Hello dears! I am so very pleased by today’s post. You all know how much we enjoy the lovely items from Meadow & Fawn, appreciating their whimsical, timeless quality and the amazing craftsmanship behind them. Well, today we have the special privilege of hearing from Alexis, the creative force behind Meadow & Fawn. We asked her a few questions regarding her business, and a few that specifically touch on the oh so adorable Elephant necklace I am featuring in today’s post, and I think you will enjoy reading her answers. So, without further ado, let’s hear from Alexis!
Your hand-sculpted totem necklaces are so unique, what is your inspiration behind them?
To put it simply, the inspiration comes from my deep love for nature. I’m inspired whenever I come across an animal I love while either in the woods, at the safari park in San Diego, or just thinking of something that would be fun to create into a miniature sculpture. Also, I love using my hands to create things and both sculpting and painting definitely satisfy that passion.
How does the creative process begin for you? With a sketch, a mental picture, or do you just sit down and start sculpting?
Most of the time the process comes from my imagination and I do whatever feels right, so basically I sit down and start sculpting. At times I’ll use a reference photo of the animal or plant I’m sculpting so I get the anatomy right. When it’s a complicated piece, or a custom ordered totem, I tend to sketch it out so it’s done correctly.
Do you use an assembly line process when you are making your totem necklaces, or do you like to do them one at a time?
Almost all of my totems are made-to-order. This means I keep the first made totem for myself, photograph and list it into the shop, then if the totem sells I pull the totem out again and create another one by referencing from the original. Since there’s quite a long process in making each totem, the processing time can be 1-2 weeks, or during the holidays 1-3 weeks.
Do you like to listen to music or radio broadcasts while you work, or do you prefer the company of your own thoughts?
I absolutely love to listen to music while I work. I add some of my favorite musicians to Spotify and let it play for hours while I sculpt or paint away.
How long would you say each piece that you make takes you, from idea to completion?
It really depends on what I’m making. Some can be complicated and take many hours to finish. The little details are my favorite thing to do, but also take the most time to get just right. I’d say the elephant necklace here is one of my simplest designs, only taking about an hour of hands on work. The process takes a little longer due to baking the clay, letting the acrylic paint dry, allowing the many coatings of protection glazes to dry, etc. A couple of my more larger, more complicated pieces take hours and hours of hands on work because of the detailing and mixed media usage – such as the toadstool home sculpture or the sleeping fawn. Though I love every minute of the creative process. 🙂
Each of your totem animals are so unique and lovely, do you have a favorite out of the ones that you have made thus far?
Both the barn owl in flight and the sleeping fawn have to be my favorites I’ve made so far (I couldn’t choose just one of the two!). They’re my two favorite animals and I just love how they turned out. I have so many ideas in mind and totems that haven’t been listed yet — I can’t wait to introduce them to the shop this year!
What is your favorite part of the creative process?
Sculpting! I have waaay too many animals unfinished in the painting process because I keep going back to sculpting new animals and little things. It’s a bad habit to leave them unfinished but I tend to get super excited about new ideas.
So, you all might wonder why I chose this particular necklace to feature today. To explain that, I have to ask you a question. Have you ever seen an item of clothing, or perhaps a book or painting that triggers a childhood memory? This necklace did that for me. The instant I saw the Lucky Elephant necklace from Meadow & Fawn my mind raced back to the hours spent in my girlhood watching the cartoon film of Babar. That was one of my favorite movies growing up, the lines were so simplistic yet beautiful, and, though I didn’t know it then, it was set in the vintage eras. This necklace from Meadow & Fawn echoes those elements that I vividly remember from that cartoon just perfectly, so every time I wear it those cheerful scenes are called to mind once more.
Probably my favorite part of the elephant necklace, though I was rather uncertain of it at first, is the simple cord that the totem is hung upon. It allows the main focal point of the piece, the elephant, to be displayed without detracting from its handcrafted air by a man-made chain. I like chain necklaces in their place, but this artistic choice of Alexis’ was spot on!
Which of Alexis’ Totem Necklaces is your favorite?
Have you ever watched the Babar cartoon, or read the books?
What fond childhood memories do you have that are called to mind by present day items?
Brigid, the Middle Sister and Singer