More Magic Mirrors

Mariposa mirror by Teresa Flavin


I’ve been busy this past few days with new mirrors, and here are the fruits of my labours. Mariposa is the Spanish word for butterfly and I thought it made a nice motif and name for this lady. As with Morwenna, this “magic mirror” is roughly 25 centimeters square (that’s ten inches, Americans) and made of wood with a small mirror in the centre. One of the joys of working with wooden surfaces is the way you can scumble layers of paint over the grain, and every time a new layer goes on, a bit of the previous colour shows through. I start with a dark base coat (in this case Prussian blue) and work lighter and lighter layers on top. The last stage is working gold wax gilt into the surface, giving the whole thing a rich glow, which I am sure this photo does not represent well.

Philomela and the Nightingale mirror by Teresa Flavin

Philomela and the Nightingale

In the mirror to the right, I had decided to work the design around the centre. Having this character holding a bird appealed to me for some reason. After having sketched a generic bird, I came across a reference to the nightingale, which apparently is a symbol of love’s sweetness and pain. Philomela, a character from Greek mythology, was turned into a nightingale by the gods, so it seemed appropriate to name this lady after her.