Monday, 22 May 2017

Anchovies Tin Shrine by Julie Ann

Hello Everyone. It's great to be here at Calico Craft Parts Blog. Today I'd like to share a project inspired by something that happened 30 years ago! My husband and I were visiting Russia and during a tour of the Kremlin we lost the rest of our party and found ourselves alone in a snowy courtyard. An old woman, typically Russian with a vivid floral headscarf brightening her drab layers of warm clothing, appeared out of nowhere and beckoned. She led us to a vast, heavy oak door, which she pushed open to reveal a tiny, dimly lit chapel. We gasped to see a vast array of be-jewelled icons, glimmering with gold - magnificent yet unexpectedly intimate . She spoke no English, but simply swept her hand around proudly, clearly enjoying our wonder and delight.



 A humble anchovies tin among my collection of 'alter - ables'; some bits and pieces discarded from past projects and some Calico Craft Parts inspired me to try to re-create in miniature a fragment of that moment, reminding me that sometimes beauty awaits us in unexpected places.




I always enjoy the early stages of a project - the excitement of gathering the elements that will go to make up the finished piece.



The heads from 2 small doll kits would combine to make the Madonna and Child, with a scrap of Dresden for a halo. I decided I would frame my anchovies tin with this beautifully decorated ATC frame. I wasn't absolutely sure how I would do this, but I wanted different layers to my shrine and I envisioned the ornate cross projecting out a little from my background.



I began to add more to my frame and centre-piece, although I was still not sure how I could create the glimmering, mosaic background I recalled from the tiny chapel. I love the shape of the Calico keys, which recall the heavy wooden doors and the significance of keys in Christian iconography. Bits of broken jewellery, crackle and gilding were beginning to evoke ancient splendour in an intimate setting.



Now it was time to create that background. I painted my tin with acrylics and decorated the interior with fragments of doily, touched with gilding paste and bead gel. My mosaics were created by stencilling with 3D gloss gel, allowing this to dry and then painting and gilding it before snipping it into squares and fixing to my background with heavy gel medium.



Time to bring the whole piece together. I found a little wooden cube I could adhere to my tin and also my cross so that it would stand out from the background. I am indebted to Alison Bomber for this tip! I was pleased with the way that my anchovies tin shrine seemed to invite the viewer in with welcoming arms. I hope that you will find time this week to create something from an item or items you might normally have thrown away. Thank You so much for stopping by today.

Calico Craft Parts Used

ATC with Engraved Fleur de Lis Frame
Curlicue Flourish Cross, small
Standard Jointed Art Doll Kit, small, style 2
Mini Greyboard Hearts
Sheet of Mini Angel Wings, style 1
Mini Keys and Keyholes

16 comments:

  1. this is beautiful and what an amazing treat you had all those years ago! I love the keys, too.

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    1. It was an incredible experience that I've never forgotten, Helen :)

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  2. Love how you used the Calico parts Julie. Gorgeous colours inspired by your story. Love the imagery. Love her headdress too. Tracy x

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    1. Thank You, Tracy, for stopping by and leaving such a lovely comment. xx

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  3. This Icon is glorious, Julie Ann! The soft glimmer of gold in the background is JUST RIGHT! And I love the way you created mosaic tiles - sheer genius. Thank you for sharing this magical moment with us. xox

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    1. ...And thank you, Heather for stopping by and listening and looking. It's a privilege to share with you. :)

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  4. I love peering into the depths of your ornate and exquisite anchovy chapel almost as much as you and your husband must have enjoyed your private viewing all those years ago - how exciting! Magical as always.
    Alison x

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    1. It was magical, Alison. I'll never understand quite why this happened - other than that we maybe looked like a couple of 'innocents abroad'! :)

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  5. I immediately had to think of Russian Icons, Julie Ann!
    I love how you captured the feel of something precious and worshipped. And I can see so much love and labour in that treasure you have created! Love this from the bottom of my heart!

    Claudia x

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    1. That's such a lovely comment, Claudia. Thank You so much xx

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  6. Incredible is the exact word for this shrine. I simply am speechless. Well done Julie. Absolutely essence of coolness!

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  7. This is stunning, i love it!

    Lucy x

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  8. Wow! stunning Julia. The colours and elements are just stunning and evoke your memory in such a special way. I really love what you have created. Jennie x

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  9. Thank You, Jennie. That means a great deal to me. xx

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