The Grand Finale of Mr Fox

Magick 4 Terri, the foxes

Today is Magick Monday, the start of a nearly month-long auction to benefit artist, author and editor Terri Windling. For those of you who don’t know who Terri is or why I’m so excited about having been given the opportunity to help this remarkable woman, I suggest visiting her website. Take your time, familiarize yourself with the bounty there. Terri is one of the directors of Endicott Studio, the good people who brought us the Journal of Mythic Arts, an online journal that shone a light into the world of myth and fairy tales for eleven years. Terri is also the editor of over thirty anthologies, the author of one of my favorite books, The Wood Wife, and an artist whose work is absolutely amazing.

But more than that, Terri Windling is a fairy godmother. However, unlike certain other fairy godmothers, Terri did not spruce us up in falsity to help us land a prince. No. She showed us how even the lowliest beggar girl can become a queen by her own fortitude and strength. Again and again, in the fiction she wrote and edited, Terri showed us the way out of the tangled wood. That, my good friends, is magick.

Now, it is time to give back.

There is a raging discourse about what “book art” is. I tend to ignore that conversation. For me book art differs from book binding in that one’s focus is the text going into the book and the other’s focus is the art made from the text. When I decided to create some pieces especially for this auction, the first thing I needed was text. Five authors graciously allowed me to turn their poems into art. You may wonder why I chose foxes as the theme — I happened to have a bag of found fox bones all packed away, waiting for that day when I could get back to the art. I knew there were fox poems out there as I had published one of them earlier this year. And really, there are always fox poems out there. You just have to know where to look. One of the authors even wrote a new poem for me, and here is what I made of it:

The Grand Finale of Mr Fox
The Grand Finale of Mr Fox

“The Grand Finale of Mr. Fox”, by author C.S.E. Cooney, is an original, unpublished poem by a woman who is a rapidly rising star. Catch her if you can! Because this poem is unpublished, I cannot put the text online. I would like Ms. Cooney to have the opportunity to shop it around and get it sold! But you can read other examples of her work here, here and here.

Below is “The Tall House of Mr. Fox” by Caitlyn Paxson, another one to watch. Click the link and you can read the poem in its entirety at Cabinet des Fées, where it was first published in May 2011.

The Tall House of Mr Fox
The Tall House of Mr Fox

These pieces (and two more like them) will be auctioned off to benefit Terri Windling.

All four of the pieces share similarities beyond their foxes. In each I’ve used the rib bone of a fox as the spine, backed the piece with lokta paper, and used natural elements that compliment the poems themselves. The pages have been coffee-stained, gently sealed and tied to the spines withe faux sinew, the frames stained mahogany and decorated with ivy leaves. Below is a glimpse at their making.

staining the pages

hanging to dry

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