THE NIGHT has begun to nibble at the tail ends of the days more and more, so that at 5 o'clock the chickens have retired to their coop and our lanterns must be lit - we are getting through lamp oil faster than ever.
The walk through the woods to the village is auburn now, and beautiful in its shedding.
November is here, and with it comes a new Once Upon O'Clock! This one is for Tess, a dear lady who ruminates inquiringly on a miscellany of spiritual paths and ideas over at her excellent blog Anchors & Masts. Tess asked me to make her a clock to celebrate her stepping into the autumnal phase of her life. She asked for a white haired wise woman in a forest or a cave mouth, and stars and moon, she asked for regenerative ivy, and colours of autumn, with a hint of winter. This crone-clock was a lovely commission, and I hope I have managed to make what Tess hoped for. The white-haired woman opens a round door in the roots to an Underground Place. What magics take place there we can only guess at by the smoking of the chimney. Perhaps it is the root-door to time itself?
This November Clock is painted on a delicious slice of Yew. Finding interesting pieces of wood for my clocks is a job in itself, and I was lucky to be offered some slices from a well seasoned Yew log in the workshop here. The wood is dense and orangey in its colour, which compliments the autumnal pallet, and the grain positively undulates! The inner area of the tree (another circle of time) is outlined by a natural dark edge which I used for the border of the image.
A little while ago I wrote to all those on my Once Upon O'Clock order list to say that I was unable to continue making clocks at the rather low price of £150. I found that I was favouring other paid work over fulfilling clock orders as they take over a week to make each and £150 is not really an adequate exchange for my time. So the price has gone up to £250, and this is the first clock I have made at that price. I was delighted that so many folks were so enthusiastic about these Once Upon O'Clocks, and I wanted to make them affordable items for people, but now I am able to look forward to painting the next custom clock and know that I will earn a reasonable little purseful of money from it too.. unfortunately a necessary consideration for us as makes a living by hand this way.
Anyway, the November Clock is on its way to Tess now, and I hope she delights in its ticking away these leaf-rustling, trick-or-treating, apple-and-chestnut days.