adventures in enamelling, stories, music and travel
The Aes Sidhe (pronounced ees shee) are the fairy folk of Ireland. Literally it means the people of the mounds – as Irish folklore identifies mounds as the dwelling place of the sidhe. Since archaeology identifies these same mounds with ancient burial sites there is some speculation that the faries are the spirits of former (pre-historic) peoples of Ireland.
In fact, the Celts are not native to Ireland – there was a neolithic race of people living there before the Celts arrived (probably around 500BC) Since all fairy lore includes the information that iron is anathema – it forms a further link with these bronze age people.
The leanan (lover) sidhe is one who takes a human lover, and acts as their muse. Lovers of the leanan sidhe are said to live short but inspired lives. In the novel, Lagan Love by Peter Murphy (which inspired these pieces) she symbolizes the often destructive nature of the creative force. She holds the life of the lover in her hands and her fiery heart brings inspiration.
She played all kinds of tricks on me as I attempted to visualise her! I tried several new techniques when I put these pieces together and ran into innumerable small problems while executing them. It is part of the hazard of being an enamelist that there are hundreds of things that can go wrong – so I was somewhat used to her tricks 😉