Anyone who passes by Castle in the Air this month has the chance to peer through not only a window into the store but also a window into my own history as an artist. To the casual observer, the admittedly mad tea-party spread might just look like a lively arrangement of familiar objects from our shop and classes, but a closer look reveals tiny fairy revelers flitting here and there among a collection of dainty teapots, cups, and creamers.
The fairies and their tea sets are the work of Charlleis Lovett, a local doll maker I first met as a young girl. When I was seven years old I took classes from Charlleis in her home studio, learning how to make the world around me look a little bit more like the world I dreamed of in my imagination.
In fact, not long ago I nearly convinced myself that I’d dreamed up Charlleis, too, those days with her were so long ago. But a look at all the fairy dolls crowding my own home studio made me realize that the dolls—and the skills and confidence to make them—hadn’t come from nowhere. And so when my beloved teacher walked through the door at Castle in the Air earlier this year, I knew I had to do something to recognize her part in helping me become who I am today. What better way to celebrate than with a tea party?