We love fairy tales, and love using boxes to tell fairy tales in two iconic images on the outside and inside. We've been on a fairy tale jag recently, so here is our newest effort: a "Snow White" box with the wicked Queen's magic mirror on top (surrounded by a woodburned and 22K goldleafed frame), etched with the beginning of those famous words (mirror, mirror on the wall...)... and the rest on the inside, with a woodburning of the witch's hands holding out the poisoned apple. It's walnut on the sides and maple for the top and base, with a touch of red enamel paint on the edge of the lid for that "white as snow, red as blood, black as ebony" look. It's hinged.
Below, an older box of "Rapunzel": Rapunzel with her long golden hair leaning from her balcony on the top, and a silverleafed pair of scissors inside. And next to it, the pieces for a "Red Shoes" box: a woodburned dancing girl with the ribbons of the red shoes twining around her, making her into a marionette. On the inside, the same girl, a skeleton, still dancing in the red shoes.
Fairy Tale Boxes
And below, our newest "Little Red Riding Hood" box, with the wolf inside, and next to it, the pieces for a "Cinderella" box, with the woodburned ragged girl being presented with the golden dress, and a pumpkin nearby. Inside, the glass slipper on a red cushion. Below that, the woodburned pieces for a "Sleeping Beauty" box: on top, the sleeping girl's face surrounded by thorny branches, and inside, the spinning wheel with a hand reaching out to touch the spindle.
Here is our lovely cast glass tentacles box, all finished with a little ship of wood, paper, and string on the cast glass top, and a base of sapele on a ring of jarrah with live edge.The bottom of the box is faceted inward and highly polished to let lots of light into the box, which is cast of a shift tint glass that is green under inside light and a lavender blue outside. Wowza, if I do say so myself. And Tom constructed this weird-ass base that is so perfectly a work of art in itself.
Below, our cast glass hell box- the box has a flame design on the ruby red glass, and a wenge top and base. The top has a skeleton (made of bone, of course) on it (with a convenient small hole for, as seen here, a flower). And finally, since we don't always do monsters, our sweet cast glass golden girl, sitting on the lid of a tall, plain, polished sapele box.
But those of you with darker sensibilities will be pleased to know that snakes and sea monsters and beetles and skulls are all in the works to counteract the sweetness. For instance, below is an experiment in negative space casting: a skull in a light lavender gray glass (the lavender color will NOT show up in the pictures, which is frustrating Tom). The skull is the empty space. Creepy, eh? This will go on the bottom of a wooden box, on top of mirror to reflect light, with a split etched glass top so you can see the skull beneath. And also below, another negative space adventure with a face in rhubarb shift tint glass- this one will go on the top of a wooden box.
And get your ass out to the Art & Wine in the Square Festival in Georgetown, TX, next weekend (Sept 17-28) and get loaded and come see us. And buy something. You know you always wanted a hell box.
Winning is Awesome.
We just got back from our first art fair of the fall season, Septemberfest at the Museum of the Southwest in Midland, TX, and we won 3rd place overall in the fair (of over 100 artists)! Here is a picture of Tom with our ribbon. I might be upset that it isn't blue, except that the guy who won first place, Denny Wainscott, makes the most unbelievable art from gourds and deserved to win. Below left is a picture of one of his creations (oh, how I wish it was mine). So the competition was fierce and the lineup of artists was fantastic. Also below, a picture of work from one of my favorite artists there (we bought something from him)- Larry East of East Art, who makes beautiful, graceful, iridescent pottery vessels embedded with metal from reclaimed saw blades and rebar ties. I would love to have more of his art. I'd like to promote all of the wonderful artists I met there, but there isn't room here, so check them out through the link to September fest above. Thanks so much to all the wonderful people who came out - even in such rainy weather- and bought art and talked with us. It's people like you who allow artists to keep working, and that's a wonderful thing.
Our next fair is Art and Wine in the Square in Georgetown, TX on Sept 27-28. Come out and see us there!
Here is our cast glass bird and egg box, of a lavender pink glass, with a top of the same color with glass hands clasping an egg. The birds and egg are 22 kgoldleafed, and the branches are copperleafed. It's sitting in a curly maple base. Because people keep asking us: the top is ALL ONE cast piece. No glue.
Below, two new pieces just out of the kiln: an emerald-colored snake box which took DAYS to make. DAYS. Each snake was hand-made in wax, attached to a wax box, and all the scale and head detail was done by hand using a toothpick. Then the wax piece was cast in plaster, the wax was melted out (hence lost wax), and it was filled with glass and fired (for 3 days), which is how we do all our cast glass pieces. Just in case anyone wonders why we attach a high price tag to them.
Also below, a new glass piece (also out of the kiln today): a sitting girl in amber-gold glass. This will sit on top of a wooden box. Didn't she turn out lovely? I was sure she wouldn't fire correctly in the kiln... but then, oh, she did. And she took forever to make, too.
We're off to Midland for the season's first art fair! Tom and I are in sore need of total strangers telling us how wonderful we are (we love all you friends and family telling us, but you don't count). Below: a picture of how hard I work: my bleeding thumb on my dirty, plaster-covered hand from removing razor sharp glass from molds, holding a toothpick for delicately picking plaster off the cast glass golden girl. This is seriously what my hands look like all the time from working with glass: cuts, cuts, and more cuts. If you buy something from us, chances are it has some of my or Tom's blood in it. And also, a picture of the box we are giving (yes, giving) to the Museum of the Southwest for its fundraising event: an etched glass hummingbird painted and 22K goldleafed in the etch over a woodburned and painted maple base. The box is made of walnut and is hinged. You can buy it at the museum's auction on Friday (Sept 5). I remember cutting myself on this one, too. See you in Midland!
And below, a top with a glass hand rising from it. Zombiesque! Also, a new tentacles box in cast glass. Both hand and tentacles are in shift tint glass, so they appear different colors in natural vs indoor light. Behold! Ah, I do love tentacles. I feel a bug phase coming on, though. Beetles. Lots and lots of glass beetles
And we'll be at Septemberfest at the Museum of the Southwest in Midland, Texas next weekend. Come out and see us and all the other artists there!
Here's the finished cast glass rose box! Several posts ago I put up a picture of this box when it was wax. As you can see, it worked out- pink and green glass flowed together beautifully for this effect. I think this will get a curly maple wood top with a single pink glass rose set into it and a curly maple base- a glass top might be too much. Holy crap, I can't believe I made that.
Below, a blue glass box with a rosewood top with a cast glass mermaid on top, all in a delicate rosewood legged frame. Also, a ruby red glass box carved with flames. This will get a red top with a black glass bird and a black wood base.
And yet more! To left, a lavender/pink glass box with a raised design of glass birds on branches with leaves. I goldleafed the birds and copperleafed the branches and leaves. The bird on the top came out beautifully, but either the bird or the base needs metal leafing. I'm still trying to decide.
And right, a blue glass box with a clear/white glass art-decoish swan on top. This will get a dark curvy wood base, also in an art deco style. Hello, but we are rocking the cast glass boxes now. Look forward to frogs and tentacles in cast glass soon. And the fair art fair season is coming up: we'll be in Midland, Houston, Dallas, Austin, and hopefully more this fall. A full list of art fair dates wille be on our homepage as we learn about them.
We are proud of ourselves- this cast glass box is really beautiful! The blue glass box and top both have a watery, dripping effect, and the pink cast glass shell on top turned out perfect. Tom is making a walnut base with wavy, curvy legs for it, and it's gorgeous. We're almost ready to start casting in lead crystal.
Below, a Medusa box. Medusa and snakes are woodburned and painted. The sides are yellowheart. The inside is lined with red suede, and it will be hinged. Next to it, a new etched, goldleafed, and painted glass for a box top- two koi. They were etched into the glass, then goldleafed in spots, then painted with enamel paint in the etch. This will get a watery colored painted base.
To the left, a new glass-topped box made of wenge with bloodwood detail. The ravens were etched into the glass and then stained black. The base is leafed with 22K gold and copper in a sunset pattern, then epoxied to get a reflective effect from the ravens on top. Below, a new tall leggy box made of a gorgeous live-edged mesquite with sapele legs and a stone frog on top. And we're making another frog box- in glass- because we love frogs so much. Finally, below, a new Little Red Riding Hood Box, with Little Red in the winter woods woodburned and painted on top, and a wolf inside (both top and base are maple). The sides are padauk.
Here is one of our first kiln-cast glass boxes! It's solid cast glass using the lost wax method. The lid has a glass shell cast into it in different glass. It does need some grinding and polishing to make it smoother. This will get a wooden base and legs, probably something like the legs on the zigzag box shown below, only curvier. More are coming as we experiment with different methods in the kiln. These take forever and a day to make: making a wax box and lid, pouring plaster mold material around them, melting the wax out of the plaster mold, prefiring the molds, then loading them with glass and firing them for 3 full days! Then the glass needs cold working to remove the extra glass at the base and clean up any blips- the uneven look at the bottom is due to extra glass that needs to be ground off.
We started making this box as a prototype for a cast-glass box, but it looked so great in design that we used beautiful woods (bocote for the sides and yellowheart for the legs, base, and top), and it turned out gorgeous. It has brass detail on the legs, and a bronze bird skull lid lift. Below, a new story box: Rapunzel woodburned on maple, with 22K goldleafed hair, leaning out her window. On the inside is a woodburned and silverleafed pair of scissors. The sides are yellowheart. Below, a new etched and painted glass-topped hummingbird box: walnut with a woodburned and painted maple base. It's hinged.
And why can't our parrot say "Peekaboo"? ALL the YouTube birds say peekaboo. It ain't fair.
Tom Beach and Amanda Walker