches, a magic wand... This guy has real barnacles from my beach glued to him.
I've stamped the words "Leviathan" and "Whaling" into the leather and added the coordinates to Eastport Maine. He carries a compass so he won't get lost during his migration. There's a door on his side you can open to discover our own Diver Ed of The Starfish Enterprise fame!
So now I have an even more fun inspirational idea. A GHOST SHIP!
I've gotta get on that. That's the REAL fun stuff! making something new!
But of course I love making copies too because they are ALL unique and man what a charmed life I lead!!
Mermaids Etc for Pine Cone and Tassel Emporium
I'm working on a funky unique take on a mermaid atm. I also want some more boat ideas along with the other nautical stuff I've been accumulating.
Mass Producing for
King Richard's Faire!!
Winged Motivation will be selling wares at King Richard's Faire in Massachusettes this year! I have been spending all of my time working on inventory! Here are some pix of mass produced, singularly by me (HA!) various pieces.
I'm also itchin' to make a new curvy Pirate Ship shaped like a woman's body. My ships don't need to be sea-worthy. They just need to be...whimsical!
Other Recent Projects
Pirate Ship and Pirate Hat
I have finally begun working on a more traditional looking pirate hat. It's been a long time coming and of course it will be a bit different than your completely typical Pirate Hat.
Head Harbor LIghthouse
Do you want to see a whale or two? Of COURSE you do! Well I cetainly do! Travel to Head Harbor Light, on Campobello Island, Canada and you're almost sure to see one or two or three... From Eastport, the easiest and most fun way to see whales is to go on an Eastport Windjammers Whale Watching Cruise. I've gone with them an embarrassing number of times. But the whales are what drew me here, so I'm only a little embarrassed.
The lighthouse is lovely. I decided to make a Dianna model of it with my unique spin(s). Here's what I have so far. I've made the basic shape and I've carved lines in it to represent the siding. I want to make windows and figure out what to do for the top. I made a lighthouse on top of a whale a couple of years ago. That existed only in my mind. The model for this one really exists! You could go and see it! with whales swimming nearby and seals and sharks even!
I finally finished the lighthouse. I LOVE it! When I make another one, I will make it more Cattywampus. But I love the eyes for lights. I put little nautical charms in all of the windows.
This was a challenging project! angles and architectural details are not my forte. They aren't even my piano...That's a big part of why the next one will be more organic. PERFECTLY IMPERFECT.
This fish is made of a ton of leather leaves that I dyed to look like fall colors. I love his face and his lips make me laugh-out-loud! He's a unique friend who seems to have a secret.
Smaller Octopus Pattern
I'm so honored to be able to display some of my art in the Pine Tassel Emporium on Water Street in Eastport. I definitely think the Octopus should be in there. The problem is I've fallen in love with him! So I decided I better make another one, a bit smaller might make sense. Here is the result. I love him too!
Steampunk leather-leaf fish
I'm making these super cool flying sheep! Somewhere, sometime in my childhood I KNOW I heard Monty Python say, "Look! It's a flying sheep!" I can't find it online anywhere, but I know it exists, if only in my mind. These sheep rock. You pull on the sheep and the wings and the sheep bounce around. It's adordable! The wool is actually angora goat aka mohair! I now own two angora goats! WHAT??? Yes I do! They are the sweetest cutest animals you can imagine! I got the wool for this project from the same place I got the goats! I've needle felted them and added a leather face which I shaped to look like a sheep face and I am giving them leather wings, so far angel and bat. I tried butterfly, but that looked funny. Next year I will use the wool from my own goats!
I'm also making my own springs to go with these, because I frankly couldn't find any to buy. So it's a learning process and I keep learning! These sheep are just the cutest! I hang them on driftwood I gathered from my beach.
Now that I am in Maine, I have shifted (yet again) and am making a series of nautical sculptures etc. I've decided to call them Nautical Nonsense. Right now I'm working on this prototype of an octopus sculpture. It's always so fun and challenging to make something I've never made before. I keep going back and forth on the details but I'm diggin' how it looks at the moment at least.
Update: I kept this guy around for so long without ever attaching the eyelets/suckers that I kinda fell in love with him just the way he is. I've made another smaller one with just a few differences, but no eyelets. Oh well. It wasn't meant to be. When a project is DONE, I simply have to move on.
What Are You Working On?
I am thrilled to be designing a few masks for a ballet company based on Alice in Wonderland! So far, I have finished the Cheshire Cat and The White Rabbit. It's been so fun working with the artistic director for this project. It couldn't be a better fit with my lifelong bond with "All things Alice."
This page will showcase what I'm working on NOW in whatever capacity that might be.