The Wonderland project is a chair. An old, very much loved, high backed armchair. It is in a sorry state these days and needs someone to breathe life back into it...
*puts up hand*
I am not an artist. I am not a furniture designer. I am not a DIY master.
But I have a vision and I think it is a beautiful one so I am embarking upon a project that will teach me many new skills and potentially lead to greater things.
Incorporating the skills of my good friend and creative ally, Deanamus Prime, we will attempt to turn this sad old chair into a functional piece of art.
Imagine a land full of roses and playing cards, where flamingos frolic with grinning cats and a little girl takes tea with a dormouse...yes, I'm talking about Lewis Carroll's masterpiece "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland".
Published in 1865 and written by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll was a pseudonym) after a day boating with his friends young daughters, his impromptu storytelling session soon became a classic piece of literature and was loved by both Queen Victoria and Oscar Wilde and generations of children and adults alike.
Full of nonsense verse, Latin wordplay and fantastical characters - it seems only right that nearly 150 years after publication, the world of art, literature and cinema are still just as obsessed with Alice as ever.
But how about furniture?
I wanted to build something that incorporated that same sense of wonder, discovery, storytelling, secrets and playfulness we see on pages and onscreen, whilst being a fully functional piece of furniture. Inspiration has come from many areas - decoupage, Victorian upholstery fabrics, ornate mirrors and picture frames, ink wells and tea services, hobbies and crafts...endless hours of fascinating research into the book, the period in which it was written and the influences behind it.
I never thought I'd ever manage to afford the materials to build this beast, even after years of scouting charity shops and markets for the right bits and pieces to bring it to life. But I was overjoyed to be offered a financial hand by a much honoured friend to complete the project. The budget is still small when you consider the cost of fabric but it has been enough to help me gather over 75% of the materials needed. Much love to Chris Sterling for his support and baffling belief in my abilities.
I will be teaching myself many new skills - sewing, upholstery, framing, decoupage, collage work...all manner of things! Excited for my parcels to start arriving and for the building to begin :-D
Mood board to follow...I hope you will enjoy the process as much as I will and do not hesitate to get in touch if you are interested in potentially purchasing the completed article.