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Category Archives: Fairy Houses

Just like Christmas!

I've said it before but it bears repeating that whenever the kiln is emptied after a glaze firing it's just like Christmas morning!! I am back to being a child and so excited to see what I "got"!! I walked into the community studio tonight to drop off a sweet little lamb that I made in my home studio and saw that my shelf was full of goodies fresh from the kiln!! There may be a few "issues" but for the most part I am so pleased with these little treasures....

A trio of tiny mushroom cottages... $15 each or 2 for $25

My beautiful owls.. the one on the left had some "issues" so he is minus his feet and one wing has been repaired but I love them just the same ...NFS

My Bluebird doesn't have any tail feathers but he is so stinking' cute that I don't think his new owner, Maryann will even notice!! And his friend the toucan is too cute!

This cottage has it all...flowers and an owl in the window!! $45.00

Love these fairy apartment houses in two sizes   $15 for the small and $20 for the big

A bevy of mini beauties...

$15 each or 2 for $25

Fowl Challenge…

The second bird in my fowl challenge happens to also be a fairy house (I can't help myself!) with another owl in a window. He looks very happy with himself that he has found such a nice place to live...

Mini Houses…

I'm having fun making mini-houses. These little guys are very rustic and stark by design. I wanted them to look almost like folk art so I rely on the simple lines and colors to achieve that look. The texture of the clay finish also gives them that folksy, sort of rough look I was seeking.  I did a few in brighter colors that look more tropical like a native village on some remote island so they have a totally different look but the idea is still simple lines and lack of detail to give these tiny treasures a special look all of their own. They are small enough to create an entire village on a shelf or window sill...even on your desk at work if office rules allow. I'm imagining how sweet they would be under a Christmas tree.....hmmmm....

$15 each or 2 for $25

Secret phrase….

For the upcoming "Arts on the Square" event in Scranton, Pa. if you come to purchase a fairy house for your garden, be sure to say "Elmhurst gardens are full of magical fairies" and you will receive $5.00 off a purchase of $35.00 or more! Hope to see you there! Saturday, July 29th Noon to 8PM.

Loving the new real estate!

More houses just came out of the kiln and I'm loving the shapes and colors........

Blue accented mushroom cottage

 ($35.00)

A sunny yellow door welcomes you into this tiny tower

($25.00)

Front or back of this larger sized farmhouse...both beautifully rustic!

($50.00)

A lush and leafy little hut

($25.00)

White Kitty Cottage

($35.00)

This toadstool cottage has eye candy on every side!

($40.00)

100 Houses!!

I started designing and making fairy houses in May of 2016. I recently realized that I have now designed and constructed over 100 houses...and no two are exactly alike!! I don't honestly know which one was number 100 so in "honor" of my 100th fairy house I am constructing a specially designed house. It is a "tree" house with a leaf roof and knot hole windows with special things in the windows as always. This has been a weekend of designing and building...of having some clay fun for sure! Can't wait to see how these new designs come out when they are finished.....

"Whooo" will get to have house # 100 in their garden?

Not finished yet but enjoying the building process!!

This little gem is different too!!

Back to the studio for me. Hope you are all doing something you love this weekend too!!

Butterfly Garden…

Our local public library has a wonderful vegetable garden as well as a beautiful butterfly garden. On a recent visit to the library I asked the head librarian if she would like to have a fairy house for the butterfly garden. Her answer was an emphatic "YES!" So I delivered the house last week on a day when the librarian was not there. Yesterday I received a delightful thank you note that really made me smile. I made the house a larger size so it would be visible among the flowers and I did add a pretty blue butterfly to the roof and a few red flower blossoms to the house and roof but forgot to take a photo of it before I delivered it. So these photos are of the house before it was so adorned....

Looks like a fairy library, doesn't it?

I'll have to get over there again one of these days to see how it looks in the garden!

New houses…

The latest houses out of the kiln include a few new designs and/or color combos. I have designed and made over 100 houses now and and there are no two that are just alike. Though the basic design may be the same, there is definitely SOMETHING different that makes the house truly unique. (I'm kinda' proud of that fact!) So....here are a few of the new cottages just waiting for your fairies to move in!! I am just showing the fronts of the houses here but if you are interested in any of them, contact me for the other views...

I love this tiny "efficiency" cottage. I could live here if I was a fairy!

($25.00)

This smaller version of a castle is sure to look just right on your shelf or in your garden!

($35.00)

A wonderful textured roof  tops off this bright yellow cottage with a kitty in the window

($40.00)NO LONGER AVAILABLE

This "brick" sided cottage has a very whimsical tree growing in it's yard!!

($40.00)

This Moroccan inspired cottage has a nice cobalt blue roof and door

($40.00)

A tropical looking roof tops off this larger sized rustic house with blue accents

($45.00)

A sunny yellow cottage but with red "shingled" roof and trim this time!

($40.00)

Do you know a cat lover? Well, this 3 kitty cottage is for them!!

($35.00)

Another mini-castle with wonderful textured walls

($35.00) NO LONGER AVAILABLE

Hope you enjoyed seeing the new designs. Choose one today while the selection is good!!

Stocking up!!!

The studio shelves are getting full as I stock up for two big summer events where I'll be offering my fairy houses for sale. I'm enjoying putting a new twist on older designs and coming up with new ones to tempt the discriminating fairy family. There is literally something for every taste on these shelves and I can't wait to see the reaction of folks shopping for a garden fairy house this summer!!     

The process….

  Someone recently asked how long it takes to make a fairy house. It's not a cut and dry answer or process but basically this is how it happens:  I get an idea first and then turn that idea into a template or pattern. I then use a slab roller to compress and flatten the clay to the desired thickness and length and width. I have a small slab roller in my home studio but the one at the Clayworks Studio is very large so I can do bigger pieces more easily there. After the clay is rolled out, I cut out the individual pieces using my templates. I  use a drafting square or t-square to get even edges. Once I have all the components of a house cut out, I sometimes need to let them set up a bit before I can piece them together otherwise they may sag. This part is tricky as you can't let them get too hard or they won't form a good bond when you join the pieces. I score the edges and moisten them with "magic water" (a simple chemical solution which melds the clay together) and press them together. There's a lot of evening up and squaring of edges at this point if the house is angular in nature. The round houses must also be joined at the edges and roof line but it's not as critical to get the edges as even as it is with the square or rectangular houses. After the basic piece is assembled, I let it sit a while before I work on the details otherwise I would disturb the integrity and strength of the piece. Usually I will start on another house at this point and go back to the first one when it is stable enough to work on again. There is a point when the clay becomes "leather hard" when you can actually carve into it without causing any (or much) damage. This is when I get to do the tiny details like carving out a doorframe, inserting a doorknob, cutting out windows and lastly...affixing tiny details that I have created separately to adhere to the basic structure. These might be vines and flowers, a flowered garden lattice, cats, lamps or vases for the windowsills. Sometimes I add a window awning, shutters or flower boxes complete with tiny flowers. These details take a LOT OF TIME!!!

This leather hard fairy house is ready to be bisque fired

I always carve my name on the inside of the front door of the house while the clay is still pliable. Next, the assembled piece will sit for a day or two to dry out. At the Clayworks Studio, there are several shelves for pieces that are awaiting the bisque (first) firing in the kiln. That's where the house stays until there are enough pieces on the shelves to fill the kiln.

These figures have been bisque fired and are pinkish in color now

The bisque firing takes a few days to accomplish because the kiln reaches a very high temperature and then must cool down slowly before the pieces can be removed from the kiln. At this point, the piece turns a sort of pink color if built with the regular earthen clay. The porcelain clay will turn completely white during the bisque firing. So it depends on which clay you are working with . I mostly use the dark clay but I like to use the porcelain clay for lattices as they won't need to be glazed since they are already white. So after they are bisque fired, I glaze (paint with special clay paints) the pieces. This part takes the most time as my pieces have so many tiny details. Sometimes after I glaze a certain detail, I must then cover it with a thin coat of liquid wax to protect it from the next color bleeding onto it......very time consuming!! Once the piece is completely glazed (painted) it goes onto another set of shelves along with other pieces awaiting the glaze (final) firing.

The glaze (paint) has been applied to this piece and it will now be glaze fired

Depending on how much work is being produced at any given time, it may sit there a few days before going back into the kiln. Once again this process is all about reaching high temperatures and slow cooling so again...a few days are involved. When the glaze firing is completed and the kiln is emptied onto our personal shelves at the Clayworks Studio it's like Christmas morning for each of us as there is always a degree of mystery as to how the colors will develop....no matter how many times you have used that color!! So that is how long it takes to make a fairy house!!

This is the final product after the glaze firing!!

Basically potters make about 3 cents an hour when you consider all that goes into creating a beautiful bowl, mug, vase or yes...a fairy house...but we do it because we love to do it and if we can sell our pieces for a wee bit, we can make enough to buy more supplies to do it all over again....now that's LOVE!!!!

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copyright notice

All images and writings presented on this blog are copyrighted and are the property of Maron Craig Bielovitz. As such, it is unlawful to use these images or material without her express written permission