The Banshee plays a special role in the Other Crowd, and usually, she is a benign, if forbidding fairy, in the business of death warnings and the like...
But, as many folk tales from the small rural villages of Ireland can attest, people would do good to remember there is another side to her. Treat her with disrespect or interfere with her duties and she will retaliate.
This is a dark fairy and her pallor is grey. She is made from dried grass and birch with a dried bulb of Queen Anne's Lace as her underskirt, adorned with dead flowers. She is a portal from Man's world at the moment of death to The Other Side.
She may turn her back to you, but do not turn your back to her.
There once was a lad named Connla who lived close to the sea and he came upon a tiny maiden clad in strange attire nestled in a hollowed out branch of driftwood. No bigger than his hand, she wore a bodice of red and white birch, and an underskirt of bramble with dried hydrangea that made it look as though she were part of the underbrush. A spider sat next to her, sunning itself. Startled, he asked "Whence comest thou Maiden?"
"I come from the Plains of the Ever Living," replied she. "Where there is neither death nor sin."
"The ocean is not so strong as the waves of my longing," she continued. "Oh mighty Conn, fighter of a thousand fights. Come with me in my curragh, the gleaming, straight-gliding crystal canoe. Only wives and maidens live there. If thou wilt, we can seek it and live there alone together in joy."
"Tis hard upon me," then said Connla: "I love my own folk above all thing; but yet a longing seizes me for the maiden."
She turned, exposing the red silk sash that held together her fragile shift and with her, turned the spider, crawling away toward the sea. Connla could resist no more. Away and away, till eye could see no longer, and Connla and Faery Maiden went their way on the sea, and were no more seen, nor did anyone know where they came.
This microstory was adapted from Celtic Fairy Tales, the story of Connla and the Fairy Maiden. (First published in 1892. This edition was published in 1994 by Senate, an imprint of Studio Editions Ltd, England).
These one of a kind miniature fairy dresses are all fashioned by hand in Maine with materials from the woods. Available in select boutiques and on Etsy.
I'm making a few more miniature Flapper Dresses for our first art show, coming up July 27.
This one is from my favorite novel, The Great Gatsby. Like the others in my miniature Flapper series, this is a one-of-a-kind literary art piece from the pages of that salvaged novel.
The pearl appliqué at the top of the bodice mirrors the fabric ribbon at the dropped hem of the skirt, which is further elongated by fringe.
The back of the dress is stitched up with silver thread which complements the overall silver theme. Perhaps I should have made it gold for the Gilded Age? Each dress also comes with its own custom mini hanger. if you love the 1920s and The Great Gatsby, this is a perfect keepsake. If you happen to be in Maine, check out our upcoming show.
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
Tonic of the Woods
the inspiration behind the creations
Photos, stories and concept ©Kay Stephens
Look up the story behind a fairy dress by clicking on the name below