Mouse's Chalet Exterior was configured (top center). She began installing the mantle and cutting away the tunnel and windows, which became the Answer Tree's face, and wiring in various roots for this subterranean lair.
After she left, I started plastering the interior with Flexall (flexible cement) and with leftover sanded grout when I ran out of Flexall. I tried to "build-in" the furniture and features as though the walls were earthen. I added slopes and bulk as needed with newspaper and masking tape and plastered over the surfaces again.
Next came several layers of acrylic paint in raw and burnt umber and terra cotta for the "flesh" areas. Highlights and lowlights were added with pastel chalks/pigments to emphasize the Face without being too direct. I like to keep everything as ambiguous as possible so the viewer can see at least two things at once in each element. Halfland.The mouth/tunnel leading to the underside of Rana's cottage hearth as seen on the finished set, as well as during the progression of its development underneath. The lips were constructed out of some of the root pieces I nabbed on the curb after a tree removal a few years back. The teeth were a wired strand of natural beads called Job's Tears (nature already makes them all with holes for stringing!) that I'd tainted with a paint tarter patina.
A large seed pod had several white and one black Job's Tears arranged inside of it in order to halfway suggest an iris and a rare pair of century-old eye glasses were wired over the opening (upper right). These glasses may be the only earth world scale actual objects used in the making of Halfland. The eyes on the creatures top center and lower left are natural b/w coloration (!) on the Love in a Puff pods that Halfland's Official Naturalist, Marcie sent me a few years back. Their teeth were tiny hard plant pods pickled with white. The red hair is Eucalyptus brush filament with another species of Eucalyptus button as a cap. They are eating red peppercorns.
The Writing Mouse wears nano-sized tiny specs himself as he spends his days listening to the questions asked of the Answer Tree in order to translate the wisdom of the crowd that personifies the Tree's roots. He transcribes the answers onto birch bark paper and seeds and buries them under the roots. In time, the answers he's written will grow out onto the leaves of the Tree. Of course, by then, no one will care what it is.
In Part 2; the Story of the Furnishings...