And an incredible tree-t it is.
Now I've mentioned more than a few times over the years that I am an ardent admirer of Ray Bradbury, and of the work of his longest/greatest illustrating collaborator, Joseph Mugnaini. Surely anyone who has been around here for any decent length of time should know this.
Another name I've mentioned more than a few times is Shellhawk.
Beyond being 'one of us'-- a truly insane Hallowe'en Kid -- Shell is a fine potter, sculptor, painter, a real artisan, and she fills you in on her work and her life over at one the S&P's longest friend-blogs, Shellhawk's Nest, as well as proudly plies and trades in her craft at her Etsy store, Shellhawk's Creations.
I have enjoyed her work and her friendship for years, being the proud owner of one of her famous Mini-boo figures, as well as one of her even more famous Jack O'Lanterns of unique, one of a kind designs.
I was also quite proud to be asked to contribute to one of her blog's wonderful themed guest-blogger series in 2012. You can read my entry as well as find the rest of the series here.
I have just been the recipient of a beautiful, serendipitous melding of Bradbury, Mugnaini, and Shellhawk, in one incredible labor of love that found its way to the ol' S&P, to take its place among the spooky detritus adorning the place...
What is it? Are you actually asking that?
It is a hand-painted, glazed, fired platter from the skilled hand and temperamental kiln of Shellhawk herself, depicting the perfect Joseph Mugnaini illustration of Ray Bradbury's beloved, enduring literary invention, The Hallowe'en Tree.
See for yourself -- the vintage Mugnaini original:
... and Shellhawk's beautiful tribute work:
Not that even Mugnaini himself could reproduce it stroke-for-stroke. For one thing, like an improvising jazz musician, you can't play the same genius solo twice.
For another thing, he's dead. Just sayin'.
Of course, being from Shellhawk, no one piece is ever delivered to its recipient all by its lonesome-if-gorgeous self...
Yes -- a black spiderweb with a rubber spider, two Hallowe'en pencils
(bats and pumpkins!) and a little jar of green slime! Bravo!
... is an orange and black dream on a plate.
I am just so very, very proud to be the keeper of this incredible piece of artistic Hallowe'en love. It will forever grace the S&P, reminding those whose eyes it catches to read more Bradbury, love more Hallowe'en, and keep and enjoy good friends.
A toast, to Shellhawk, to Mugnaini, and to Ray Bradbury...
My deepest thanks, Shell.
Everyone else... GO to her blog and her store, will ya?