BELFAST — In July, the Wee Folk, or the Otherworld of Irish fairies will be captured in one place for an evening.
In conjunction with Belfast's Fourth Friday Artwalk on July 27, Alder & Vine, Belfast's only spot for artisan goods, oddities and the occult, features the artists of Tonic of the Woods, which specializes in "Wee Folk" fairy dresses, miniature literary paper dresses and custom shadowboxes.
Tonic of the Woods is a cross between eco art and folk art with the dominant theme of Nature reclaiming its rightful place back from human interference.
Tonic's miniature sculptural works of "Wee Folk" fairy dresses are all one-of-a-kind, made from birch and dried grasses, flowers, brambles, weeds and mosses, measuring only six inches with a handcrafted hanger. Each has a backstory of Irish fairies, that diminutive supernatural race on "the Other Side" driven down underground by human beings since "the start o' the world." As beautiful and ethereal as they are, the Wee Folk can also be vicious and vindictive.
Tonic of the Woods will also feature miniature literary sculptural dresses made from iconic short stories or novels, as well as miniature shadowboxes made from upcycled frames.
Join us for the opening reception on Friday, July 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Refreshments will be served and the artists of Tonic of the Woods will be on hand to talk about individual pieces for sale.
For more information visit: www.tonicofthewoods.com and www.alderandvine.com
This is a new organic herb-and-elixir store in Rockport Maine and they are now carrying Tonic of the Woods original art pieces. Click for directions.
I found the perfect shadowbox while out hunting vintage stores for materials.
Inside it sits the Beach Rose Red fairy, made from birch and dried beach roses for a skirt. I then affixed mounting hardware to the back so it can hang on the wall.
These are sociable fairies and they hide in the beach roses lining the ocean during the day. On a full moon, during the summer solstice, they come out to watch the seals in the cove as they dart around and flank the translucent squid for their evening meal. The Beach Rose Red fairies then sit "in the grove of great rose-trees, with the moon shining on it as bright as day, and thousands of nightingales singing in the branches."
This one-of-a-kind shadowbox is only available in our newest location, Herbal Revolution, a tonic-and-elixir store in Rockport, Maine on Route 90. $50. Grand Opening is June 22.
Today, when the sun rises, it is the longest day of the year. And tonight, according to Celtic lore, elves and fairies abound in great numbers. Here is a little gallery of who is out today.
The Reindeer Muse is out collecting flowering sage, a powerful herb on this day.
Two of the Queen's Handmaidens lay amongst the wildflowers.
The Queen Anne's Lace fairy is a sociable fairy, whose amusements--dance, music and games--entertain the Queen on these summer days.
The bodice is made from birch and the skirt is made from a dried curled bell of Queen Anne's Lace and some dried purple flowers I got from a farm in Maine.
It is laced up the back with purple thread and adorned on the front with more dried purple flowers.
There are two apple trees in a meadow I go to every spring...
I make it a point to get done with work early, around noon and take the afternoon off by myself.
I get a bottle of champagne (in this case prosecco) and a picnic lunch and just hang out under this apple tree for several hours.
In the meadow, there is view of a small mountain range. I just look and listen for awhile....to the birds and crickets.
Bring some books.....some snacks.
Pop open the bubbly...and climb the apple tree.
Joseph Campbell: "You must have a room or certain hour for so a day, where you don't know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don't know who your friends are, you don't know what you owe anybody, you don't know what anybody owes you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first, you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something will eventually happen."
Justin made a miniature secretary desk that functions as a business card holder for a friend.
The desk is for the owner of his painting company, hence the little clip board and the paint can....
And even a real working drawer with a pull.
He will be making more for contracting businesses....and can do custom work with various mini tools of the trade on the desk.
By now, you know that solitary fairies have no interest in cavorting with other members of their troop; nor do they want any human attention.
Here is a little scene set in Merryspring Nature Garden by a natural spring. Tea for one, at a tiny handcrafted mossy table with chair, a vase of flowers and an oversized cup of nectar.
This fairy furniture has been set inside a shadow box measuring 6 x6 inches.
Inside the shadow box, the fairy furniture is set in the woods on a mossy floor with tiny mushrooms spouting up.
This one of a kind fairy shadowbox will be available soon. Stay tuned for more like it!
Seen in late afternoon just off the coast of Maine, a fairy rath, an ancient fort of the Wee Folk. All winter they've held their dances and revelries underground. But now that it is spring time, they have moved above ground.
Look closer among the hillock of wildflowers. There--
Little People have brought the Fairy Queen's throne above, so that she may sit and watch the sun arc down.
This throne was hand made, adorned with peacock feathers and red birch armrests. A chair fit for a pagan Irish queen.
In a meadow in Tanglewood, a lone Tulip Tree blooms in May......I came up to one just to touch the petals.
I shouldn't have been surprised for this is their time to emerge from their underground labyrinth...
While many of The Wee Folk like to live in a troop, there are some solitary fairies who prefer to live alone. They don't have elaborate dresses or finery (like those who serve the fairy queen), but instead, their rural garb helps them blend in.
This one is made with white and red birch bark and an underskirt of plain brambles with just a hint of white reindeer moss and fluff for a corsage. These fairies do not like it when humans come near them or spy on them, so I backed away and left her alone sunning in the Tulip Tree.
Related: The Solitary Fairy found in an apple tree last May.
Tonic of the Woods
the inspiration behind the creations