A History of American Snow Globes

Now and then in our travels on the internet, we find interesting documents about snow globes.

Bonus: this document, a Masters thesis, is about the history of snow globes, and includes a paragraph or so about Camryn Forrest Designs. We’re honored to be included.

A BIOGRAPHY OF THE AMERICAN SNOW GLOBE: FROM MEMORY TO MASS PRODUCTION, FROM SOUVENIR TO SIGN, by Anne Hilker

Here’s an excerpt from the thesis:

 “Camryn Forrest, a self-described snow globe “artist,” uses the globe’s original theme of delight and intrigue: working in a genre called “steampunk,” she encases in her globes fantasy objects appearing to be powered by steam and built with ironclad soldered parts.

Doubling back both to nostalgia for an early industrialized, rather than technological, ethos, as well as to the Victorian origins of the globe, the tableaux inside contain machines and figures that have no real – world counterparts, past or present. When the tiny shapes of human figures do appear, their function is to give relative scale to the gigantic machines: they are featureless mannequins, posed in positions that defy gravity …”

 

To read the rest of Hilker’s work, follow the link.

https://repository.si.edu/bitstream/handle/10088/27478/HILKERTHESIS5.23.pdf

“Point of View” an Escher-inspired snow globe, design and images copyright (2012, 2016) Camryn Forrest Designs, Denver, Colorado, USA.

Waiting, Waiting for the Next Big Thing

Detail: Waiting for the Next Big Thing snow globe, Camryn Forrest Designs (c) 2013If you’ve ever seen the amazing endless staircases drawn by M.C. Escher, you may have noted that just about everyone in them is busy going nowhere. Up the down staircase. Back where you started.

In this snow globe, it’s a different approach, but with a similar outcome. People with different perspectives waiting for The Next Big Thing. You know: That Thing that will make them special, or happy, or new and improved. Waiting for something to happen, or for someone to tell them what’s important.

Because sitting and waiting for something wonderful to happen isn’t all that different than running in place.

Patience may be a virtue, but it doesn’t make things happen.

“Waiting for the Next  Big Thing” custom one of a kind snow globe with warped staircase and waiting people. All photos and designs copyright (c) 2013, Camryn Forrest Designs, Denver, Colorado.

Escher’s Family Reunion – waterglobe

When families get together, sometimes it seems everyone is running in different directions. By the time everyone agrees what to have for lunch, it might be time for an evening meal instead. We dash off to the movies, to the store, to shop … and wave at each other in passing.  If Escher had a family reunion, I bet it would look a lot like this.

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Crossroads – perspective on the divergent path

Crossroads, OOAK Escher Snow Globe, Camryn Forrest Designs 2012

… Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —       

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

 ~ Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken”

When I thought of this poem, and the choices we make in life, I often thought of it literally: did I take the road less traveled when I move to a new city, or applied for a job, or learned a new skill? How about when I met new people and tried to understand their point of view? Should I make selections that others likely would not make? Does one see more or experience more on the backroads of life and not the highways? Does one need to make hard decisions to march away from the crowds to be true to one’s self? to reach new levels of understanding?

And then, with age, came a simple wisdom. As light and fresh as the first snowflake brushing against my face. I realized that the road less traveled by is a matter of perception, not location. If you are in a packed room, but your mind is not trapped there … you are on the divergent path as surely as if you were hacking your way through the overgrown jungle, discovering what only you could see and touch firsthand.

The perception of where you are, and where you want to be, is its own unique path. Or as a mentor once told me, “no matter what, the only thing you always have control over is your attitude.”  So the same staircase can be a “path less traveled” for one person and less so for another — if what they each think and feel is perceived differently. One staircase may take you away from pain, or toward love, or into the arms of adventure. It can be sure steps toward your goals, or a place to hide from your deepest thoughts. The same steps may represent bravery and risk, or may be the safe choice. It is not the stairway that creates the path less traveled, it is the attitude and perception of the person walking up, or down, or sideways. It is whether you see yourself moving forward, backward, or pausing before the first big step.

Crossroads, OOAK Escher Snow Globe, Camryn Forrest Designs 2012

 And so we have,
“Crossroads”
– a snow globe with a nod to M.C. Escher,

and a knowing smile to Robert Frost.

It’s all a matter of perception.

Crossroads, OOAK Escher Snow Globe, Camryn Forrest Designs 2012

Crossroads, OOAK Escher Snow Globe, Camryn Forrest Designs 2012

Crossroads, OOAK Escher Snow Globe, Camryn Forrest Designs 2012

Point of View (snowglobe)

Point of View  is a one of a kind custom snow globe with a nod to the drawings of M.C. Escher — only it’s in 3-D.

While Escher used carefully drawn angles and tricks with perspective to create impossible structures in which people marched endlessly — defying gravity — in a snow globe, I realized an artist has no limitations imposed by the laws of physics. The impossible becomes reality. When you make art, you can make your own rules.

On a tiny custom staircase, determined human figures march upward, downward, sideways and in their own plane and space; if you turn the globe upside down, or on its side, you’ll see the tiny world from a different “Point of View.” One lone gentleman sits atop his staircase, perhaps pondering which way to go.

The one-of-a-kind snow globe is finished with an engraved plate (black over brass) and the title, affixed to the black base. When shaken, a light shimmer of gold dust changes the scene, and settles again, outlining the planes and edges of each stair.

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Leave a comment and let us know your perspective on “Point of View.”

They Will Always Find You – (tip of the hat to M.C. Escher)

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Gravity is SO over-rated.

My first attempts at stairways involved figuring out how to break the perspectives forced on us so gracelessly by gravity, and create a tiny world that would have made M. C. Escher proud.

Not that I’ve been there, done that, because I enjoy the results, but I decided to branch out. Escher tended to use similar looking people marching endless up and down stairs. And I had a thought: what else would be cool if gravity was random and up/down could be different for each participant? What if you took the staircase idea and made it a little more science fiction?

So I give you this custom snowglobe, with a twist on Escher’s drawings: “They Will Always Find You.”

In the interior of the globe, wrapped in floating gold dust, “They Will Always Find You” — massive robots scour the twisting stairways looking for someone. We’ve seen the movies, we’ve read the books; it rarely ends with the smart but plucky human outsmarting the robots for long. Once in a while (War of the Worlds maybe), if you sit really still, they might pass you by. But then a sneeze or a cough, or the stair squeaks, and … “They Will Always Find You.”

Since the original sculpture is only 2.75 tall, I’m showing you the insert piece and three angles of the finished waterglobe.

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