Dancing with Dandelions Nouveau
DWD didn’t start off as a finished design, she evolved
I started making dandelions with the seeds blowing away. I then thought it would be a good idea to make a fairy blowing a dandelion.
It struck me that if a fairy was the size everyone imagines, the dandelion would be much bigger, so blowing it wouldn’t look right, but hanging on to one in the wind would work and it also allowed me to have the hair blowing away from the body to avoid spoiling the figures outline.
The first attempts were called “Blown Away” but I wasn’t bold enough with the pose. I shied away from bending the wings in the wind and it looks a little like she running with a dandelion rather than fighting it.
To refine the idea I created the first one in the familiar pose, but I called it 1 o’Clock wish which was based on the fact that children blow dandelion clocks to make a wish or supposedly tell the time by how many blows it takes to clear the head of seeds.
1 o’clock wish was the first fairy to spin in the wind.
Photos vs video: I found it difficult to get good photos so I thought if I could allow it to spin on a bearing, I could get some nice video of it turning.
I didn’t think it would move because they are so heavy, but the slighted breeze moves her. I guess nature knew what it was doing when it invented the dandelion.
A progressing from 1 o’clock wish was Wishes at Trentham Gardens. She was the first life sized fairy I’d made. She’s based on 1 oclock wish, but she was too heavy to have standing on one leg based on the way I ,made them then. I attempted to exaggerate the wind effect even more and the pose demonstrated an even stronger wind force.
FantasyWire went viral in 2014 which was triggered by a photo of Wishes. Once word spread our website and Facebook page were inundated with comments and requests. I posted a little video of 1 o’clock wish freely spinning in the wind. It was entitled “Living the Dream”. It was the photo that triggered the event, but it was the video that actually got shared to a viral level.
Because we had so many undiscovered photos and videos of my fairies, the world media seemed to have a field day writing articles about me and the fairies. The name of “Dancing wit Dandelions” was not my doing. I came from several headlines at the time which included “Fairies Dancing with dandelions” which somewhere in the mayhem got attributed to the video and it stuck.
To this day 99% of all requested for a sculpture want a copy Dancing with Dandelions. Before going Viral Fantasywire logo was a silhouette of The Thief. DWD was clearly a winner, so I registered DWD silhouette as a company trademark.
I’m always trying new designs but I’m not sure I’ll ever better DWD. She’s got layers of design features which deliver the perfect idea. The pose shows the force necessary to resist the wind, the dandelion seeds show the wind, the hair show the wind. The pose also conveys the story and the struggle she’s putting up. And the fact that a sculpture moves in the wind in not new, but they are usually some abstract kinetic form not a figurative subject.
I think I nailed it with this design.
Given that I get so many requests, the question has ti be why don’t I make more?
I’m not motivated by money. I never have been. I enjoy creating new ideas.
That said, I do make copies when I think I’ve Improved and can do a better job. The demand came when very few people knew who I was. I could tell by the response that this design is special. So if I am to go on and develop a profile in the art world and have my work command a higher price, I need to reserve that special design and the only way to do that is to limit the numbers.
To date there are only six DWD’s in existence
DWD 1 One o’clock wish (original)
DWD 2 eBay (Viral response)
DWD 3 Isle of Man (commission to solve a dilemma after went viral)
DWD 4 2017 Life Sized made for exhibition (tried to price myself out of the sale: Russia)
DWD 5 2021 wasn’t indented to sell, but got put into the mix of a bigger deal
DWD 6 Nouveau exhibition piece for Trentham to make the tenth anniversary, not intended for sale.