The ATB is easy to assemble using a strong, white glue that dries clear. I wanted to enclose two of my own little wooden houses, so I experimented with them inside the ATB pieces before gluing. You can probably see that everything has been given a coat of Gesso as a foundation. I kept the edges clear of paint and Gesso by using masking tape.
To create the impression of an arched window on the plain panels of the ATB, I drew around a piece of card, using the arched aperture panel, stuck this on with a piece of double-sided low-tack tape and then applied Texture Paste through a stencil.
Hope looks both inward and outward, so I wanted my ATB to be a fortress and a refuge, but also a window onto a bright and hopeful world.
As I worked, concepts that give me hope formed themselves: blue skies, birds building with tireless industry and the reminder that Hope is all around us if we will only open our eyes to it.
I like to use hinges on my houses so that I can arrange them in different configurations.
Thomas Hardy's New Year poem about Hope amid Despair, The Darkling Thrush https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/44325 and one line in particular, was like a melody in my mind as I worked, Hardy glimpses the rather bedraggled thrush in a bleak January landscape and muses on his heartfelt singing, wondering if the bird knows 'Some blessed Hope' of which the poet is 'unaware'.
My ATB is dedicated to Queen Hope who goes out into the World, gentle but courageous. With her shape-changing powers she can speak to us through Nature, sometimes in the form of a graceful deer...
sometimes through bird-song like Hardy's Darkling Thrush!
She holds the key to a better World...
and she asks us to trust her as we step into the unknown, to keep questing after Peace and Truth and to have the courage to look for answers in the challenging or scary places in our lives.
Calico Craft Parts used in this project
Arch Style Artist Trading Block
Sheet of Tiny MDF doors and windows
Leafy Vine Corner Embellishment
Sheet of Mini MDF Oval
Small Standard Art Doll Kit Style 2
Sheet of MDF keys and escutcheons
Sheet of Mini MDF crowns
Birds on a branch
Running Buck Shape