New Fairy Tale Shadowbox Art: “The Key in the Forest”

A key shimmers in the forest, hanging from the bough of a tree. What is it to? Where does it lead?

miniature diorama of a magical fairytale forest

For “The Key in the Forest” I was able to try out a new art medium combining painting and miniatures: creating a magical fairy tale shadowbox!

magical forest diorama art by The Free Folk

I created the magic-mirror-style sliding lid I used with this wooden box and the tiny clay mushrooms which peep up from the moss several months ago, but wasn’t sure how I wanted to use them. Later, after a tree was cut down in my neighborhood, I came across a bundle of sticks that looked remarkably like slender dark trees, and found an interesting miniature key hidden at the bottom of my drawer of charms and beads. I began to imagine a dark forest growing behind a mirror, a tiny forest which could fit in the palm of my hand, and a magic key hidden there…

“The Key in the Forest” is created in a wooden box about 7 inches high by 5 inches wide by 4 inches deep. The cardboard sliding lid was made by me and painted with watercolors and gilt. Inside, all four sides of the box are painted to resemble a fairy tale forest. Sticks form the forest’s dark trees, and moss carpets the forest floor and creates the trees’ canopy. Handmade clay mushrooms peep out from the forest floor, and in the center of the scene hangs a shimmering miniature key.

The piece is signed and dated on the back, where its name is also written. It is available for purchase now in my Etsy shop here.

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