Sunday, May 15, 2011

Finally finished, just in time!

For the Cloth and Clay group's Story Book Challenge I chose Sara Crewe from A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The story is about a the daughter of a diamond mine owner who sends Sara to a seminary for young girls in England. Things change suddenly when the diamond mines stop producing and believing he has lost everything Sara's Father falls ill and dies. Sara is left orphaned and must live as a servant in the seminary where she is mistreated and neglected. Things seem to be at their very worst when a mysterious stranger brings a little magic into Sara's life.

I quickly realized that as a little girl I loved the whole story. All the characters had a place in my heart, each chapter was a story in itself- a little gem in just those few pages.

This little monkey that Sara is holding brings the story to its lovely conclusion. It belongs to the neighbor, who, is in fact searching for Sara. He is the business partner of Sara's father. When his partner discovered the mines were indeed not failed he spared no expense looking for Sara, including moving to England in hopes of finding her.

When the news came that Sara's father had died and the mines were in ruins the mean Miss Minchin made Sara put on her oldest black dress and made her move into the attic. Sara was wise beyond her years and I tried to create a sense of this in her big grey/green eyes.

When Sara came to the girls seminary she had trunks and trunks of clothes and wanted for nothing. Later, in the attic, she made friends with the birds on the roof when she would open the skylight to see the stars.

Emily is Sara's only possession after her father died. Emily was a gift from her father, meant to be a companion while she was in boarding school.

Mysteriously, one day packages arrived addressed to the little girl in the right hand attic. They were new clothes and warm coats for Sara to wear. This was part of the "magic" that had recently begun to happen, right under Miss Minchin's own roof.

This is the back side of the sculpture. It tells the story on every side. Because, for me reading the book was so enjoyable it felt necessary to include a representation of a hard cover. I used a photograph of my Sara for the cover and wrote a summary of the story for the back cover. The book is open to my favorite story from the book. Overworked and practically starving Sara finds a fourpence in the gutter while she is running errands for Miss Minchin. She enters a bakery to buy herself some buns and finds a starving homeless girl shivering on the steps of the bakery. She ends up giving all but one of her buns away to the beggar girl. The baker, seeing this through the window invites the beggar girl in and feeds her.

This creature reading my favorite part of the story is Melchisdec. He lives in the walls of the attic and, like the sparrows on the roof, Sara makes friends with him.

So this is my entry for the challenge.  All done with the exception on one lonely bakery bun to go in the basket by Sara's feet.  Hope you like her!  (And her hair -its the first time I have ever worked with a real wig or weft as its called.  It wasn't easy!)


  1. She is wonderful! I love all of the little creatures and the idea with the book. All of the details are fabulous and so well put together! AWESOME WORK!

  2. Thank you Pat. It has been quite a bit of work and by far my most detailed piece of work. But then, I am just getting into the thick of things with my "big little Lady" sculpture so maybe in comparison Sara will seem like a breeze:)

  3. Chris, this is awesome!! Beautiful!!!

  4. AMAZING!!! I love every bit about it!!! I'm so proud of you!!! (now if i could only get you running-haha!)
    She is just fabulous...

  5. Chinamommy- Hey can I call you China for short? This Chinamommy thing is a mouthful. Now you know why I couldn't come celebrate your race with you- I was sweating getting this done on time- no time for a beer tent!

  6. oh Chris- I am so glad I decided to read a few blogs today- Sara is so beautiful- what a fabulous job you have done! I bet it was worth every ounce of sweat on this one- it's just incredible! I love her hair too- it's perfect! Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!!!!!

  7. Oh. My. Goodness. That is absolute perfection. You have found a way to utterly and completely combine a love of two of the most perfect arts. You amaze me and I absolutely adore and admire every, single bit of it. You are one talented woman, indeed! I actually got chills on my arms reading this and looking at your pictures. You should be so proud of yourself!

  8. Melanie- that is such a kind compliment! Sometimes I think I go just a little crazy with the ideas in my head so I'm glad when the outcome goes over well!

  9. Wow, I'm gob smacked...puts my efforts to Sara and love that have really done a fantastic efforts are so poor incomparison... to answer your question re boy on the school wall...we have 13 girls out of 41 students in our we decided not to paint a boy....we're going for "Girl Power"....

  10. Wow, your work is beautiful :) the detail on your piece is fantastic. I adore your choice of theme; this was always my youngest daughters favorite character, she would devour the books and movies.

  11. I love this doll! She has such a realistic expression and the scene you put together is really beautiful.


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