Now, in holidays from school I got a little time to take a few photos of the pieces I submit last April to the IGMA Committee.
They took a long time to be back at home. After being presented to the jury they were taken to the Guild School exhibit in Castine where public and students can see every year the work of new IGMA Artisans and Fellows. It was a big honour for me to see my work elevated to this level.
The exhibit lasted till middles of June and only in 1st August I had my pieces in hand again. Why? Well, the Portuguese custom services wanted me to pay duties as if I was buying the pieces!!! It was my fault, of course, not to take all cares when I send them to USA. I should have post them as “Temporary Export”. Well, after a long odyssey , hours of phone calls and lots of mails, I solve the problem but I could not avoid lots of travels of the package between my town and Lisbon. But thanks God everything arrived well without any damage. Only a small pinnacle of one of the pieces was unglued!
Misty Barth who kindly sent it to me took the photo below with a cell phone during the exhibit.
And now, I’ll post the individual photos.
Piece nr. 1
Birdcage dome topped
Basswood, wire, brass sheet, dye old pine, brass hinges and nails, watered wax
emulsion, acrylic hand painted flowers "popular" style.
The wood is so thin and delicate that I don't use in any case power tools.
I start with pre-calibrated wood. I work with files, sandpaper and a handcrsafter's
knife. Jeweller's saw is also a constant tool in my workbench.
It takes me longer but in the end the piece is more realistic once the artisans in their
times did not used power tools to do birdcages.
Sometimes, when I see that the structure needs reinforcement, I made simple straight joints. If not, a little drop of glue is enough.
Piece nr. 2
Romantic Birdcage (Victorian style)
To give a more realistic look the sliding tray is intentionally aged.
The original piece was natural finished. I thought that, nowadays, in an actual,
modern house, according to the fashion of the moment, a shabby chic look
As I described in the first piece, the same wood and wire. Hand made carved
and a washable paint in a country blue colour.
Piece nr. 3
Church style Birdcage
To build this model I used basswood mahogany tainted, wire and to finish a thin coat of watered wax emulsion buffed with a brush.
Just for curiosity, I must say that I made exactly 278 tinny holes to introduce the bars.
The top finials were once more "sculped" with files and sand paper.
Piece nr. 4
Pseudo Oriental Birdcage
I used walnut for the structure. To finish I gave it a very aged look.
The shape of double roof with the outside supporting crossbars shows a
Japanese influence. This may situate this piece at Belle Époque period.
Décapée painted, intentionally ruined as if it came directly from
grandmother's attic with no more care than brushing off the cobwebs.
To build the roof I used a spare struture to hold the parts in place wich
was removed in the end.
Piece nr. 5
Note that Chinese is inside brackets. Really this is an original of mine.
Having in mind the characteristics of chinese buildings I sketched two or
The structure is basswood. Very thin bars of wood instead of wires once
the original chinese used bamboo.
The birdcage has a kind of tray and to support this tray four tinny feet
dragon shaped, covered with gold leaf. Some decorative details partially
covered with gold leaf as well as the contrasting colours red and green
are according to the common taste of Chinese art.