Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Day 25: Work with Nature
This slightly ambitious creation is none other than Peter Pan.
He's made from sticks and leaves collected at the back of our apartment, and, I admit it, some old moss that was actually from our millipede cage. We no longer have millipedes, and it's pretty clean. The catch that made this so tricky was that the sticks were fallen branches from the wonderful tree that sits just outside our fence, which happens to be an oak.
The limbs are all separately carved of sticks, and obviously I had to choose some Y-shaped branches for the arms and trim away a lot. Arms and legs all fit into sockets carved into the body, and while I did glue them into place, the arms at least actually fitted in tight and stayed without it. The feet needed the glue, but the end result actually stands on its own and is very stable.
His face isn't quite what I'd like it to be, but the direction of the grain made it very fragile and difficult to carve, and his nose actually broke at one point, leaving it crooked. I would have liked to do more detail and get a better shape to the whole thing, but it was pretty clear it just wasn't going to work with this.
There are who knows how many versions of Peter Pan out there on screen and stage and picture book, elfin and delightful. The way she draws him isn't delightful or cute. He's scrawny and all limbs, wild and rough and almost primal. He wears barely enough leaves to cover what needs covering, and she draws him with expressions that can be carelessly cruel as well as sweet. I don't think I've ever seen an illustration of him by anyone else that so perfectly captures him as the wild animal of a boy that's described in the story.