Oak Fairy Sculpture

Oak Fairy Sculpture 450 600 Simon O'Rourke

Simon has created several fairies over the last few years. His fairy sculpture for the Narnia Treehouse was especially popular on social media. His most recent however is very different in style. It’s captivated several viewers, and today we share the story behind the oak fairy sculpture. Thanks go to client Tracy for sharing her story for this blog.

The oak fairy tree carving sculpture by simon o'rourke

Photo taken by client and used with permission

Oak Fairy Sculpture: The Idea

Client Tracy had to have one side of a split trunk oak cut down for safety reasons. Although she was fascinated watching the process, afterwards (we all do this, don’t we?!) she wished that she’d asked them to leave more behind, so she could have a sculpture created in what remained.
Disappointed with herself, she tenaciously Googled Tree Carvers. Tracy very soon found Simon on Instagram, liked his work (who wouldn’t?!) and made contact…

photo shows a split tree oak with a line drawing of an oak fairy sculpture superimposed over the trunk

Oak Fairy Sculpture: Choosing a Design

Simon’s initial response to Tracy was that a carving was possible – but only a low form like a sleeping fox or fairy as it was a stump. She liked the fairy idea but, not in the style of previous fairy sculptures Simon had made. Rather, she envisaged something in the style of Cicely Mary Barker;  the creator of the Flower fairies, but an ‘Oak Fairy’.  When Tracy spoke to Simon, they realised her love of Art Deco and his love of illustrator Arthur Rackham collided and would be the inspiration for the sculpture. Simon then got to work to create a sketch for a 1920s/art deco/Barker/Rackham style fairy.  He sent Tracy the sketch pictured above, and a design was chosen!

close up of the face of simon o'rourke's oak fairy sculpture

The acorn hat Simon created for the fairy is reminiscent of 1920s women’s fashion, reflecting Tracy’s love of Art Deco and the era

Oak Fairy Sculpture: The Creation

Simon worked onsite for this commission, so Tracy was able to watch her sketch (amazingly!) come to life! Simon took a large piece of cedar with him, and over two days brought the oak fairy sculpture to life! Complete with her adorable acorn hat!  One of the advantages of an onsite carving is being able to see the sculpture emerge from the timber. Tracy found it fascinating to watch Simon wield a variety of tools from a large chain saw right down to a very small drill type saw for the intricate work. In her words, it was “just superb”.
If you are considering a sculpture that Simon would carve on-site, we recommend reading this blog about what an on-site sculpture entails.

Simon O'Rourke's oak fairy sculpture

Oak Fairy Sculpture: Finishing Touches

The evening Simon left the sun caught her beautifully and Tracy was particularly pleased she actually seemed to be part of the tree, standing on leaves. Being practical, Tracy’s husband felt she needed protection so they coated her to protect her from the elements. This changed her colour slightly, and has left her with a warmer tone. They have also since had her lit up, which Tracy describes as “the icing on the cake”. She certainly looks lovely! And, after investing in a piece of art like this, it’s great to be able to enjoy her day or night!

oak fairy sculpture by simon o'rourke by night.

Photo from client and used with permission

Oak Fairy Sculpture: Final Thoughts

Simon titled her “The Offering”, and, as some of the comments and messages on social media show, there is something both ethereal and spiritual seeing the fairy offering an acorn back to the aged oak tree. A few weeks ago we shared some fun facts about Maggon the Dragon and shared how a sculpture can take on a life of its own and become part of the home. This sculpture is no different! Tracy is currently in the process of naming the oak fairy sculpture, and is trying to decide between Olette (‘small winged one’) in Latin or Tiana (‘Fairy Queen’ in Russian) as that’s quite close to her name!! What would you name her? Let us know in the comments!

Oak fairy sculpture entitled 'the offering' by simon o'rourke

Commissioning a Sculpture

“The Offering” is a great example of how Simon engages with clients to discover their preferences and passions to create a beautiful, unique piece of art that’s perfect for them.

If you would like to commission a sculpture for your home, community, or business, contact Simon using the form at www.treecarving.co.uk/contact. We look forward to hearing from you!