What is a Spriggan?
By Sue Smyth
You may well ask what is a Spriggan? For those that know me, I grew up on a farm...ahemmm some years ago, outside Brisbane. At that time there was no electricity, running water or phone, so we where somewhat isolated.
But this meant as children we had endless freedom. Freedom to run around the Bush, Rivers and Streams of the property. I had several favorite haunts on the farm, one was a deep hole in the ground made by the decaying of an old tree, tucked away under a stand of wattles it was shaded and protected. Moss covered the surface, lots of little tiny flowers would bloom from time to time, and minature mushrooms would sprout after rain.We could literally lay in this depression and pretend we were in another world. Some other spots, were a large patch of lemon scented tea tree and on the crest of the hill a patch of floating granite rocks that were flat and smooth, covered with moss and lichens. On cool evenings we would jump from rock to rock, sometimes at dawn you could also see foxes and even hares playing on the same spot lol.
Perhaps this explains why I love natural world so much, yes Bugs and Butterflies, I know they are not everyone's cup of tea, but I love their shapes and design lines, rather than their nature lol. But I also
love the mythical world, the world of imagination and folklore. I was always curious about the "little people" and we would often search for "evidence" of their existence, I think the closest I came to finding them, was in early summer time at the back of our farm we had a well, and the callistamen trees were covered in hundreds of "thumbelia" green tree frogs. This is my long winded way of saying I am again curious about the mythical world, and this seems to have replaced my penchant for bugs lately...So my first official project for the year is a altered book celebrating the Spriggan...
A spriggan, a singular borrowed from the Cornish plural spyryjyon 'spirits' is a legendary creature known from Cornish faery lore. Spriggans are particularly associated with West Penwith in Cornwall.
The story behind this book, is that I wanted to do more with mythical creatures, and elves in particular. So at Christmas time I carefully picked apart one of my elf dolls, and with
a little trickery ..made a mold. Then I could set a resin head to use, this is what started an altered book on Spriggans.
Here you can clearly see the elf head, first I painted it black to give
clear defined lines in the face, kind of like you do in a cartoon.
I have added a set of resin wings, these are dragon wings but I think they suit for all creatures mythical right.
I love using the mini alphabet to make solid little labels, you will
see this trick on a lot of my work. It is a great way of
getting a custom title with out a lot of fuss.
Here I wanted a frame to surround my side lock, but could not find one that fit perfectly. So I have use ID corners and snipped off some of the overhanging
bits, I think it works fantastically well.
I love tucking things under the layers, here you can see the large
ornate key I have tucked in. And the those neat little rustic domes are actually gum nut lids, I love bringing in the natural world lol.
I wanted the spine to have some interest too, and since I chose a really really think old hardback novel I had room to play, this is just chipboard rectangles that have been adhered
to the spine first. Then I have scrunched up tissue paper and
applied it to the cover and spine with Gel Medium for that textured almost leather look.
A lot of the neat ID chipboard gets lost on the front, but under the head I have an oval frame and a square frame (adhered to a piece of custom chipboard)
I needed some kind of sturdy base for the head and a place to tuck in the wings, key and moss.
You can see how I painted the entire book with black gesso and then with metallic purple paint.
This seems bold, but as you know adding more layers will cover 90 percent of this, with only a little of the black and purple showing through.
I have then decorated my book by rubbing layers
of metallic waxes over top. This is the step that takes the book in any direction I want it to, just by adding more of one colour or another. I have complete freedom here to change the colours or adjust them to what I like. This time I highlighted the purples, greens and graphite of the spectrum. I have hidden the bottom of the spriggan with faux moss, and a tangle of black cotton.
I hope you like my new addition to my altered book
collection and here is a few of the Chipboard pieces I have used.
Edward Relief Corner IDC0008
Oval Swirly edge Frame IDF0031
Leah Frame IDFR0034
Swirly Corners IDC0002
and of course
main letter set (small )
Thanks for visiting and