I'm lucky because I get to make things for a living. I figure out problems and get to work with a team of really smart people to create a solution. You spend a lot of time thinking about real people and what they do now and what they want to do and how they could do it in a totally new way. To look at an old thing and constantly see new possibilities is not always an easy task. One of the ways that I try to always maintain child eyes is to do really off the wall things with my personal projects and make-believe as much as I can.
When I was a kid I was pretty into FarSide comics. Talking penguins, half-sentient cats, odd happenings and mysterious creatures called Jackabassalopes, which were horned rabbits of a kind. I was really stuck on these Jackabassalopes. I liked saying the name. I liked thinking about rabbits with horns, what the horns would look like, how these animals would behave. About four years ago I came to be the proud owner of three pairs of beautiful horns, gifts from a boyfriend's lovely step-father. I started secretly calling these horns my Jackabasselopes. I plotted the elaborate hunting trips taken by hunters in the "olden-days" when Jackabasselopes still roamed free, before they left us for the lands beyond the Great Salty Sea into the West with the Elves. The careful tracking needed in order to catch them. How hunters tracked them at great risk because it was known that anyone who successfully caught a Jackabasselope would have terrible things befall them in later life, cursed even! I also realized that the reason why Jackabasselopes were hunted out of existence was because they had pure gold in their bones and horns.
Asking why or what the point of this is is pointless. The process is the point. When kids play they don't have a point. When artists doodle there isn't a point. The point is letting the mind wander and drift and see where you get to. My Jackabasselopes had been with me for a number of years when I saw a stag skull covered in gold leaf and thought that I could bring my golden Jackabasselope horns to life. And that's what happens when you play with things, one day something comes together and you can create something that is lovely.
A few notes on using goldleaf, it is both easier and trickier than you would imagine. It tends to break apart at the slightest touch. It's best to have a really clean surface and hands, tweezers and sharp scissors to help the process along. You have to be quite patient and delicate. Two things that I am generally not. But the effect is beautiful because of how delicate the paper is, it folds into every tiny crevices of the horns. You need a sizing agent and a paint brush you don't mind ruining. The sizing agent is needed as glue, so if you only apply it to certain areas you can pull the goldleaf away with tweezers to create patterns.
I wanted to try for interesting patterns on the horns, having come up with the idea that younger Jackabasselopes contain more pure and as they get older it develops into veins so to speak. Daydream on, friends.