Mothers of Kalevala, Ilmatar - Seth Apter Creative Team


Hei, it's again third week of the month, which means a new series for Seth Apter Creative Team. As May is the time for Mother's Day, I thought to go with that angle and mix it with Finland. This month the three-day series is about mothers in Kalevala, Finnish national epic. I'm drawing inspiration from one character for each piece and use a variety of mediums to depict her. You can find Seth Apter's site here (link) and more about the Creative team here (link). I've included a list of products to the end of the post with links to Seth's own store.

What the three posts also have in common, other than the topic, is that I'm using an image transfer technique in each project. The images I'm using in the pieces are from a website called Pexels. All of them are free to use, even without reference, but I'm always linking to the original photo I then edited for my project and mention the photographer if he or she is mentioned in the site. 

Third thing that the projects have in common is the use of an old book cover as the base for the piece. This is partly inspired by the main source of inspiration, Kalevala. The covers are of different sizes and colors, mainly picked because of the latter, so I could go with the color theme I had in my head. I've also included pieces of the book spine in the main composition of each piece.

I start the series with Ilmatar. She seemed kind of the obvious choice for the trio and also to be the first one to be introduced. Ilmatar is the goddess of air, her name being "Airress" in Finnish. Ilmatar gets bored being all alone and starts to bathe in the sea. While doing so she gets impregnated by the wind. Ilmatar rests in the sea and one of her knees is above the surface. A scaup builds it's nest on the knee and lays eggs. When Ilmatar starts giving birth, she moves her knee and the eggs fall. The sun, the moon, stars, earth and clouds are formed out of the eggs. Ilmatar gives birth to the hero and main protagonist of Kalevala, Väinämöinen, a mighty sorcerer. Here's the link to her Wikipedia article (link), but there's not much there.

In my mind Ilmatar is kind of the creator of the world in the epic. There's different versions on who's knee the bird nests and even what bird is in question, but I go with this interpretation and version of Ilmatar. As she's the virgin spirit of air, she needed to have light, cool colors. Because of the sea she's in, I wanted a lot of blues and colors of water to the piece. Thus I picked up the blue book cover as my base. I continue with the blue, watery color scheme throughout the project. To add some contrast to the cool tones, I chose a bronze like metallic to add some details. I didn't want to go with gold, even though I was thinking of the sun being formed out of the eggs, but a more earthy, warmer tone. Copper seemed to go nicely with the blue and also together with the rusty bits of the key I included in the composition.

I chose the duck for the image to be transferred to this piece. I tried looking for a scaup, first, but as I then had a wrong search word, it came up empty so I went with the common duck instead. This particular one is shot by Ivan Rebic and here's the link to the original photo (link). The bird also played a part on the choosing of the main element I made out of air drying clay. I formed an egg on top of a little plastic egg and after drying broke the shell so I could remove the ready egg from the inside. I painted the inside of the egg using metallic color but the outside I tried to keep in more natural colors. Not that a scaup actually has pale blue egg with brown spots... But still. 

I chose the elements in the composition because of the "creator" theme, going with the opening, birth and start in my mind. There's some metal stars as to reference of the cosmic things Ilmatar created, but also a key hole and a key to refer to opening a door, start of something new. As a finishing touch I added some feathers to the composition as well as some pearls. The feathers are there for two reasons - because of the bird but also as a reference to air and lightness. The pearls represent the sky, clouds and moon that were created when Ilmatar moved her knee. 

For this project I used packaging tape transfer. It's a fun, quick way to do an image transfer. Sometimes the glossy, plastique surface may cause problems, but for this project it worked out nicely. Also it's kind of a mix of transfer and collaging as the image isn't transferred to the surface as such but instead collaged on top. You can see the transfer technique in this video I recorded while working with the project.

Like I say in the video, I chose a word to represent the character I'm depicting as the last detail. I use the same stamp set for all of the three pieces, but choose a different word, naturally. For Ilmatar I chose "Creator" as even though she isn't a major character in the national epic, she's one of the first to be introduced and without her there wouldn't be earth nor Väinämöinen, the main character. 

Thank you for stopping by today! Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday! Hopefully you'll be back tomorrow when I share the second project of the series. 


Materials: PaperArtsy, Aladine, StencilGirl, Ranger, Prima Marketing, Impression Obsession, Fimo

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