As sweet Spring leaves begin to grace the Willow branches, Winter withdraws and begins her ritual of rebirth.

A crystal cavern, deep within...........

a secret sacred spot.........pure energy.....

white light........deep within.

"The Heart of the Willow"

The tree stands about 27". The lady is about 9" kneeling. She can be removed from the tree, to make for easier shipping.

A gourd is a vegetable that grows sort of like a pumpkin or large squash, but when it is allowed to dry ( usually takes at least a year ), the hide gets very very hard, and wood-like. And the insides dry up, just leaving an empty, hollow rattle, with dried seeds rattling around. Here in Hawaii they use gourds alot in the dances that include chanting.

The Willow tree is created using two gourds. I cut ( with a skill saw ) the bottom off of a smaller one, and I put it on top of the larger one, and used it to extend the tree trunk, up to the branches. The branches are heavy wire with resin air dry clay added to them. I drew the doors on, and cut those out ....along with a circle hole above the door where I then placed that metal filigree old pin to make a window. The doors are then hinged on, so that they open and close easily.

The inside was done as a mosaic of mirrors, and the floor is laid with the same fabric that I used on the lady's costume....mirrored bugle beads, which add to the reflection.

The grout on the inside is a white, and I then painted in-between the mirrors with a white iridescent paint. I wanted the inside to sparkle and be somewhat of a shock when the bronzey doors of the willow were opened. And I wanted it very white, so I painted the lady's face a mask and her lips very red. Then I wondered......why would she have her face painted? Which lead me to make her some pots of paint and small paint brushes that sit along side her, inside the tree.

There is also a small box with a rug of sheepskin and crystal-like balls sitting in it. I'm not really sure what that represents.....but the wool of the mohair adds to the feeling of winter, I think.

So.....with the paint jars and brushes, and her face all made up....I decided that she was the essence of Winter... and with spring bringing the leaves to the willow tree, it was time for her to put her paints away.

The outside of the tree is created in a mosaic of subtle colored tiles and chips, brown sea glass and bronze mirrored tiles. The grout is a dark brown that I then painted over in bronze. The roots were sculpted out of Prosculpt clay and then attached to the tree.

I also used the Aves resin clay to sculpt bark, and in the bark are faces of an old man....there are about 12 faces....they are subtle and painted a bronzey brown. I also added texture to the tree by laying down strips of a gold and silver metallic trim from an antique purse that I had in my collection.

The colored tiles ( greens, mauves, blues, plum, pinks....but all soft and subtle ) wind in snake-like movements up the tree, and towards the branches I've added small jewel-like mirrored pieces to add reflection and a feeling of spring buds.

There is a face of an old man right before the branches start to flair out...above the filigreed window.....and at the very end of two of the branches are his hands....scuplted subtly into the branches......and from his fingers I have strung bead strands, using various colors of bugle beads and glass leaf beads. The door knobs, on the doors of the tree, are also small leaves.

The bottom of the tree is covered in a brown velvet.

I think I must create another tree......perhaps a tree of summer in greens, and inside, a riot of pinks........

For information on this piece, contact
Marilyn Radzat


email: Marilyn Radzat

808-293-5859 (voice)
808-293-2283 (fx)