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Author Topic: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!  (Read 5314 times)

NibbleKat

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Re: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2012, 11:54:51 am »
Quote from: Aster Breo;63678
Add another vote for triptychs!  And a potential customer.  :cool:  I'd love a tiny one to add to my travel "shrine".

Also, plate stands and hangers work well for displaying panels and such.  I have a beautiful Brighid 's cross painting someone ( ;) ) did for me a couple of years ago, and it's on a plate stand on my shelf.  

And Ikea is pretty good for cheap picture frames in a variety of colors.

What kind of wood do you use and where do you get it?  Just wondering whether the type of wood is a factor in your designs.  F'ex, oak or birch would be ideal for a piece of art for Brighid.

~ Aster

 I normally work in pine.  I've tried either maple or oak, I can't remember what it is, and it will not take paint. And by that I mean, it won't soak up acrylics done to the point of them being like watercolors.  Hardwoods WILL take paint in the traditional sense, in that I can paint directly onto them after gesso, but there's no way I can paint how I love to paint, where the wood "drinks" the watery paint. So, I work in pine.  It LOVES watery paint.
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Aster Breo

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Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2012, 11:58:06 am »
Quote from: Taliesin;63781
P.S. Aster, I'd love to know what your travel shrine comprises... It's something I've thought about doing for a long time but I feel my ideas are quite limited!

It's very simple.  

I have a metal (aluminum, I think) can/jar I picked up somewhere -- the kind you often see candles in -- about 2" high and 3" in diameter, with a lid that fits on snugly and is about 0.5" deep.  It's big enough to hold a tiny abstract goddess sculpture, a tealight-sized LED candle (and extra battery), and any one of several small Brighid's crosses.  I usually choose one of the woven wire crosses or the one carved into a small slice of wood, all of which are suspended on cords or ribbons.  Sometimes I take a crystal or something like that, too.

Everything fits inside the metal container, so it packs very easily.  And it's strong enough to protect everything well.  

When I get where I'm going, I usually set it up on the bedside table, with the cross hanging from the switch on the lamp (so far, everywhere I've gone in the last several years has had a bedside lamp with a convenient switch :) ).  I turn the can upside down under the cross and use it as a sort of pedestal for the candle, put the little sculpture beside it, and use the lid as an offering dish.  When I'm not carrying them in a pocket, I put my prayer beads there, too.  For a while, I did a morning ritual that involved water, and used the bottom of the can for that.

Like I said, very simple.  But that's all I need.  I guess, technically, I don't really need anything. But I like having a little shrine to show honor to Brighid, no matter where I am.

~ Aster
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible

NibbleKat

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Re: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2012, 04:30:37 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;63804
It's very simple.  

I have a metal (aluminum, I think) can/jar I picked up somewhere -- the kind you often see candles in -- about 2" high and 3" in diameter, with a lid that fits on snugly and is about 0.5" deep.  It's big enough to hold a tiny abstract goddess sculpture, a tealight-sized LED candle (and extra battery), and any one of several small Brighid's crosses.  I usually choose one of the woven wire crosses or the one carved into a small slice of wood, all of which are suspended on cords or ribbons.  Sometimes I take a crystal or something like that, too.

Everything fits inside the metal container, so it packs very easily.  And it's strong enough to protect everything well.  

When I get where I'm going, I usually set it up on the bedside table, with the cross hanging from the switch on the lamp (so far, everywhere I've gone in the last several years has had a bedside lamp with a convenient switch :) ).  I turn the can upside down under the cross and use it as a sort of pedestal for the candle, put the little sculpture beside it, and use the lid as an offering dish.  When I'm not carrying them in a pocket, I put my prayer beads there, too.  For a while, I did a morning ritual that involved water, and used the bottom of the can for that.

Like I said, very simple.  But that's all I need.  I guess, technically, I don't really need anything. But I like having a little shrine to show honor to Brighid, no matter where I am.

~ Aster


That is the coolest thing ever.
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Erinnightwalker

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Re: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2012, 08:20:13 pm »
Quote from: NibbleKat;63675




  Set scrap pieces out and figure out which dryness level makes you happiest (I haven't tried the Crayola stuff since kindergarten, but I assume the principle is the same.) I'll gladly take a gander at what you have so far ;) And fear not the crumbs, bane of sculptors everywhere- a stiff brush generally gets rid of them. If not, as long as you don't apply pressure to them so they half-merge back into the clay, once it dries completely they fall off beautifully.

What are you using for tools, by the by?
The Nightwalking Hedgehog
I make ceramic art and am currently taking commissions. Have dream altar ware you\'ve always wanted, or a statue for a deity or spirit that you could never find? PM or email me and I\'ll see what I can do ;)

NibbleKat

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Re: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2012, 11:55:00 am »
Quote from: Erinnightwalker;63909
Set scrap pieces out and figure out which dryness level makes you happiest (I haven't tried the Crayola stuff since kindergarten, but I assume the principle is the same.) I'll gladly take a gander at what you have so far ;) And fear not the crumbs, bane of sculptors everywhere- a stiff brush generally gets rid of them. If not, as long as you don't apply pressure to them so they half-merge back into the clay, once it dries completely they fall off beautifully.

What are you using for tools, by the by?


HA.

My thumbs, a wooden flat thing that looks like a rectangular spoon, and then maybe a pen or toothpicks. I don't have real tools. :(
I do altar art, icons, and pagan art!
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Taliesin

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Re: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2012, 05:38:20 pm »
Quote from: NibbleKat;63801

Here's a question:  How big is just right, but not TOO big?  I was thinking that for optimum detail without getting too huge, a triptych around 8"-10" tall... the shortest of that is the span of the tip of my thumb to the tip of my middle finger stretched as far as they will go, so not pocket-sized, but still able to be put in a messenger bag or suitcase or large purse...

And another question:  

For whom are you guys looking to get shrines done?  I know Aster would want Brigid; but what about the lesser-known deities? Or would people want a little more generic figures that could be whomever you wanted them to be?


That sounds perfect! Small enough to be able to carry, large enough that it's not impractical to use.

Generic would be a good plan, though what with the large variety of deities people worship and their differing cultures/styles of depiction, wouldn't coherence be difficult to achieve? Unfortunately I'm not much of an artist so I may be waaay off the mark haha.

But personally, I'd love one for Manannan! ;) and possibly Danu...
Cambiano solo le onde, sempre uguali e sempre diverse.
Feel free to leave a candle at the Manannán shrine.

Taliesin

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Re: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2012, 05:46:53 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;63804
It's very simple.  

I have a metal (aluminum, I think) can/jar I picked up somewhere -- the kind you often see candles in -- about 2" high and 3" in diameter, with a lid that fits on snugly and is about 0.5" deep.  It's big enough to hold a tiny abstract goddess sculpture, a tealight-sized LED candle (and extra battery), and any one of several small Brighid's crosses.  I usually choose one of the woven wire crosses or the one carved into a small slice of wood, all of which are suspended on cords or ribbons.  Sometimes I take a crystal or something like that, too.

Everything fits inside the metal container, so it packs very easily.  And it's strong enough to protect everything well.  

When I get where I'm going, I usually set it up on the bedside table, with the cross hanging from the switch on the lamp (so far, everywhere I've gone in the last several years has had a bedside lamp with a convenient switch :) ).  I turn the can upside down under the cross and use it as a sort of pedestal for the candle, put the little sculpture beside it, and use the lid as an offering dish.  When I'm not carrying them in a pocket, I put my prayer beads there, too.  For a while, I did a morning ritual that involved water, and used the bottom of the can for that.

Like I said, very simple.  But that's all I need.  I guess, technically, I don't really need anything. But I like having a little shrine to show honor to Brighid, no matter where I am.

~ Aster

 
That is awesome! Thank you for elaborating... I really feel inspired to put something together myself now.
Cambiano solo le onde, sempre uguali e sempre diverse.
Feel free to leave a candle at the Manannán shrine.

NibbleKat

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Re: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2012, 05:53:13 pm »
Quote from: Taliesin;64054
That sounds perfect! Small enough to be able to carry, large enough that it's not impractical to use.

Generic would be a good plan, though what with the large variety of deities people worship and their differing cultures/styles of depiction, wouldn't coherence be difficult to achieve? Unfortunately I'm not much of an artist so I may be waaay off the mark haha.

But personally, I'd love one for Manannan! ;) and possibly Danu...

 
What do you mean by coherence, exactly?

I'm figuring that there are, say, a number of moon deities.  If I do slightly abstract, or don't include clothes, perhaps, or do a figure in all one color (say, sepia-tones or blues or etc) in a monochromatic stylistic form, it might make it easier for people to adapt their ideas to my interpretation.

For me, when I look at a very, very detailed picture of a deity, I sometimes am inclined to think, "Huh. OK, that's supposed to be Sedna, but this person's painted her with red freakin' hair. What's that all about?" (Which, by the way, I DID see... And I know that each deity presents themselves to each person differently, but goodness. An Inuit with flaming red curly hair? Interesting!)

I don't know which would be worse-- not enough identifying detail, or too much...
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NibbleKat

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Re: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2012, 05:55:38 pm »
Quote from: Taliesin;64054
That sounds perfect! Small enough to be able to carry, large enough that it's not impractical to use.

Generic would be a good plan, though what with the large variety of deities people worship and their differing cultures/styles of depiction, wouldn't coherence be difficult to achieve? Unfortunately I'm not much of an artist so I may be waaay off the mark haha.

But personally, I'd love one for Manannan! ;) and possibly Danu...


PS-- I like Danu. :) I have a thing for goddesses identifying with water.
I do altar art, icons, and pagan art!
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Erinnightwalker

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Re: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2012, 05:56:26 pm »
Quote from: NibbleKat;64009
HA.

My thumbs, a wooden flat thing that looks like a rectangular spoon, and then maybe a pen or toothpicks. I don't have real tools. :(

 
Don't need them. I recommend a chopstick or a piece of fine-grain bamboo or highly polished wood for smoothing, an unbent paperclip if you want to scrape (has the plus of being moldable so you can make what shape you like), a hairpin (a sturdy one, and even better for the protective rubber bits at the ends to have fallen off), and something stabby. Sharpened skewer works, or a pin or needle. Brushes help, if you have some you're willing to sacrifice (not the expensive ones! Trust me!). Thin plastic (like an old credit card or gift card) can be cut and shaped into smoothers or texture-makers for larger projects.

Do you know about slip yet?
The Nightwalking Hedgehog
I make ceramic art and am currently taking commissions. Have dream altar ware you\'ve always wanted, or a statue for a deity or spirit that you could never find? PM or email me and I\'ll see what I can do ;)

Aster Breo

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Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #25 on: July 13, 2012, 07:01:22 pm »
Quote from: Taliesin;64055
That is awesome! Thank you for elaborating... I really feel inspired to put something together myself now.

You're welcome. I was originally inspired by a thread many years ago about travel shrines. At the time, I was traveling a lot for work, so it seemed the thing to do.  I love having that little touch of home with me when I'm away.

I've wanted to do something even smaller and more compact for a while -- like in an Altoids tin, or something like that.  

NibbleKat, while I think the larger triptychs will be wonderful (and, yes, I'll definitely want one! ;) ), maybe you'd consider doing some very small ones, too?  

~ Aster
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible

Taliesin

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Re: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #26 on: July 14, 2012, 04:35:27 am »
Quote from: NibbleKat;64060
What do you mean by coherence, exactly?

I'm figuring that there are, say, a number of moon deities.  If I do slightly abstract, or don't include clothes, perhaps, or do a figure in all one color (say, sepia-tones or blues or etc) in a monochromatic stylistic form, it might make it easier for people to adapt their ideas to my interpretation.

For me, when I look at a very, very detailed picture of a deity, I sometimes am inclined to think, "Huh. OK, that's supposed to be Sedna, but this person's painted her with red freakin' hair. What's that all about?" (Which, by the way, I DID see... And I know that each deity presents themselves to each person differently, but goodness. An Inuit with flaming red curly hair? Interesting!)

I don't know which would be worse-- not enough identifying detail, or too much...

 
Coherence was probably the wrong word to use... I meant any kind of depiction that would work for everyone despite cultural differences. But you've answered that already, haha! I think that could work, definitely! Especially so for people who don't see their deities as necessarily anthropomorphic. Yep, I really like that idea!

But hahaha, seriously?! I feel that way about some depictions of Manannan. I think too much would be, only in that if identifying detail is kept to a minimum we can still fill in the gaps in our minds, but if there's too much then it's just not who we want it to be, if that makes sense? Just my opinion anyway haha.
Cambiano solo le onde, sempre uguali e sempre diverse.
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Taliesin

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Re: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #27 on: July 14, 2012, 04:40:35 am »
Quote from: NibbleKat;64062
PS-- I like Danu. :) I have a thing for goddesses identifying with water.


Yes, I feel the same. :)
Cambiano solo le onde, sempre uguali e sempre diverse.
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Taliesin

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Re: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #28 on: July 14, 2012, 04:44:26 am »
Quote from: Aster Breo;64072
You're welcome. I was originally inspired by a thread many years ago about travel shrines. At the time, I was traveling a lot for work, so it seemed the thing to do.  I love having that little touch of home with me when I'm away.

I've wanted to do something even smaller and more compact for a while -- like in an Altoids tin, or something like that.  

NibbleKat, while I think the larger triptychs will be wonderful (and, yes, I'll definitely want one! ;) ), maybe you'd consider doing some very small ones, too?  

~ Aster

 
An altoids tin shrine would be great! I just don't know what I'd do with it/put in it haha... I think the only way I could use it would be if I stood it up and used it as a housing for icons/small depictions. Actually, I quite like that idea... hmm...
Cambiano solo le onde, sempre uguali e sempre diverse.
Feel free to leave a candle at the Manannán shrine.

Aster Breo

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Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #29 on: July 14, 2012, 05:08:14 am »
Quote from: Taliesin;64117
An altoids tin shrine would be great! I just don't know what I'd do with it/put in it haha... I think the only way I could use it would be if I stood it up and used it as a housing for icons/small depictions. Actually, I quite like that idea... hmm...

My (very incomplete) idea was to use the tin as a sort of "bi-tych", so to speak.  

I'd cover the outside with something appropriate and decorative -- maybe contact paper.  The inside of the lid and bottom could have symbols or scenes or pictures attached, so, when opened at an angle, it would stand up and display them.  Kinda like a triptych.  And there would be enough space inside the box to carry small objects like a Brighid's cross or rocks or prayer beads or whatever.

Does that make sense?  

I'd still really like to make one that I could carry in a pocket or purse.  Just writing this description has made me feel inspired again.  ;)

~ Aster
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible

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