I always love it when I find something unusual when browsing through a second-hand store.
I believe this was probably intended to be a niche shrine or just a small shadow box. It has a glass door that opens to an inner cavity that’s about 3″ high x 2¼” wide x 3/4″deep.
It’s made of a thin metal, probably tin. I really like the dark coffee color of it with little pockets of rust here and there and an overall patina of age.
It’s going to be a fun project to work with and I can’t wait to see what it turns out to be.
But first… I was coming back from a short hike in the foothills where I walk my dog. Driving up a section of dirt road I spotted something ahead – is that an animal of some sort?
Uh oh, that’s a bird – a big bird!
In fact, this is a Great Horned Owl chick. He’s not happy. He’s hot, tired, hungry and wore out and he’s also in danger of local predators such as fox and coyotes, not to mention he’s sitting in road.
After a brief examination, and some cellphone discussions with a regional ‘raptors in distress’ volunteer, it was decided that this baby might benefit from a change of scene.
When spread out, his wings were about three feet tip to tip, and nothing seemed to be broken. His only obvious issue was an eye that wasn’t opening. Carefully, I picked him up – and it’s so amazing because these large birds weigh almost nothing!
Fairly close is a creek and in the shelter of the trees, I could hear a parent calling. With high hopes that it was this baby’s parent, I carried him about 100 yards to the stream and found a tree with some good strong branches where the chick could nestle up to the trunk, and hopefully, recover from his bout of exposure and be protected by the low bushes and surrounding trees.
I (with difficulty) left him to the mercy of nature, but I’ll always remember the privileged of being in close personal contact with such an amazing wild creature.
Good luck baby owl, I wish you a long and fruitful life.
Now back to the project at ‘hand’. Sorry, couldn’t resist.
The first problem I saw with this niche was the enclosure was way too dark. If you put anything in there, you’d never see it again, it would just disappear in the dark.
I can fix that. I still have no idea what I’ll be doing with this piece. Maybe I’ll line the inside with Vintage wallpaper or some other type of covering but a brighter background will not go amiss regardless of what else I choose to do.
One coat, however, was obviously not going to do it. But look how different this thing already presents itself with just this first coat of cream defining the inner dimensions.
One more coat was all it took and, wow, that’s MUCH better. Now whatever goes in there is going to POP inside that window.
Stay tuned – next installment coming up soon. Don’t forget to craft on in the meantime.