From the start I’ve wanted the old schoolmasters house to be simply furnished with something handmade in every room. Sometime ago I’d found an old mirror at a second hand shop and had an idea to cover it in pinecones, the country version of the shell encrusted mirror.
I find pinecones so beautiful, like little sculptures lying scattered around on the ground. It’s amazing that they are just there, for free. Such a varied spectrum of shapes; from the contained cone through to the almost petrified wood flower, the chips splayed open like petals.
Like so many craft projects without a deadline, the mirror had been lying around the house for a few months, quite near to the collection of pinecones, gathered one early morning from their comfortable nesting spots in amongst the pine needles.
But an element seemed to be missing- it was hard to know how to start it somehow. One day I was looking at some fresh branches cut from a gum tree and realized that it could be a pinecone & gum nut mirror. Mix it up- add some of the moss covered twigs as well. Materials gathered from the area. The organic bought inside. More textures to play with, now it was like exciting but nutritious muesli rather than a plain bowl of oats.
First to paint the mirror, take the dull and not exciting gold to a pale green so that the pods and cones would stand out. To attach them – just nails and hot glue in whatever combination worked.
The thing is after putting craft projects off for some time, once you just get in there and do them -it’s a great feeling. Not even caring if the resulting piece works, just getting into the process. Lately I’ve been listening to the music of Seaman Dan, an old pearl diver from the Torres Strait Islands. His songs are so simple and calming, with his ukulele he takes you to his warm tropical isle. You can just drift, immersed in the flow.
Finally the mirror takes shape. When it’s finished I like it. The edges might need to be painted another colour- perhaps back to a gold, one with more depth. When I hang it one the wall, the reflection of the room is mirrored back to me, contained and framed – by gum nuts, mossy twigs and pinecones.