The Challenge of Literature Blog Hop: mythic fiction, fantasy stories…

I enjoy the challenge of a Blog Hop – as evidenced by the frequency of Hop related posts lately. I am a full time working artist, in one studio or another every day. I alternate between the ceramics studio and the mixed media/ jewelry space, but as my jewelry contains ceramic components, and my ceramic shrines contain collages and found objects – you see the flow, the continuity there. These Hops give me a chance to experiment, to play, free from the deadlines of a show, hanging an exhibit, doing production work. And because I have the opportunity to share my results, my offerings, with the community, it assuages any guilt I have in not “being at work”. So without further ado: 

The Challenge if Literature Blog Hop, hosted by Erin of Tesori Trovati. (She hosted the Music Hop a little while back as well…)

I chose to pay homage to one of my favorite genres, and one of my favorite authors. Charles de Lint is a Canadian author, known for his mythic and fantasy fiction, or ‘urban fantasy’ . His work is filled with folklore, faerie, music, urban settings, and  contemporary themes. To quote Terri Windling: …the importance of myths in our modern society, the need for tales rich in archetypal images to give coherence to fragmented modern lives…” (xv, DU). De Lint’s stories are such moderm myths. 

I picked up “Dreams Underfoot” (The first deLint I ever read) a collection of de Lint’s short stories set in the town of Newford. I love all his work, but there is so much to choose from – so I went back to my beginning. These are loosely interconnected tales as he weaves a web of characters; artists, musicians, writers, dryads, conjure men…

Whispered Tales

This piece “Whispered Tales” was inspired by the story “The Conjure Man”. The story revolves around the loss of the community’s Tree of Tales – a rare Quercus robur/oak. (Common in Europe, but Newford is in Canada). ” She was a Tree of Tales…She held stories, all the stories that the wind brought to her that were of any worth, and with each story she grew.” (DU, 229) The traditional ways are growing weak with the influx of technology and people are becoming estranged; as symbolized by the loss of the Tree of Tales.  There are many new tales but “a Tree of Tales is an act of magic, of faith. It’s existence becomes an affirmation of the power that the human spirit can have over its own destiny. The stories are just stories – they entertain, they make one laugh or cry – but if they have any worth, they carry within them a deeper resonance that remains long after the final page is turned, or the storyteller has come to the end of her tale…” (230, DU) The Conjure Man, a wise old soul, inspired Wendy, a young poet to start a new seedling, nurturing it with tales and poems until it can be planted. 

Whispered Tales, detail of focal

 

Whispered Tales, detail

 

clasp and charm detail

My piece: Cedar stained with acrylic paint, nickel silver, copper wire, tree branch with bud, grommets, micro fasteners, silk, leaf/face charm, gems, hand forged links. 

My intent: Woven elements as the tales are woven; the branch, cedar and text to evoke the Tree of Tales. 

It only seemed fitting to select a tale about tales for the Challenge of Literature Hop, where we are looking to the words on a page for our creative inspiration. de Lint’s stories do resonate long after the pages are turned. He creates a real world, filled with the things I wish I could find in my real world…Perhaps you will pick up a book, or tell a tale. ( Quotes taken from Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint. 1993) 

Here are the list of fellow storytellers: 

37 thoughts on “The Challenge of Literature Blog Hop: mythic fiction, fantasy stories…

    • jenny says:

      Thanks Patti! The square format was not usual for me, threw me a little. I wanted chunky, and earthy. I have to go look and see what they actually were…

      Like

  1. Amy says:

    I don’t know this book or author, but you’ve inspired me to check it out. This piece is so pretty and based on your description, you seem to evoke your inspiration perfectly. I love the natural elements you used in creating this piece!!!

    Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    I just love all of the elements in your necklace, but that pendant is a masterpiece! Nicely photographed as well! Good job!

    Like

    • jenny says:

      This means alot! I try very hard to have clear yet artistic photos – with my point and shoot camera. I appreciate the comment!

      Like

  3. Shaiha says:

    I have to admit that I am not a fan of De Lint though he writes in my favorite genre. The necklace however is fabulous! I love how you interpreted the story.

    Like

    • jenny says:

      Many thanks, Shaiha. Who are some of your favorites in the genre? Just curious… Might introduce me to someone new…

      Like

    • jenny says:

      Lesley – if you like fantasy you will love them. There are many fey creatures and folktales from England that have emigrated to deLint’s Newford…

      Like

  4. Therese says:

    Hi Jenny,
    I have not read any of these books, but they do sound intriguing. I love your necklace it is so very earthy, as I imagine the settings of the books are, it is very beautiful.
    Therese

    Like

  5. The Crazier Sister says:

    I, too, enjoy fantasy/fiction when it’s a well-thought-out tale. I can see the inspiration from the author in your piece. I haven’t read him, myself, but your little vingette about his writing and your necklace do him justice, I believe. I really like this.

    Like

    • jenny says:

      Thanks! I was trying to be evocative yet not sound like a fanatic fan… I have me the man and heard he and his wife perform – they are musicians as well. But I was so starstuck at first!

      Like

  6. Jennifer says:

    Oh Jenny! This piece is just stunning, I really enjoyed your post and am starting to feel my reading list is going to be very long after this hop! The quotes you used showcase your piece beautifully… or rather your piece showcases them? Whichever! Gorgeous piece!!

    Like

    • jenny says:

      Thanks Jen…the piece and the story were very back and forth, thats for sure. I read the story, sketched, started awork, and re-read the story! I was hoping the quotes didnt make the post too long, but I felt they were essential since hte average fellow Hopper (?!) wouldnt have read the tale. 

      Like

  7. Alice says:

    A beautiful piece. I’ve never heard of this author or read any of his books. Your lovely necklace does tell a story. I love the earthyness of it, and your handmade components are fabulous!

    Like

  8. Koko says:

    I am a big fan of charles de lint and you really captured the feel of his writing! Well done and your necklace is just lovely! I am happy to meet another lover of Newford!

    Like

  9. Erin Prais-Hintz says:

    Miss Jenny- I do so love the way you think. I love the story you chose (I am definitely putting this author on my to-read list!) and the way you pulled elements from the tale to your creation. I love the mixed media elements…the tree branch, the stamped words. Just a lovely piece that has so much heart in it. Thank you for playing with me in this Challenge! Enjoy the day. Erin

    Like

    • jenny says:

      Erin – I have to say – your challenges really raise the bar for me, and push me to creative new ground. This piece almost did not happen. I was going to do Fairy Tales, started a piece, and hated the MM focal. So I turned to an in-progress piece inspired by the Goddess Athena. Literature/myth – sure… My husband subtly called me out and told me to try to make the deadline with a truly original piece. So I re-read the book over the weekend, and created this on Tuesday this week. I am very glad I did! And the bonus – Charles de Lint’s wife MaryAnn Harris has seen the piece, loved it, and wanted to show Charles. ( I have met them, and have FB connections…) Sweet!

      Like

  10. Emma says:

    I’ve always wanted to include an actual tree branch in a design but haven’t quite found the right one. I really love what you’ve done here

    Like

    • jenny says:

      I wanted to resin the branch first, but hadnt left myself enough time. I think it will be fine, its protected by the copper. I just snapped it off the blossoming cherry in my front yard!

      Like

  11. Charles de Lint says:

    Lovely piece, Jenny.

    I like to think of art as a conversation that we’re all having with one another. It’s especially nice because we can have those conversations across space and time.

    That story was originally for an anthology to celebrate Tolkien so I borrowed a shadow of Tom Bombadil, kept Tolkien’s essay “Tree & Leaf” firmly in mind, and went wandering through Newford with Wendy to see what we could find. And now you’ve taken the inky scratches on paper and made a three-dimensional hello out of them. Which is how it’s supposed to be. Now perhaps somebody will see “Whispered Tales” and write a song about it…

    Like

    • jenny says:

      Charles, thank you! I quite agree with your thoughts on artful conversation, which you worded so well… and I thank these Interwebs for facilitating. When a piece of art truly resonates with you it nourishes your soul – and in turn yor creativity. Thank you for tales that resonate. I feel very fortunate to have found the mythic/fae communities at events like FaerieCon and online as well. The sharing of ideas and cross pollination is fertile ground, indeed. Thank you for stopping by, and chatting. I think I have to reread the story with Tom Bombadil in mind….

      Like

  12. Melissa says:

    Jenny, this piece is amazing! I love Charles de Lint’s books too, and I can just see one of the characters (maybe Jilly Coppercorn even) wearing this necklace. And I think it’s great the author’s wife loved it, hope the man himself lets you know what he thinks!!

    Like

  13. Beth says:

    What a wonderfully inspired piece – I love all the different pieces you brought together! I am going to have to put this author down to read – I am always looking for someone new and the stories sound like something right up my alley! Thank you for sharing!

    Like

  14. Kim says:

    I have read some of Charles de Lint’s books, but not this one. I really enjoyed what I’ve read from him though. I love your necklace, it is just beautiful.

    Like

  15. Holly says:

    Coming in very late to this challenge (not as a participant, unfortunately), and I just have to say that when I saw you used deLint I audibly sighed! He’s one of my favorite authors, and actually the one who got me hooked on urban fantasy! And I love your interpretation of “The Conjure Man” and _Dreams Underfoot_ – one of my faves…

    Like

    • jenny says:

      Thanks Holly! True to the nature of the challenge, I wanted to pick something very personal and perhaps not the widest known… No Shakespeare or classics for me. But it had to be something that resonated with me… And I reread the whole book before selecting that story – to make sure I had the right story, and a strong idea. Tempted to reread more of the books now… Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

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