I first fell in love with Samantha Bryan’s Fairies in the early 2000s when I saw an exhibition in the Craft Centre and Design Gallery in Leeds. The invention, the humour, the whole premise and the beautiful construction entranced me and I bought my first Fairy. Who knew that fairies don’t simply fly but have to learn? That they wear L plates to warn others of their inexperience? That they need various intricate contraptions to help them learn to fly? That they do stretching exercises before setting off on their roller boots, or with a lifting device, under an air balloon or with a propellor? That they need special protective equipment? My quirky collection of ‘Brains Fairy Aiding Inventions’ shows all these and more.
When I retired from teaching in 2006, I was also mentoring student teachers and commissioned Samantha to make me a Fairy piece showing a Fairy being encouraged in her efforts to become fully fledged and ready to go out on her own. Samantha sent me four beautiful designs that she had sketched and this is the one I chose.
It’s time I added to my collection!