I created this piece using polymer clay, acrylic paint and collage elements. I created the piece and loved it so much I was inspired to write the piece posted below.
It was a constant quiet summons but I knew I would answer. I stood at the base of the attic stairs feeling drawn up the curling flight. Despite living with that staircase for many years it still held a mysterious quality. The dark wood risers looked foreboding. The wear pattern on the tread spoke of incalculable foot prints. The door at the top was hidden from all but those who were already walking up, seeming farther away than the number of stairs made physically possible. It was also always dark on those stairs. The only light in the hallway was from small holes in the wall where the plaster had crumbled enough for it to sneak in from the outside. Streaks of 100-year-old wall paper were so blended into the wall it looked as though it were growing out of the plaster rather than being merely remains of faded grandeur. On one small wall the white plaster had work men’s notes written here and there. They made only enough sense to be mysterious, meaningful without being understood. Words, numbers and letters with all the cryptic and unintelligible meaning of druidic runes. I always knew they meant something but my lack of knowledge imparted a reverence for the author. Once up the stairs I raised the simple hook from inside the eyelet that served as a lock. I pushed the door and listened to the familiar complaining scrap as door and floor met for their usual friction fueled battle. What I was not used to hearing was a small, tinkling melody coming from the far corner. It was a quiet melody but in comparison to the usual dry silence its presence was more jarring than a high school brass band. I picked my way through the dusty remains of a hundred years. I stumbled over a wooden bingo ball dispenser, slid past an old dress form complete with Victorian mourning attire, and stubbed my toe on an ornately carved chair with slowly rippling, shredded velvet hanging from where the seat used to be. Tentatively I came upon the source of the festive music. On the floor sat a toy tin circus; rusted, flaky and wearing the burden of time with more dignity than I have seen in many a pristine antique. The animals performed their routines with as much enthusiasm as a sold out audience would warrant. The mouse balanced with dramatic flair. He tip-toed the tight rope, tottering and toying with the edges of unbalance. The giraffes held the rope taut with their mouths, striking humorous poses without disrupting the mouse. The monkeys sat on the backs of the giraffes playing their cymbals with total abandon, relishing their off beat gimmicks. They continued their performance for one until their act was complete. As they wound down, slowing into silence and stillness I continued to watch. I could not leave just yet, although I knew I had seen what I was summoned for. Finally turning to go I caught a glimpse of movement from the corner of my eye. The monkey had scratched his head, the giraffes had pawed the ground and the mouse had waved. I turned back quickly but the scene was frozen once again. I stared for a moment longer. The mouse winked. Now it was time to go.