We’ve finally reached the end of my series on Dragons (and other artwork) at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival! I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have! First up in today’s finale are these beautiful glass dragons by artist Larry Hodgson of Renaissance Glass. I love the pose, horns, and beautiful rainbow wings of this one, all perched atop a… oh, a skull?! Yikes! But it’s pretty! 😉
Here’s Larry in front of his shop at Fest, where his shelves are full of wonders and he has so many that they’re hanging from the rafters! It was a bright day, but as you can see over Larry’s shoulder, he keeps one corner of the shop dark so you can see how his creations come to life when lit up!
Just like this happy little dragon! The multi-colored light bases under the sculptures are sold separately, but they really make them pop! You can even see how the light shines through the dragon onto the back wall. I love the detail of the bright red eye!
However, you don’t necessarily need a light base — as you can see below, these glass dragons shine all on their own! I love the wings on the middle one (as you’ll see a few more times), and the color blending in the wings on the other sculptures in the photo is really neat!
Here’s a brightly lit dragon with a sword, standing within a set of geometric glass blocks that look really nice juxtaposed with the smooth flowing glass lines of the dragon’s body and wings. You can’t see it very well in this photo, but you’ll see later he’s holding a square brick in his claws as well!
Then we have another dragon with a sword in dark red and black, looking malevolent and dangerous, and another one similar to the top photo with less rainbow colors. That’s one of the great things about Larry’s designs — you can probably find just the right color combination in his shop, or you can custom order a design of your own!
This is the same dragon from above, just from a different angle and with a different colored light cycling through. As I mentioned, you can see the glass brick he’s holding better from this side. You can also see the tower of glass bricks surrounding him in more detail here and in the reflection.
But what if you’re here in Minnesota and just can’t make it out to Fest? Well, never fear — according to the Renaissance Glass Facebook page, Larry has been hosting a large holiday pop-up shop at the River Hills Mall in Mankato, MN for the last few years! It looks like they’re open from mid-November until early January, so you can find the perfect gift even when it’s not Fest!
Of course, Larry designs more than just glass dragons, although I’m very partial to those. Here’s an entire curio wall of cats, pandas, penguins, snowmen, pigs, and more! I love how he used the mirror base set behind some of the sculptures here to get the same effect as the larger pieces above.
Here’s a beautiful uni… uni…
unicorn horned horse in lovely blues and greens. I’m sorry! I’m very particular about my unicorns! They must have a lion’s tail, but I understand from a glass sculpting perspective how that’d be impractical. I do think this is a lovely design — the pose and colors are amazing, and I love this photo with the reflection in the mirror behind.
And here’s another wonderful horned horse, perfect for that rainbow unicorn in your life who’s full of pride, but maybe not as svelte and glamorous as the one above (like me, lol!). I really love this little guy too, even with his big bushy not-unicorn tail. 😀
This epic dragon is attached to his driftwood stand by only the tip of his tail! Again, I love the wing detail, and in the reflection you can see how amazing the back of the wings look too! The curves of the glass really convey a sense of motion on these pieces, I think. This one might just fly away before your eyes!
And finally, here’s an epic dragon with huge blue wings and what looks to be an obsidian stone base — and of course, obsidian is just volcanic glass! The swooping lines of this sculpture make it my favorite of the bunch, but there were so many more dragons I couldn’t photograph, who knows what other gems I’ll find next time I visit the shop!
Make sure you check out the Glass Works shop of Larry Hodgson of Renaissance Glass the next time you’re out at Fest, or next winter at the River Hills Mall in Mankato, or just drop by their Facebook page to order your very own custom piece!
I can’t believe I’m wrapping up this series with my eighteenth artist from Fest! This next one doesn’t have any dragons once again, but it does have lots of pretty colors! This is where I bought my bright blue headscarf — you can see it at the bottom of the first post of this series, and it turns out I didn’t take that many selfies last year, so I don’t have a better photo! ^_^;
Finally, I had to share the hand dyed creations from the Lady of the Lake Silks shop. Artist Kate Maurer taught herself to dye in 2007, and for nine years has been making silks in her home in East Central Minnesota. She is “part chemist, part artist, and part mad scientist” in her “fancy-pants studio” — otherwise known as her kitchen!
Kate sells silk scarves, veils, ponchos, ruanas, and ‘other delights’ including silk fan veils, silk wrap pants, foldable silk fans, silk poi, and even some assorted jewelry. She has an amazing photo gallery on her site showing off the flowing silks in all of these colors and more, as well as a helpful Wear and Care of Your Silks page with step-by-step instructions on many ways to tie a silk scarf.
You can find Lady of the Lake Silks at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival as well as the Scarborough Renaissance Fair just outside of Dallas. Kate writes that she has “dyed over five hundred veils and thousands of scarves. She’s proud to have her work living in 47 states, 29 countries, and 6 continents … [and] her business has grown strong enough that she can work directly with a factory in Sichuan Province, China, to produces high-quality white habotai silk specifically for her needs.” Be sure to check out her website for more!
And then finally, here are two of my friends who work at Lady of the Lake Silks. Merlin, in the kilt below, is a great salesman, and David works as a greeter at the shop as the Magica Mirrorski, “a large, fairly mobile piece of furniture that was brought to life by the magic hands of Merlin.” With his large mirror, he’ll show (and tell!) you just how great you look draped in these lovely silks!
I wanted to end with this photo because it reminds me of how many friends, old and new, I have out at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, and I seem to pick up more every year. The Festival is open every weekend (Saturday & Sunday) from August 17 to September 29, as well as Labor Day, Monday, September 2, and Friday, September 27. The first cannon opens the gates at 9:00am and the final cannon ends the revelry at 7:00pm, and they’re open rain or shine, whether it’s 85°F (32°C) or 40°F (4°C), as I found out in person last year!
I’ve certainly learned a lot doing this series, and since hubby and I decided to spring for actual Season Passes for 2019, this might come around again with all new artists next winter! There’s also an amazing range of musical acts and entertainment shows out there, all of which I love, so who knows — I might just need a whole new website to cover it all!
Thank you as always for reading — I know I’m running late with my posts, but life’s been throwing me some curveballs lately and I’m doing my best.
If you’re here in the Midwest of the United States with me, please be safe! It’s Tuesday night and right now it’s -24°F (-31°C) with a “feels like” wind chilled temperature of -51°F (-46°C)! They’ve cancelled schools and even some businesses are closing, because it’s just going to get worse tomorrow — but luckily we’ll be warming back up to normal temperatures in a few days.
That’s it for right now — take care, stay creative, and stay warm! 😀
All the photos in the post were taken by me at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival in Shakopee, Minnesota (just south of Minneapolis) on Saturday, September 30, 2018, except for the Minnesota Renaissance Festival logo, which is from their ticketing website.