Thursday, July 3, 2008

Grots and my Garden Lady

The Grots
Grots (short for Grotesque) are garden creatures that protect your yard. Legend has it that they're actually quite large and only their heads are sticking out of the ground. If there are intruders, they pull themselves out of the ground and chase them off (or worse!). I've sold a bunch of these and given several as gifts. I still have about 80 of them. I make them from a mix of Portland cement, sand, vermiculite and peat moss. Most have marbles for eyes -- some are painted on white glow-in-the-dark acrylic paint. I added cement coloring too. All formed by hand -- no two alike.

This one is guarding my parsley. Seriously -- hands off my parsley!

This one is especially fierce looking with his evil green eyes. He's on top of my potting bench.

At night, with the torches lit in the yard and all their little eyes a-glittering, it's really kind of creepy. I have them everywhere...

The Garden Lady
This is the third summer working on her. It started when someone gave me a really ratty mannequin. the legs were broke at the knees and she had no more arms or head at all. Originally, I thought I would bead her and seat her in a chair. But she smelled a little funky and I didn't really want to keep her in the house...
So out to the yard she went. I covered her with chicken wire and made arms from rebar and a head of sorts, and started spackling the shape with hypertufa. I was making lots of Grots and tufa planters and a birdbath at the time and kept adding the leftover hypertufa to the statue-to-be. Then I kind of stalled and wasn't sure what else I wanted to do with her.

Here she is at the end of last summer. Oops -- forgot to give her a neck!

Then I heard about Paverpol and decided to add hard fabric clothing to her. I actually got the idea from Diane Feit after I told her I had a crazy amount of cheesecloth type fabric and I was wondering what to do with it all. (Thanks for the cool idea, Diane!!)

The Paverpol comes from the Netherlands and is pretty pricey -- only 3 places to get it in the US. The consistency is just like Elmer's Glue and I suspect that it's actually very similar in content to an acrylic polymer medium or, maybe, white glue and I'm going to experiment with some Golden medium and some outdoor wood glue, to see what kind of results I get.

The lack of neck is bugging me now that she's clothed. I may have to lop off her head and build her a neck. And then there's the issue of a face...

She's about 4 and 1/2 feet tall and kneeling on a cement base. I'm going to do mosaic over the apron and I'll be adding a cement bowl over her hands. (she's destined to be a bird bath or feeder...) She's also getting some grey hair and a big floppy garden hat, also hardened.

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