It’s Complicated — Heart – Stacked Snow Globe

Now and then we get  take a fresh look at how to make snow globes —

It's Complicated Heart Snow Globe, Camryn Forrest Designs 2013

Last year it was the elaborate snow globe for the Sacramento Steampunk Society; this go around, it’s a double-decker snow globe with an open base, entitled “It’s Complicated.”

The tricky part of a double, open snow globe base isn’t making it, it is designing the open part so it can be touched. Because we have to believe that all snow globe are made to be picked up, touched and shaken. Unlike the interiors in snow globes, which are cradled by the surrounding liquid, that the open part of a double-decker snow globe will be touchable. Sure, folks are fairly careful with “art” but it’s out there in the elements and needs to be secure enough to withstand a poke, a prod, and a wiggle when the entire piece is upended and shaken.

“It’s Complicated” includes a black and silver glass heart with a few mechanical parts above, bathed in silver and black metallic glitter, with a push-me, pull-me sculpture on chain and springs below. Sometimes the love we show is “oh so pretty!” and the complicated feelings are below the surface. But in this case, you can see it all laid bare.

It's Complicated Heart Snow Globe, Camryn Forrest Designs 2013 It's Complicated Heart Snow Globe, Camryn Forrest Designs 2013 It's Complicated Heart Snow Globe, Camryn Forrest Designs 2013It's Complicated Heart Snow Globe, Camryn Forrest Designs 2013

“It’s Complicated” will be shown at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, July 5-6-7 in Denver, Colorado.  Stop by our booth and give it a shake.

Beaded Metaphor: Seeking Closure

Inspiration comes from anyplace.

A new friend invited me to attend a bead show with her a month or so ago, and I went, mainly because I’d never been before. We wandered aisles and admired antique and vintage beads, carved beads, melted beads, beads from other countries, beads that were brightly colored, and those as dull as river pebbles.

Seeking Closure Snow Globe, Camryn Forrest Designs 2013

But as we wandered, I found myself clutching new little bags from this booth, and that one next, glittering little pockets of ideas that were taking shape. A shape or color would catch my eye, and I would buy just a handful, or a single bead, here and there.

One particular type of bead I’d never seen before. Tiny squares with a metallic finish, suggesting tarnish and rust and rich with patinas. Touches of raspberry and aqua and blue against bronze and pewter tones. So lovely, I wanted to rub handfuls together and hear sound they’d make.

I bought them of course, and when I got home, I wove the double-holed beads into a partial wall like tiny flat bricks, intentionally missing a piece here and there. The wall, just two inches tall, took on the look of rubble, or the last piece standing after some ominous disaster. But even missing pieces, even tattered and torn, the shapes and subtle color emanated beauty. The piece is a metaphor and a sculpture, not a true-to-life miniature scene.

The snow globe was completed with a rich and sooty dust, and a beaded detail on the wood base.


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Seeking Closure: one of a kind snow globe sculpture with metallic beads, liquid and iridescent dust.

The strange saga of the Warrior Rhino snow globe

It was a simple idea at the time. I wanted, I planned, to make a snow globe sculpture called “Invisible Carousel.” I sketched it out to perfection. Frollicking giraffes and unicorns, a pig and a buffalo, all parading in a whimsical circle.

A sweet little idea, with a variety of small metal animals, each perched atop an unseen clear support, at different heights, so when viewed inside the snow globe, it would appear to be a carousel with no mechanical support. The invisible carousel. Charming. Dripping with charm.

I collected the animals I needed and began to work.

Until the Rhino.

Oh, the Rhino! Barely the size of my thumbnail, he exuded a fierce personality, completely unsuited for the sweet endless ride of a carousel. “I want adventure!” he proclaimed. “I have battles yet to fight, and honor to defend.” He refused to sit politely on a carousel post, protesting that he was too old to be ridden by a child, no matter how imaginary. He seemed to cock his rhino horn in my direction, looking as threatening as his 19 or so millimeters would allow.

How does one deny the will of the angry Rhino? Using the tiniest tools, I crafted a tiny harness of leather straps and chains, and fitted the Rhino carefully. Next, I outfitted a grand airship for him, battle-worn, but complete with bazookas and other weaponry. I hung ammo belts and tiny knife sheaths off his harness, and put torpedoes at his disposal on each side.

Go forth and fight your battles, Warrior Rhino. The carousel can ride another day.

The Warrior Rhino flies at dawn.

Flight of the Warrior Rhino custom snow globe, Camryn Forrest Designs 2013



Flight of the Warrior Rhino custom snow globe, Camryn Forrest Designs 2013

Flight of the Warrior Rhino custom snow globe, Camryn Forrest Designs 2013

Flight of the Warrior Rhino Snow Globe, Camryn Forrest DesignsAll images and designs are copyright (c) 2013 Camryn Forrest Designs, Denver, Colorado USA.

Dances with Clouds – Balloonship snow globe

Where would you go, and how would you travel?

Dances With Clouds snow globe

Dances with Clouds … a battered airship carried by a hot air balloon, drifting high among the tatters and wisps of clouds. Sometimes you write a story and create artwork which illustrates the tale, enhancing the details.

And sometimes, as with “Dances with Clouds,” the artwork writes its own story without a word needed.

Sailing from one adventure and toward another, what story does it tell you?

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Airship Voyager Water Globe

Voyager Airship Snow Globe






The funny thing about this snow globe is … I was trying to remake a particular favorite globe. It didn’t seem like such a big request, after all, I’d done it once before.


So here is the globe I MEANT to re-make:

Airship Snow Globe

… and here is the globe I made instead. (I admit it: Not even close.)

On the other hand, sometimes the sequel IS better than the original. The biggest and most interesting difference (to me) is the attempt to weather the ship to show it had been places, seen things, survived adventures and come home to tell the tale. Paint and stain was used to indicate wear and tear, repairs and how the elements might affect an old airship through the years.

The original sculpture is tiny, as evidenced here before it was inserted into the glass globe and liquid. Yes, just over 2 inches.

Voyager Airship insert sculpture

When shaken, the snowglobe fills with glittering swirls of metallic (mainly gold) dust, which shimmers and floats very slowly to the base, creating an illusion of perhaps sailing in the clouds near sunset, or a world with industrial smoke and residue.

Detail of the waterglobe (snowglobe), showing the propellers on the nose of ship, followed by the tail view, as the ship sails off to a new adventure.