About the Artist
Though I am writing this about myself, I find these 'biographies' are best told as such-in third person. I will therefore, henceforth, refer to myself as Bryonie (also known to some as Bambu, Baby B, and Boo Boo)
Bryonie (that's me!) grew up in the hills of Malibu, CA with lots of time and space to herself. One could often find her crouched in a fort, surrounded by trees, or up in the trees themselves, chatting with the birds, creating wands and brooms with palm fronds and glitter, or tucking treasures into the knots and nooks of the trees--some of her closest friends. In fact, one can still find her doing just that! Only now, her setting has moved to the mossy firs and maples of Portland, OR. Her resources and materials have also expanded to include polymer clay, driftwood, silver, stones of all sorts, treasures and whatnots found in nature, and the written word. Each creation--from faery to necklace--is "born" with a story, and this artist believes that "a story untold just sits and grows mold." And since nothing good ever came from mold (except penicillin and fine cheese, but that's beside the point), every story is given careful attention.
Back to Bryonie. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan's School of Art and Design, concentrating in Metals Design and Photography. She was lucky enough to study abroad in Florence, Italy at Studio Art Centers International where she fell in love with espresso, wine, bell peppers, and most importantly, the art of silver smithing.
When it came to Faerysmything-the art of capturing an impression of a faery-she began without any formal training. This gift was discovered on the shores of Flathead Lake, MT. As she stared off into space, pondering what to give her mom for her birthday, she saw a piece of driftwood. And perched on that driftwood was a flickering image of Nodwynn, who was to become her first rendering of a WHISPER.
Once she started she could not stop. But, eventually, Bryonie knew she would need some training so that she could capture the faeries she was seeing with the integrity they so deserved. And how incredibly lucky she was to discover that Wendy Froud, the queen of Faerysmything, had begun teaching workshops again!!
So, she has now taken three workshops--one introduction and two advanced--with Wendy, a wonderful, talented, and incredibly patient teacher. Bryonie is so grateful to her for sharing her secrets and will continue to 'brush' up on her skills in Wendy's workshops as long as they continue.
Since the very first time Bryonie sculpted her very first faery nose, the faeries have not ceased to amaze her. With every Whisper she creates, the Fae have been kind enough to show her a few 'tricks of the trade.' Although, once in awhile these 'tricks' seem to be just that.
She'll put extra work into a Whisper, following the Fae's instructions very carefully (the very Fae whose Whisper she is rendering). And when all is said and done, she'll be left to stare, bewildered, at a Whisper whose hat is far too large, whose pants seem to be on backwards, and who has apparently gained some weight because the perfectly measured belt she just finished crafting is a tad too snug. (And sure enough, this discovery will soon be followed by the sound of hardly-muffled laughter.)
Bryonie continues to be inspired by nature's magic. Though she loves to get out to the Columbia Gorge or Forest Park and surround herself with mossy trees, a single dried pod laying on the sidewalk also has the ability to summon a faery and spark an entire story...or maybe inspire something else entirely.
Lastly, Bryonie needs to express how grateful she is to the human pioneers who first travelled into the faerie realm, sweetening the path with treats and offerings that allowed her first meetings with the predictably unpredictable fae to go rather smoothly. Arthur Rackham and Brian Froud, most notably, were able to thin the veil between our realms, not only making our presence a little more welcome in the lands of faeries, but also reminding the human heart of its ancient allies. Thank you!!